Headway Black Country email info@headwayblackcountry.co.uk email info@headwayblackcountry.co.uk
Headway Black Country Dudley Sandwell Walsall Wolverhampton
Headway Black Country Home Headway Black Country About Brain Injury Headway Black Country How we can help you Headway Black Country How you can help us Headway Black Country Contact us
Text Size   increase font size   decrease font size
Effects of brain injury

The effects of a brain injury can be wide ranging and depend on factors such as the type, location and severity of the injury. Every person's injury is unique, and they may experience any number of the symptoms, ranging from mild to severe.

Changes to Perception, Memory, Judgement or Reasoning
Skills such as speed of thought, memory, understanding, concentration and solving problems may be affected. These "cognitive" effects of a brain injury affect the way a person thinks, learns and remembers. The extent of these changes depends on which areas of the brain have been affected.

Headway West MidlandsCommunication problems
Communication problems after brain injury are very common. Although most of us take it for granted, the ability to communicate (both speaking and understanding speech) uses many different parts of the brain and very complex interactions within the brain.

Emotional and behavioural changes

People who have had a brain injury can be left with changes in their emotional reactions and behaviour. These effects can be less obvious than, for example, changes in mobility or speech. Emotional and behavioural changes can be the most difficult effects for a survivor and their family to deal with. These may include:

Explosive anger and irritability
Lack of awareness and insight (a lack of understanding of other people's actions or feelings)
Impulsivity and disinhibition
Emotional stability (for example, over-reacting in some situations)
Apathy and poor motivation
Inflexibility and obsessive behaviours
Sexual problems

Changes in "Executive" functions after brain injury
Damage to thinking and planning is common after acquired brain injury and can have a big effect on many aspects of everyday life. These may include an individual's capacity for:

Planning and organisation
Flexible thinking (being able to alter one's behaviour)
Solving unusual problems
Learning rules
Making decisions
Using appropriate behaviour and holding back inappropriate behaviour, particularly in social situations
Controlling emotions
Concentrating and taking in information

"Executive dysfunction" is the clinical term that refers to disruption of some or all of the things listed above. This often occurs after injury to the frontal lobes of the brain (the forehead).

Physical effects of brain injury
A good physical recovery after a brain injury often means there are few or no outward signs that an injury has occurred. However, there can be problems present that are not always so immediately visible, but which can have a real impact on daily life. These may include:

Problems with movement, balance and co-ordination
Dyspraxia - the inability to plan and perform purposeful movements
Loss of sensation (including vision, hearing, taste and smell)
Tiredness (fatigue)
Speaking and swallowing disorders - dysphasia, dysphagia, dysarthria etc.
Bladder and bowel incontinence
Epilepsy - abnormal electrical discharge in the brain which may involve
seizures or fits

Hormonal imbalances and pituitary dysfunction after brain injury
Brain injury may occasionally cause damage that can lead to the release of not enough or too much of one or more hormones. The effects of such an injury are many and varied because of the large number of hormones that can be affected. Some symptoms are similar to the more common effects of brain injury hence why hormonal effects may be under-diagnosed.

Headway logo

Aims, objectives and history
Our new home
Headway staff and trustees
News and events

About brain injury
What is brain injury?
The effects of brain injury
Support after brain injury

How we can help you
Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Outreach Service
Support for families and carers
Citizens Advice Bureau
Young People
Training and Development
Personal stories and comments
Useful information and links

How you can help us
Fundraising, event organising and sponsorship

Contact us

Headway Black Country:
Registered charity No: 1089171

A Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in England & Wales: No: 4001321

Affiliated to Headway - the brain injury association, a registered charity.

┬ęcopyright: Headway Black Country 2013 | web design by grassidesign.com