One of the things which we often fear of getting older is the risk that they may get Alzheimer’s disease, a horrible condition that destroys the brain by destroying the mind.
A lot people shudder at the idea that if we get Alzheimer’s, we’ll lose our ability to plan and believe, or even to remember who we are. Alzheimer’s is indeed a dreadful disorder of unknown origin which destroys not just the mind, it destroys lives and identities, and ravages whole families.
And while it is true that Alzheimer’s disease has already claimed, and will continue to claim many millions of minds, a lot of us are facing a much more inclined, and considerably more immediate danger to our brains. And several of us are paying very little attention to this possible brain destroyer.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of individuals suffer severe, permanent damage to their brains due to traumatic head injury. Survivors of brain injury are frequently left with long-term harm to their capacity to think and to learn, to remember and strategy, and they may suffer permanent loss of body motion. Relatives can be emptied trying to care for a loved one who has suffered brain injury, and savings could be wiped out.
It probably will not surprise you to learn that the major cause of such catastrophic brain injury is auto accidents. Other leading causes of severe head injury include falls in the house, sports accidents and diving accidents. In america, gunshot wounds are another common cause of long-term brain injury.
The tragedy of brain damage brought on by injury is made worse because a number of these accidents were preventable in the first location. We do not like to consider accidents, and once we do, we are inclined to think,”It will not happen to me”.
Your mind is a remarkably fragile organ. That is why it’s protected by being inside your bony skull. But no matter how thick your skull is, it can not protect you from all of the blows you will encounter.
If you’re inside a moving car by way of example, and you come to a sudden halt, your mind is still moving ahead in the few seconds it takes you to come to a complete stop.
The jarring impact can tear apart the delicate connections between one brain cell and another that are needed for the transmission of communicating inside your brain. Along with the swelling of brain tissue following an accident can kill many brain cells, causing widespread damage from which it might be very hard to recover.
You can greatly lower your chance of suffering a traumatic brain injury in a vehicle or bicycle injury by taking simple precautions.
Whenever you’re a passenger or a driver in a car, always wear a three-point shoulder and shoulder seat belt. Never, never, never drink and then drive. And never get into a car if the driver has been drinking or taking mind altering drugs. Being under the influence of other drugs also impairs the driver’s ability to avoid injuries.
If you are going to ride a bike or bike, your most prized possession, your mind, will be a lot safer if you wear an approved helmet that’s been fitted properly.
When playing rough and tumble sports, make sure to wear the protective equipment for your head.
Encourage your family members to also follow these principles.
Young people, especially children, are better able to recover fully after a rather serious brain injury than an older person may be. From the young, the mind remains plastic, and new pathways in the brain can grow more easily.
Elderly people are a lot more vulnerable to harm from head injury than younger people are.
Elderly people have smaller brain volume to start with, and quite frequently the blood circulation within the brain is becoming less effective. The brains of elderly people have a reduced capacity to create new pathways between brain cells to compensate for brain damage.
Damage to brain function after a minor head injury may not appear for many days and might not be recognized by the sufferer. In actuality, the brain-injured individual will frequently deny that anything is wrong.
Quite frequently, brain damage after an accident may manifest as a character change. Someone that has experienced a brain injury may become angry, depressed, unable to work or get together in social situations. He or she might not connect these character changes to the collision.
If neurological damage is suspected following head injury, however minor the incident appeared in the moment, it’s extremely important that a complete medical evaluation be accomplished immediately. New imaging technologies has made it much easier to nail damage that formerly would have gone undetected.
Although contemporary hospital emergency rooms with their high tech, higher cost equipment can do what look like wonders with mangled bodies and brains, our priority must be to stop accidents from occurring in the first location.
And luckily, with a bit more attention and care, many brain injuries could be avoided entirely.