When Brain Injuries Cause Paralysis
It is common knowledge that spinal cord injury can cause paralysis, but not as well known that this condition can also be caused by injury to the brain. When the brain is damaged in areas that control the function of the muscles, it can leave a victim with weakness or paralysis. The good news is that treatment is possible to recover some degree of strength and mobility after a brain injury.
What Causes Brain Injury Paralysis?
Paralysis can occur when injury to the brain causes poor communication between the brain and the muscles. Certain areas of the brain send signals to the muscles, making movement possible. When these areas are damaged with traumatic brain injury, the signals are interrupted, the muscles are unable to respond, and a portion of the body becomes paralyzed.
As most brain injuries affect only one side of the brain, paralysis tends to occur on only one side of the body. Each side of the brain controls movement on the opposite side of the body. If the right side of the brain is injured, the left side of the body may become paralyzed, in a condition known as hemiplegia.
What Are the Symptoms of Brain Injury Paralysis?
In addition to paralysis, brain injury in areas that control movement may cause symptoms including:
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Tight, stiff muscles (spasticity)
- Fixed tightening of the muscles, progressing from spasticity (contractures)
- Inability to bring the toes toward the shin (foot drop)
What Is Neuroplasticity and What Role Does It Play in Recovery?
The mechanism used by the brain to form new neural pathways is known as neuroplasticity. The brain reorganizes nerve cells to form these new neural pathways, allowing undamaged portions of the brain to take control. After a brain injury, activating neuroplasticity can help restore communication between the muscles and the brain and help reduce paralysis and weakness. This is accomplished through consistent, therapeutic exercise. The problem is, with brain injury paralysis, it may be difficult or impossible to move the muscles required to perform the exercises.
What Are the Treatments for Brain Injury Paralysis?
Specialized therapies are designed to activate neuroplasticity, to help encourage the return of muscle movement and control with brain injury paralysis. These treatments include:
- Passive range-of-motion exercises, in which a therapist moves the limbs for the patient
- Electrical stimulation that sends impulses directly to affected muscles, causing them to contract and stimulating the brain
- Mental exercise in which the patient visualizes performing various movements, activating neuroplasticity
- Mirror box therapy, in which a mirror is placed over the paralyzed hand and exercises are performed with the other hand, activating neurons in the portion of the brain that controls movement
- Active exercise when minimal movement has been regained in an affected limb
How Do You Receive Compensation for Brain Injury Paralysis?
If you have suffered brain injury leading to paralysis in an accident caused by the negligence of another, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation from the at-fault party. Damages you may be entitled to claim may include past and future medical expenses, costs of therapy and rehabilitative services, lost earnings, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other losses. Your best chance of recovering full compensation is to have experienced Atlanta personal injury attorneys handle your claim.
Our husband and wife team at Grant Law Office have been successfully representing injured people in Georgia for decades. We believe in aggressively protecting our clients’ rights to obtain significant compensation for serious personal injuries. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively pursue the recovery you deserve. Call us at (404) 995-3955 to schedule a free consultation with no time limit.
Contact us today for a free and comprehensive case evaluation.
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