Brain Injury Types | Functions of the Brain

Brain Injury
Brain Injury

Brain Injury

Brain Injury

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Functions of the Brain

To understand brain injury types, it is first important to look at the different functions of the brain. The brain is an amazing organ. It is the part of the body responsible for virtually all functions throughout the body. The brain weighs about three pounds and is divided into two hemispheres or halves. Each half or side contains four separate lobes1. 

 

The frontal lobe behind the forehead is where cognitive functions and control of voluntary body movements occur. The parietal lobe processes information sent from other parts of the body about temperature, touch, taste, and movement. The occipital lobe is primarily responsible for the vision and functions of the eye. Finally, the temporal lobe processes memories. It takes memories and integrates them with senses such as taste, sight, sound, and touch.  

Brain Injury Types

The term “brain injury” describes many types of injury to the brain. There are several types of traumatic brain injuries, and each can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe.  

 

Mild Brain Injury

A mild traumatic brain injury  is generally characterized by loss of consciousness for a short time, often seconds or minutes. A mild traumatic brain injury may present in medical tests as a lack of any notable injury to the brain, although this aspect may be inaccurate. It is essential to look at mental functioning and overall brain health when diagnosing a mild concussion or traumatic brain injury.  

Moderate Brain Injury

A moderate traumatic brain injury is characterized by a loss of consciousness that may last for a few hours and confusion that can persist for weeks. A moderate traumatic brain injury can produce lasting complications, which may resolve in a matter of months or be lifelong.  

 

Severe Brain Injury

Severe traumatic brain injuries result from crushing blows to the head or penetrating injuries to the skull or brain. A severe injury is life-threatening and often leads to long-term challenges or disability. Severe injuries can be classified as open or closed; however, the most common severe injury results from an open head injury with significant skull damage.  

Severe Brain Injury

Severe traumatic brain injuries result from crushing blows to the head or penetrating injuries to the skull or brain. A severe injury is life-threatening and often leads to long-term challenges or disability. Severe injuries can be classified as open or closed; however, the most common severe injury results from an open head injury with significant skull damage.  

Acquired Brain Injury

Acquired brain injury is often referred to as a non-traumatic brain injury. These brain injuries lead to damage to the brain, not from external factors but internal ones. Examples of internal factors that could lead to acquired brain injury include lack of oxygen, toxins, stroke, tumors, aneurysm, and infectious disease affecting the brain.  

Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury or TBI is characterized by an alteration in brain function caused by an external force. Traumatic brain injuries can be classified as closed (nonpenetrating) or open (penetrating). Common causes of traumatic brain injuries are falls, assaults, motor vehicle accidents, and sports injuries. 

The Sides of the Brain

The brain allows you to function and accomplish various tasks every day. Ranging from simple to complex, many of these tasks are essential to life function. As previously mentioned, the brain is divided into two sides called hemispheres. Each side controls various functions in the body 2 

Left-Sided Traits

The left side3 of the brain is believed to control actions on the right side of the body. It is primarily concerned with language, reasoning, number and scientific skills, and right-hand control. It is in the left side of the brain where words and sentence structure are created.  

 

When someone experiences injury to the left side of the brain, they may experience conditions such as aphasia (difficulty comprehending or expressing language) and problems with computation skills, analytical skills, and logic.  

Right Side Traits

The right side4 of the brain controls actions on the left side of the body. The right side of the brain is responsible for visual awareness, emotions, spatial reasoning, face recognition, imagination, music awareness, interpreting social cues, and left-hand control. It also performs some basic math tasks and plays a small role in language.     When someone experiences a right-sided brain injury, they will have difficulties with attention, memory, perception, and loss of mobility and function on the left side of the body.  

Brain Injury Terms

To better understand how brain injury impacts brain and body function, it is helpful to understand some of the most common terms used when discussing injuries to the brain.

