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What are some long-term cognitive effects of TBIs?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Catastrophic Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can have lasting impacts on cognitive function. Their impacts are often experienced for years after the initial injury. Understanding these long-term effects is crucial for those affected and their families, so that they can have some ideas about what to expect.

Memory problems

One of the most common cognitive effects of TBIs is memory loss. TBI patients often experience difficulty recalling recent events or learning new information. These memory issues often interfere with employment and the ability to deal with personal responsibilities.

Difficulty concentrating

TBIs can also lead to problems with attention and concentration. They can make it hard to focus on tasks for extended periods, as someone with a TBI is often easily distracted. TBIs can hinder job performance, academic success, and even simple activities like reading or watching television.

Executive function impairment

Executive functions, which include planning, decision-making, and problem-solving, are often impaired following a TBI. People with TBIs might struggle with organizing their thoughts or managing time. These challenges often lead to frustration and decreased independence.

Emotional and behavioral changes

The cognitive effects of TBIs are not limited to thinking skills. Many people with TBIs experience changes in mood and behavior. Increased irritability, anxiety, depression, and impulsivity are common. These changes can strain relationships and reduce the quality of life, creating extra hurdles in recovery.

Navigating life with a TBI

Living with a TBI requires adjustments and support. Strategies like creating routines, using memory aids, and seeking cognitive rehabilitation therapy can help manage these long-term effects. For TBI patients, the goal of recovery is an improved quality of life with their new limitations and expectations. TBIs are serious injuries, and it’s important for both people with TBIs and their loved ones to anticipate these challenges and be ready to adapt.