Severity affects recovery
Traumatic brain injuries are classified as either mild, or moderate to severe. Depending on the level of brain injury, each patient’s recovery will be different. The more moderate or severe the TBI, the more likely the patient can experience permanent brain damage.
Following a brain injury, the brain is equipped with natural repair mechanisms that can aid in recovery. When brain cells are lost after an injury, they do not come back. Instead, immune cells called inflammatory monocytes enter the injured tissue and clear away the dead brain cells. Then, another type of monocyte can work around the injury and help rebuild damaged blood vessels.
As neurons are lost, new brain connections have to be made and are rebuilt by a process called neuroplasticity. While neuroplasticity is the reason many brain injury patients have made strong recoveries, it doesn’t happen without the patient’s help to retrain the brain with new skills.
Neuroplasticity is responsible for helping to re-route brain neurons and in finding new neural bridges to connect with to change the flow of information in the brain, as the patient re-learns skills and strengthens their thinking.