  • Diffuse Axonal Injury– a shearing injury of the large nerve fibers in many areas of the brain.  
  • Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)-an injury to the brain caused by a hard blow or violent shaking leading to sudden yet temporary impairment of brain function.  
  • Contusion-a distinct area of swollen brain tissue mixed with blood from broken blood vessels. 
  • Coup-Contrecoup Injury-a contusion (bruise) caused by shaking the brain back and forth, leading to bruising of the brain tissue on the side opposite where the blow was struck.  
  • Second Impact Syndrome– an injury that results when the brain swells rapidly after receiving a second concussion before the symptoms of the earlier one have subsided.  
  • Penetrating Injury-a brain injury type where an object pierces the skull and enters the brain tissue.  
  • Abusive Head Trauma (Shaken Baby Syndrome)– a severe form of head trauma resulting when an infant or small child is shaken forcibly enough to cause the brain to bounce against the skull.  
  • Locked-in Syndrome– A condition in which a patient is awake and aware but cannot move or communicate due to complete paralysis of the body.  
  • Open Head Injury-an open head injury involves an open wound to the head. Sometimes referred to as a penetrating head injury.  
  • Closed Head Injury– brain damage resulting from indirect impact. They are also referred to as nonpenetrating injuries.  

Complications After Brain Injury

After a brain injury, complications vary from person to person based on their injury. Some difficulties may resolve in a matter of hours, whereas others may persist for many years.   

  • Altered consciousness-altered states of consciousness can include coma, vegetative states, minimally conscious state, and brain death.  
  • Physical complications-Physical complications resulting from a TBI include seizures, blood vessel damage, headaches, vertigo, and fluid buildup in the brain.  
  • Intellectual problems– intellectual difficulties may include cognitive challenges and problems with executive functioning. 
  • Communication problems-communication problems are common after a TBI. Common communication challenges may include difficulties speaking, writing, understanding, and organizing thoughts.  
  • Behavioral changes-someone who has experienced a TBI may exhibit challenges with self-control, engage in risky behavior, verbal or physical outbursts, and lack of awareness of abilities.  
  • Emotional changes-emotional difficulties after a brain injury often include mood swings, irritability, anger, sleeping challenges, depression, and anxiety.  
  • Sensory problems– problems involving the senses are also common. Some of the most frequently reported include persistent ringing in the ears, blind spots, double vision, skin tingling, impaired hand-eye coordination, and trouble with balance.

Can Brain Injury Cause Degenerative Brain Diseases?

Some indications point to a correlation between traumatic brain injury types and degenerative brain disease. It is important to note that research into this correlation is in its early stages and, at this time, has not confirmed a direct link between TBI and degenerative brain diseases 5 

Symptoms of Brain Injury in Children

Unlike adults, infants and young children may not be able to communicate headaches, confusion, sensory difficulties, or other symptoms related to brain injury.  

 

When a child experiences a brain injury, they may present with symptoms including: 

 

  • Seizures 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Changes in sleeping patterns 
  • Change in their attentiveness 
  • Irritability 
  • Eating pattern change 
  • Persistent crying 
  • A loss of interest in favorite activities and toys 

Preventing Brain Injury

The best way to prevent brain injury is to reduce exposure to potential injury-causing mechanisms. When you are in a vehicle, wear your seatbelt and ensure that your airbags are correctly functioning.  

 

For children, they must always be secured in the backseat of the car in a safety seat or booster seat appropriate for their height and weight. When riding a bicycle, motorcycle, or participating in baseball or other contact sports, be sure to wear a helmet. Pay attention to your surroundings to prevent falls and accidents.  

How Can Brain Mapping Help in Diagnosing Brain Injury?

Brain mapping can provide a visual representation of how and where damage is within the brain. It is essential to understand how the injury impacted the brain and function before attempting to treat injury or damage.  Using qEEG brain mapping, it is possible to see the specific areas of the brain that have been damaged.  

 

In addition, neurofeedback is a research-proven way to help improve brain function after a brain injury6. Once the specific area of damage is located using brain mapping, it is possible to target the area and retrain the brain through neurofeedback therapy.  

Brain Mapping Explained | Types of MRI

Brain Mapping Explained
Brain Mapping Explained

Brain Mapping

Brain Mapping

Table of Contents

Brain Mapping Explained

How Neuroimaging Affects Therapy and Treatment 

Individuals in need of treatment for addiction, cognitive disorders, or other illnesses may benefit from brain mapping treatments at clinics like the J. Flowers Health Institute. Through brain mapping, psychologists and physicians can better understand how their clients’ brains work and develop personalized, effective treatment plans that lead to long-term results and relief.

