Traumatic Brain Injuries & Mental Health Awareness
I’ve made a commitment this month to share knowledge about Mental Health and how it may impact those we love. For our final week, I bring the topic of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
I hope that you haven’t had this in your own life or in the lives of those you love. However, if you have experienced this, I want you to know firstly, that you are not alone. Many people experience traumatic brain injuries from sports, car collisions, or various forms of violence. This email is my way of helping you learn more about how to spot symptoms so you know how you can help.
What causes a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. An object that goes through brain tissue, such as a bullet or shattered piece of skull, also can cause traumatic brain injury. (Article 1.)
Mild traumatic brain injury may affect your brain cells temporarily. More-serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain. These injuries can result in long-term complications or death.
What are some of the symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
*Information referenced from Mayo Clinic - Article 1*
There are three different categories that symptoms related to Traumatic Brain Injuries are normally associated with: Mild, Severe, and symptoms that occur with Children.
Mild traumatic brain injury symptoms can include:
Nausea or vomiting
Fatigue or drowsiness
Dizziness or loss of balance
Ringing in the ears
Sensitivity to light or sound
Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
A state of being dazed, confused or disoriented
Memory or concentration problems
Abnormal mood changes or mood swings
Severe traumatic brain injury symptoms can include (Shown with increased severity of mild symptoms):
Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
Repeated vomiting or nausea
Convulsions or seizures
Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
Inability to awaken from sleep
Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
Agitation, combativeness or other unusual behavior
Coma and other disorders of consciousness
Children's traumatic brain injury symptoms can include (this is especially important when the child can’t communicate for themselves).
Change in eating or nursing habits
Unusual or easy irritability
Persistent crying and inability to be consoled
Change in ability to pay attention & sleep habits
Sustained sad or depressed mood
Loss of interest in favorite toys or activities
Important to note:
If you or someone you love is experiencing any of these symptoms for a prolonged period of time, please consult with your doctor. This is especially important to do quickly - traumatic brain injuries can quickly show symptoms, so please check if you think someone you know may be showing signs of having a traumatic brain injury.
What are the top causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Information referenced from My Cleveland Clinic (Article 2.)
Most of the recorded Traumatic Brain Injuries come from falling - typically from those who are under the age of 17 or older than 65.
Traumatic Brain Injuries are often caused by:
Shaken Baby Syndrome
Motor vehicle accidents.
Sports, recreational, work and military injuries.
Why is it important to understand more about Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Living out in the world means that you’ll have the opportunity to experience and encounter many things every day - hopefully mostly good things! But living in the physical world also means that there are natural risks that exist.
I think that being aware of TBI adds so much value to our lives, because being aware of the symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury can mean the difference between taking someone to the hospital for treatment, or allowing this silent threat to become a bigger problem or mortality.
How does light therapy help with Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Here are three core things that happen during a Low-Level Light Therapy session that help with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injuries):
Light therapy helps your body increase your body's circulation - and specifically it supports healthy blood flow to areas of your brain to ensure that your brain gets what it needs. Light therapy helps to stimulate healing, reduce swelling, protect tissue from dying, increase tissue oxygenation, increase antioxidants, decrease inflammation, and protect against apoptosis (which is natural programmed cell death.)
Light therapy helps to regulate mood while also soothing and calming the brain down. During a light therapy session your body interacts with the different wavelengths of light and devotes its energy to circulation, ATP production, and cellular healing. It helps regulate blood flow to areas of the brain like the hypothalamus which regulates your hormones, and the amygdala which is considered part of your “emotional brain.”
When your body absorbs red/near-infrared light energy, it simulates a photochemical reaction within your mitochondria that increases ATP production and cell signaling. Basically it gives your body the energy it needs to regulate itself and heal any physical damage that occurred from the TBI incident.
Now, what does science say…
During a randomized & double-blind study, 32 adults with recent mild TBI were given treatments of light therapy with blue light wavelengths for 6 weeks. It showed positive results with reduced daytime sleepiness, improved cognitive functioning, increased volume in the posterior thalamus, and better integrity of neural pathways. (Article 3.)
Under another broad set of studies with animals and people, “there have been reports showing improvement in executive function, working memory, and sleep. Functional magnetic resonance imaging has shown modulation of activation in intrinsic brain networks likely to be damaged in TBI.” Basically, these studies have shown increased brain activity in areas that were damaged from TBI after light therapy was applied. (Article 4.)
Exploring how we can care for our body and brain amidst the natural risks that exist in the world is so important. See how light therapy can help your body & brain!
No matter what it is that you are looking for, I know that we'll find a way to help you heal with light therapy!
If you want to learn more about Light Therapy & my Light Therapy work, you can follow me with the links below, or email me at Lisa@lightmattersinfo.com - thank you for reading!
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If you liked this article you can also read:
Here are the articles I've referenced above:
Article 3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31751607/
Article 4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29131369/
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