Each year scientists and medical professionals learn more about diagnosing and treating brain injuries, but much work still has to be done. The physical impairments caused by a brain injury may be obvious, but people also suffer mental impairments that can significantly alter their personalities. Lifelong rehabilitation and medical treatment may be necessary in these cases, and as doctors and scientists come to better understand brain injuries, those who have experienced them deserve to have their medical needs met.
A recent report from NBC highlights the story of a young man who suffered a brain injury 12 years ago in a head-on collision. The 31-year-old was driving on a rural highway when another vehicle crossed into the oncoming lane of traffic and slammed into the young man's car. At the time, he was a college student majoring in three subjects, but after the crash, his frontal lobes deteriorated nearly to nothing.
The man now lives with his parents, and like many people who have experienced a traumatic brain injury, he sometimes becomes frustrated with changes in his personality. He says he doesn't have the sharp sense of humor he had before the accident, and he becomes easily frustrated and hot-tempered.
It's no secret that the brain is extremely complex, so knowing exactly how a traumatic brain injury will affect someone's personality is not always easy to predict. What is known is that individuals whose frontal lobes have been injured often speak or act before they have thought out the consequences of the behavior.
In other words, as the director of the Brain Injury Association of America put it, the frontal lobes help in a person's "executive functioning." The frontal lobes work as a kind of behavioral filter.
Anyone who has suffered a catastrophic injury because of someone else's negligence may need help planning for the future. As rehab and treatments for brain injuries improve, people living with brain injuries will want to have the means to receive the best care possible.
To learn more about what to do after an injurious accident, please visit our personal injury site.
Source: NBC News, "'A different person': Personality change often brain injury's hidden toll," Bill Briggs, Sept. 28, 2013