What is Brain Mapping?

Brain mapping includes a variety of techniques and technologies used to study, scan, and map electrical activity within the brain. Brain mapping tools can either study the brain’s structure or function through examining the physical layout of the brain or by measuring where and how electrical activity takes place within its tissues.1 

History of Brain Mapping

Brain mapping as a distinct treatment technique and area of technology began in the late 1970s, which is when both MRI or magnetic resonance imaging and CT or computed tomography scan techniques were created. 

These technologies were much less harmful and invasive than other types of brain mapping techniques of the time, such as processes that involved draining cerebrospinal fluid and replacing it with air to map the structure of the brain through x-rays. 

Brain mapping’s progress has only continued in the following decades. Now, there are several distinct therapies and technologies physicians can use to accurately map the interior of the brain, measure electrical activity, and gain a greater level of detail than ever before. 

Types of Brain Scans

Physicians may choose to use a variety of brain scan techniques, including MRI scans. MRI scans are not the only type of brain scan performed, but they are among the most common. They are non-invasive and provide a wealth of information for medical professionals. 

Medical professionals may also choose to use electroencephalography or EEG scans, which involve using metal sensors and a cap on the head to measure electrical activity in the brain. Additionally, qEEG treatments take the measurements gained from a typical EEG scan and process those electrical patterns through quantitative analysis software and formulas. 

When performed correctly, EEG and/or qEEG treatments can be very useful for physicians and psychologists looking to better understand how their clients’ brains function at the nanosecond level. This information, in turn, allows for the development of personalized and effective treatment plans for addictions, neurological disorders, and more. 

The Basics of Brain Mapping

What in the Brain Can Be Mapped?

A variety of conditions or factors can be mapped in a client’s brain when a test is administered. These include: 

Memory:

Memories can be mapped or detected through electrical scans, such as EEG scans. Through these techniques, client brains can be studied to detect where specific memories are stored, how the brain recalls different memories, and what effect those memories have on other neurological processes. 

Learning:

Psychologists and physicians can use brain mapping to determine how a client learns and where information is stored. It can also be used to detect whether there are learning impediments due to neurological conditions like addictions, cognitive inflexibility, and so on. 

Aging:

Brain mapping can be used to detect the effects of aging in the mind, either structurally or functionally, as well as to detect how drugs or other substances may induce premature aging and brain tissue. 

Drug effects:

Brain mapping can be used to detect the effects of aging in the mind, either structurally or functionally, as well as to detect how drugs or other substances may induce premature aging and brain tissue. 

All in all, brain mapping is a very important technique that wellness professionals and psychologists can and should use to provide the best possible assistance to their clients.  

How do MRI Scans Work?

Types of MRI

There are five major types of MRI scans physicians can administer. These include: 

fMRI or functional magnetic resonance imaging:

This technique involves using magnetic fields to create radio signals that bounce off various atomic nuclei inside a patient’s brain. By measuring the radio signals, physicians can create a detailed map of a brain’s structure. 

Breast scans:

As their name suggests, breast MRI scans are used to detect the presence of breast cancer in clients through the same methods described above.

MRA or magnetic resonance angiography:

This non-invasive procedure uses MRI scans and contrast dyes administered intravenously to help visualize blood vessels. This procedure causes certain blood vessels to appear opaque and MRI images, assisting physicians in their analyses and diagnoses. 

MRV or magnetic resonance venography

 MRV techniques use large magnets and radio frequencies to produce detailed pictures of structures and organs throughout the body. They may also use an intravenous contrast dye to visualize clients’ veins. 

Cardiac MRI

Cardiac MRI imaging uses radio frequencies and magnets to produce detailed pictures of heart structures, which is useful for diagnosing heart cancer, cardiovascular problems, and more. 

