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What complications could stem from a brain injury?

A traumatic brain injury, otherwise known as a TBI, can affect a person for the rest of their life. But, what are some complications that stem from a severe TBI? First of all, a person may be left in a coma or even worse, in a vegetative state. Sometimes these states of consciousness can improve, but, in some cases, they are permanent. Another complication that may stem from a TBI is an increased chance of developing a degenerative brain disease. Such diseases include Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and dementia pugilistica.

A person who suffers a TBI could also experience seizures. This can happen during the first seven days following the TBI. If the seizures are recurring, the person's condition is referred to as post-traumatic epilepsy. In addition, a person who suffers a TBI could experience nerve damage. This could lead to vision loss, damage to a person's sense of smell, facial paralysis and numbness and swallowing difficulties.

Suffering a TBI could also cause an individual to experience blood vessel damage, leading to serious conditions such as blood clots or a stroke. A person who experiences a severe TBI could also suffer an infection if brain tissues are torn or damaged. A person who suffers a TBI could experience intellectual problems and communication problems. A TBI could also cause a person to experience behavioral and emotional changes.

All of these complications can take years to recover from, and in some cases a person may never recover. Many complications stemming from a TBI or other type of cerebral trauma may render a person unable to work for a year or more. In such situations, a person may want to see if Social Security Disability benefits are available to help them afford their medical expenses, along with their daily living expenses. Depending on the circumstances, some complications of a TBI, such as epilepsy or organic mental disorders, may fall under the Social Security Administration's listing of impairments.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Traumatic brain injury," accessed Sept. 13, 2015

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