March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and Progressive Therapy Associates specializes in Traumatic Brain Injury Therapy.
A Healthy Brain
To understand what happens when the brain is injured, it is important to realize what a healthy brain is made of and what it does.. The brain is enclosed inside the skull. The skull acts as a protective covering for the soft brain. The brain is made of neurons (nerve cells). The neurons form tracts that route throughout the brain. These nerve tracts carry messages to various parts of the brain. The brain uses these messages to perform functions. The functions include coordination of our systems, such as breathing, heart rate, body temperature, and metabolism, thought processing, body movements, personality, behavior; and the senses, such as vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Each part of the brain serves a specific function and links with other parts of the brain to form more complex functions. All parts of the brain need to be working well in order for the brain to work well. Even "minor" or "mild" injuries to the brain can significantly disrupt the brain's ability to function.
An Injured Brain
When a brain injury occurs, the functions of the neurons, nerve tracts, or sections of the brain can be affected. If the neurons and nerve tracts are affected, they can be unable or have difficulty carrying the messages that tell the brain what to do. This can change the way a person thinks, acts, feels, and moves the body. Brain injury can also change the complex internal functions of the body, such as regulating body temperature, blood pressure, bowel and bladder control. These changes can be temporary or permanent. They may cause impairment or a complete inability to perform a function.