Diagnosing a Brain Injury

  • By:David Bate

The degree of damage from a brain injury can range from mild to permanent or severe. It is quite possible that an individual may not even realize that he or she has suffered from a brain injury until it is too late. With such a large range of brain injuries, diagnosing one can be a complex process. Dealing with a brain injury can be an incredible hardship, one that may require the assistance of an attorney if another person was at fault for the injury. There are a number of ways in which a person can suffer from a brain injury. Including the following:

  • Strokes
  • Trauma from birth through the use of forceps and vacuum deliveries
  • Deprivation of oxygen during birth
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Brain Infections
  • Trauma from falling
  • Trauma from Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Blow to the head in a fight/assault
  • Lack of oxygen from drowning or blocked airways

Diagnostic Imaging

It may be easy to diagnose a brain injury that is more severe as they can be better detected when a neurologist puts the patient through a series of tests. Diagnosis of more mild brain injuries may require more advanced testing that may include diagnostic imaging or even neuropsychological testing by a psychologist. There are several measures that may be used for diagnostic imaging:

  • CAT Scan: (Computerized Axial Tomography) are images produced by an X-ray that looks at cross sections of the body. A neuroradiologist generally will read and analyze the information from a CAT Scan.
  • MRI: (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) create an in depth picture of the brain. MRIs are generated using a magnetic field and are typically analyzed by a neuroradiologist.
  • SPECT Scans: (Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography Test) uses gamma rays through the use of nuclear imaging to create a 3D image that can be analyzed by a neuroradiologist.
  • PET Scans: (Positron-Emission Tomography) observes the metabolic process in the body through the use of gamma rays and a positron emitting tracer. In a PET scan a 3D image is created that allows a doctor to look at the affected area of the brain and measure the level of damage that has occurred.

Through the use of diagnostic imaging, doctors may even be able to determine the reason for the damage and how it may impact the patient’s cognitive functioning.

Neuropsychological Testing

A neuropsychologist conducts a neuropsychological test which is done through a series of interviews and paper and pencil testing. The purpose of this type of test is to measure a person’s functioning:

  • Motor
  • Cognitive
  • Linguistic
  • Executive
  • Behavioral

The data is generated and overviewed by a neuropsychologist who then will analyze the information and determine if there are any deficits in the aforementioned areas.

Accessing medical treatment for appropriate diagnoses will be important to determining the type of brain injury and the best course of treatment. It may be beneficial to your case to enlist the help of a brain injury lawyer Orlando FL residents rely on to help determine whether or not filing a claim will be the best way to move forward.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from
Needle & Ellenberg, P.A., for their insight into brain injuries.


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