Acquired Brain Injury (abi) Rehabilitation And Therapy
What Is An Acquired Brain Injury?
An acquired brain injury (ABI) is any trauma that is caused to the brain not resulting from a congenital or degenerative health condition. In other words, it is the result of an external or internal event that results in trauma to the brain.
A stroke or brain aneurysm are both internal causes of an ABI. Injury to the head from an accident, fall or other damage that results in injury to the brain is also an ABI.
What Are The Symptoms For ABI?
An ABI can have mild to severe consequences and can have both physical and cognitive consequences either in the short or long-term.
Cognitive symptoms of an ABI may include:
– Impaired focus, concentration and short attention span.
– Reduced memory either short or long-term.
– Diminished ability to communicate due to impaired speech and language processes.
– Impairment of processing visual and aural stimuli.
– Bad or poor judgement.
– Difficulty in executing tasks.
Physical symptoms of ABI may include:
– Impaired fine and gross motor skill.
– Lack of coordination.
– Muscle weakness or paralysis.
– Mild to extreme persistent headaches.
– Tremors or shaking.
– Sleep disorders such as insomnia or physical and mental lethargy.
– Photosensitivity or sensitivity to light.
Symptoms may vary according to the severity, location of the injury and other factors related to the traumatic event that caused the ABI. Rehabilitation and therapy may therefore vary depending on individual cases.
What Is The Treatment For ABI?
ABI requires a multidisciplinary approach meaning that a diverse set of interventions are necessary in order to effectively rehabilitate a patient to restore physical and cognitive function. Rehabilitation is commonly more effective in mild to moderate brain trauma cases than where severe or extensive trauma to the brain has occurred.
Pharmaceutical treatment to restore brain function may be the first course of action. The second phase of treatment may involve integrated therapy as soon as a patient is deemed to be medically fit. This treatment phase is normally performed in hospital and involves occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language therapy as well as neuropsychology.
The third phase of treatment is on an out-patient basis and may involve additional forms of therapy than those included in the second phase. Studies have shown evidence that out-patient treatment is necessary to maintain and continue results and that additional therapies integrated with medical approaches are far more effective.
Outdoor activities and alternative therapies integrated into a rehabilitation programme have been proven to provide better results in the long-term than stand-alone therapies that target a specific symptom of the ABI.