Causes of Symptoms
The primary injury causes neurological damage such as shearing or tearing. This physical injury can interrupt information pathways making it difficult to focus, concentrate or maintain attention. Neuronal damage can interfere with memory and managing tasks.
The dysexecutive outcomes caused by the primary injury are mainly associated with structural changes, many of which are deep in the brain and can be caused by a concussion.
The secondary injury causes a biochemical cascade instigating an inflammatory response. The symptoms directly associated with changes in the brain environment and cause a range of neurological symptoms.
Hormonal symptoms are caused by changes in pituitary function following a brain injury. Diagnosis can be difficult in the early stages however some rehabilitation units test for changes as part of their assessment.
People who continue to use alcohol and recreational or illegal drugs following a brain injury may cause further neuronal damage, exacerbate symptoms and put themselves at higher risk of degenerative and inflammatory disease.
After the initial insult, the brain’s metabolism is altered and can increase by up to 140% above normal levels. A brain injury can also deplete micronutrient reserves making it harder for people to heal.