Expert Discusses How Head Traumas Can Leave Lasting Effects

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Summer can be a busy time for area hospitals dealing with people injured while enjoying free time outside.

Some injuries with lasting physical issues may also result in long-term emotional problems.

When a loved one suffers a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, you expect changes in speech, memory and movement.

Many family members are surprised at how the patients emotions are affected, according to Dr. Karen Lindgren, Senior Clinical Director at Bancroft NeuroRehab in Mount Laurel.

“They knew their loved one as one person and now they’re seeing changes they don’t understand, signs of depression, bouts of uncontrolled emotion, being verbally aggressive or bouts of rage, bouts of paranoia…but families may also see changes in judgment,” Lindgren said.

She says depending on what part of the brain is damaged TBI’s can make emotions even harder to control.

“People who never had emotional problems may find themselves going from zero to a hundred very unexpectedly without any ability to control it,” she said.

Lindgren says therapy can help teach the patient coping skills and ways to make up for the deficits.

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