5 Types of Brain Waves

Alongside using MRI scans, brain mapping techniques or therapies may involve analyzing the five major types of brain waves. Brain waves can be analyzed for a greater understanding of client needs or thought patterns and to develop effective treatment plans. The five major types of brain waves are:2 

Delta waves

which are the highest amplitude and the slowest and which are primarily experienced in deep sleep.

Theta waves

which are experienced during REM cycles of sleep or during times of intense relaxation, such as during daydreams or meditation. 

Alpha waves

which are produced when the mind is alert and conscious but still relatively relaxed. 

Beta waves

which are produced when the brain is alert and awake and when individuals are excited or aroused. 

Gamma waves

which are the lowest amplitude but the fastest of the brain waves. These are created when an individual tries to solve a problem or has to concentrate intensely on a specific task. 

Brain Mapping’s Importance in Finding Disorders

Brain mapping is crucial for uncovering the origins and treatments for a variety of disorders, including:

Physical disorders:

Through structural brain imaging techniques, brain mapping can help physicians detect the presence of tumors or other brain injuries before it is too late. 

Emotional disorders:

Certain brain mapping techniques, particularly those that measure electrical activity, can determine the origins or thought patterns behind emotional conditions, including addiction. 

Cognitive disorders:

Brain mapping can help psychologists and physicians find the root causes of cognitive disorders like depression, anxiety, memory loss, and more.  

What Disorders Can Neuroimaging Map?

Through neuroimaging, neuroscientists and other medical professionals can diagnose a wide variety of disorders. These include disorders like schizophrenia or clinical depression. However, brain scans are only used to provide information to clients and medical professionals. The information has to be used correctly to develop a good treatment technique that produces long-term results. 

How to Prepare for a qEEG Session

Although qEEG sessions are not foolproof, it is up to individual clients to ensure that they have a successful session. A client can prepare for qEEG sessions by following the below list of dos and don’ts.  

DO:

  • Get a good night’s sleep and eat breakfast before an appointment to prevent distractions or lack of sleep from affecting brainwave activity. 
  • Schedule a qEEG session when you are most likely to be alert, such as the morning before a half-day at work. 
  • Wash your hair without adding styling gel or other hair products to prevent interference with the EEG scan. 
  • Arrive ahead of time so you are not worried about another appointment or responsibility. 
  • Remove your contact lenses before the qEEG sessions. 
  • Try to stay relaxed and alert throughout your mapping session for the most accurate and usable information. 

DON’T:

  • Attempt to rush the qEEG mapping appointment. 
  • Move around excessively. 
  • Be late or not show up to your appointment. 

What to Expect From an EEG Session

Benefits of Brain Mapping

Brain mapping can be incredibly beneficial for clients and physicians alike, especially when it comes to treating cognitive disorders or treating addiction.  

For example, brain mapping can be used in conjunction with neurofeedback therapy. Through this revolutionary therapy, patients are exposed to the results of qEEG scans and work with their psychologists or clinical health providers to train their brains out of bad habits or unhealthy thought patterns. Brain mapping provides a direct route to understanding one’s mind at a deeper level than ever before.3 

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Does Insurance Cover Brain Mapping?

Insurance can sometimes cover brain mapping. Different insurance providers cover brain mapping sessions or appointments based on:

 

  • Their overall coverage policy 
  • What the brain mapping session is meant to do 
  • What type of brain mapping session a client signs up for 

Clients considering brain mapping for the treatment of one or more conditions should speak to their insurance provider to determine whether their plan will cover an appointment either partially or fully. 

Why Choose J. Flowers for Brain Mapping?

The J. Flowers Health Institute is the best choice for dealing with addiction or finding effective treatment plans for a variety of cognitive disorders, including depression and anxiety. At the J. Flowers Health Institute, we’re dedicated to the utmost privacy of our clients and know that individualized medical care is often the most successful. 

To that end, we work with each of our clients to develop a personalized and unique approach to their wellness needs. Alongside other techniques, we have the facilities and expertise necessary to leverage brain mapping/neuroimaging techniques to their fullest effects. 

Contact the J. Flowers Health Institute for more information about brain mapping techniques and how we can assist with addiction treatment, cognitive disorder diagnosis, and more.