Why did a traumatic brain injury affect my entire body?

Pam Hays
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
The core of your being is your brain.  What happens in our bodies that is NOT controlled by our brain?  Your brain controls how you relate to your spouse, your parents, your children and everyone else in your life.  Your brain helps you decide whether to eat pizza or steak for dinner and whether or not to go to a ballgame or stay home and play with your children.  So, if your brain is altered due to traumatic injuries, these thought and decision-making processes might also be altered. 

When someone looks completely the same as they did before injury, yet their responses, actions, abilities, thoughts, or speech is changed, it is difficult to understand the impact on the injured person.  But, to the person who has a traumatic brain injury, the wounds are real. 
Remember, the brain is the core of your central nervous system (CNS) and controls every bodily function and process. When a traumatic brain injury (TBI) damages parts of your brain, this affects how the brain regulates the body. TBI alters intricate functions that may affect the regulation of blood pressure, body temperature, and bladder and bowel control.

Along with physical changes, there may be changes in cognitive function such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating, an inability to process information correctly, and judgment lapses that can lead to making bad decisions. Also, a TBI can lead to emotional changes that lead to anxiety, anger, depression, mood swings, and impulsivity. These cognitive and emotional function changes can be short- or long-term (chronic). Even a mild TBI (concussion) can result in temporary or permanent brain damage that dramatically affects a person’s life, work, and relationships.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.