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Not the same person: Dealing with frontal lobe injuries

Any injury to the head can be devastating. Medical science is still learning how even a simple concussion can have a lifelong impact on the health of a person's brain. The world of sports is learning some difficult lessons about the long-term effects of repeated blows to the head, and the damage such injuries cause can be tragic and irreparable.

Because the brain is such a delicate and complex organ, scientists do not fully understand how it works. What they believe is that the frontal lobe, the part of the brain just behind your eyebrows to the top of your head, may control many factors that make people who they are. In other words, the frontal lobe controls behavior and personality. If your loved one recently suffered a frontal lobe injury, you may wish to prepare for the possibility of a radical change in your life.

Coping with personality changes

A frontal lobe injury can occur in many ways. Most commonly, victims of this type of injury strike their heads on the dashboards during a motor vehicle accident, hit the front of their heads on the handlebars or ground during a motorcycle accident, or suffer a blow to the head from an object falling from above, such as at a construction site.

The injury may have been an open skull fracture or a closed head injury with bleeding in the brain. Doctors may have operated to control the bleeding or make repairs. It may take time to notice changes in the victim's personality, but families of victims of similar injuries often report the following:

  • Inability to control inappropriate comments, particularly those of a sexual nature
  • Loss of the ability to recognize appropriate cues in social settings
  • Lack of patience or intolerance of others
  • Increase in impulsive or risky behavior
  • Changes in talkativeness, either increasing or decreasing
  • Decrease in the ability to problem solve or think critically
  • Difficulty concentrating or processing language
  • Insomnia and depression

What is almost certain is that your loved one would need some level of medical, psychological and emotional care, perhaps for the rest of his or her life, to cope with the changes a brain injury causes. Since your loved one deserves the highest quality care, you may wish to reach out to a legal advocate for advice about seeking financial compensation for your loved one's injuries.

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