Curing Brain Injury
One of the first questions asked by those affected by traumatic brain injury is often “Is there a cure?”
Initially the medical team will take steps to minimize the effects of brain injury. They will stabilize the patient, do what they can to reduce swelling, and may perform surgery. However, brain cells that are damaged are damaged permanently. So the simple answer to the question, “Is there a cure?” is “No.”
But that doesn’t mean that the severity of the current symptoms won’t diminish. The brain is an amazing organ. Quite often the cells surrounding the damaged cells will kick in and “compensate” for those that are no longer working. As a general rule of thumb, the younger the patient is the more likely this is to happen. However, there is really no definitive way to determine what kinds of long-term effects a survivor will have to deal with. When all is said and done, time is really the best indicator.
Recovery from brain injury can take a long time, and can be extremely uncertain. While there is no “cure” for brain injury, there is treatment that can help minimize long-term effects. Counseling, physical therapy, speech therapy, medication, and assistive technology can help the survivor cope with the injury.
Because so many people are affected by traumatic brain injury, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) continues to research brain injury, as do several rehabilitation hospitals that specialize in research. While much still needs to be done, there is hope that someday a cure for traumatic brain injury will be found.