Brain damage can cause a disruption in the functions of your brain. Symptoms that may be caused by injury to the brain include slowed thinking processes, difficulty switching between tasks, diminished libido, disturbed sleep, emotional outbursts, irritability, depression, faulty judgment, impaired memory, difficulty concentrating, inattention and excessive sleepiness. It is sometimes difficult to sort out actual brain damage from other ailments or issues including job loss, financial loss, depression, medications, pain elsewhere and migraine headaches.
The severity and extent of neurological dysfunction caused by brain damage can be measured with the help of testing. Neuropsychologists use these tests to enable them to isolate the problem to a specific area of the brain. The frontal lobes control inhibition of inappropriate behavior, foresight, attention, interpersonal behavior, judgment, personality, mood and drive. An injury to the frontal lobe is sometimes associated with olfactory damage, and this may cause patients to have an altered or reduced sense of smell.
The effects of brain damage on the patient may be surpassed by the effect it has on their family. Brain injuries are tremendous stressors in interpersonal relationships.
As a rule, brain injury symptoms should lessen as time passes, as the brain heals. But sometimes the symptoms get worse, since the patient can not adapt to the injury to the brain. It often happens that psychological problems arise or get worse after brain damage.
There is a wide variety of symptoms that can occur after brain injuries. The symptoms will vary depending on what part of the brain was injured. Here are some possible symptoms, and the area of brain damage that can cause them:
If there is brain damage to the frontal lobe or forehead:
Inability to express language
Difficulty in solving problems
Changes in personality
Changes in social behavior
Inability to focus on tasks
Persistence of one single thought
Loss of flexibility in thinking
Loss of spontaneity in interacting with others
Inability to plan a sequence of complex movements
Loss of simple movement of body parts
If there is injury to the parietal lobe, near the top and back of the head:
Difficulty with hand to eye coordination
Lack of self-awareness of certain body parts
Difficulty doing mathematics
Difficulty in distinguishing right from left
Difficulty drawing objects
Problems with reading
Inability to name an object
Inability to attend to more than one object at a time
If there is damage in the occipital lobes, at the back of the head:
Difficulties in reading and writing
Inability to recognize an object's movement
Difficulty in recognizing drawn objects
Inability to recognize words
Inaccurately seeing objects
Difficulties identifying colors
Defects in vision
If you notice these symptoms in someone that you care for, contact their health care professional immediately, take them to the Emergency Room, or call 911.