Why does a brain injury affect communication?

One of the worst aspects of a head or brain injury is its unpredictability. Your brain is extremely complex. It controls almost your entire body, so even a small injury can have catastrophic consequences. This is particularly true when it comes to cognitive abilities such as comprehension and physical communication.

When you suffer from a brain injury, several areas of the brain that control different aspects of communication can be affected. Washington D.C. has dozens of brain injury rehabilitation centers that focus on helping each of these effects.

Possible Communication Weaknesses

The two worst types of trauma are physical (which affects how your body moves) and cognitive (which affects how you learn, process, and remember). Brain injuries can include both types of trauma. These types of trauma limit your communicative skills by causing:

  • Mobility issues (physical)
  • Inability to respond to stimulation or use gestures to respond (physical)
  • Slurred or incomprehensible speech (physical)
  • Inability to respond or acknowledge (cognitive)
  • Inability to process or make sense of words, language, thoughts, or intentions (cognitive)
  • Locked-in syndrome (both physical and cognitive)

What does “locked-in syndrome” mean?

Locked-in syndrome is a term used to describe the state of a person who—although may be able to receive information through auditory or physical communication—is completely unable to respond. This makes it impossible for him to communicate without additional help from physical or psychological therapies.

Brain injuries can be extremely complex and frightening, especially if you can’t voice your feelings and thoughts to your loved ones. However, physical and psychological treatments are advancing everyday to help those who can’t communicate find new ways of expression.

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