Post-traumatic encephalopathy: what is the difficulty of diagnosis and treatment methods


There are diseases that show the first signs a long time after exposure to the cause. Because of this, it is difficult to make an accurate diagnosis, prescribe the correct treatment. These pathologies include post-traumatic encephalopathy. Everyone can meet her without even knowing it. Full information will help to understand your condition, use data on the disease with benefit.

Pathology description

Post-traumatic encephalopathy is a whole complex of disorders that occur after a mechanical brain injury of varying severity. As a result of traumatic brain injury, mental, mental, vestibular disorders begin, which significantly complicate the life of the affected person. In severe cases, the patient may become disabled.

Brain injuries after injury can develop quickly, contribute to the progress of the disease, lead to death. Often the pathology is slow, not life threatening, but weakening health. A person is forced to constantly visit doctors, trying to find the cause of his illness. This cannot be done, because it is difficult to associate a past head injury with today’s disease.

According to medical statistics, up to 80% of patients find signs of post-traumatic encephalopathy after moderate or severe head injuries. The severity of changes in brain structures depends on the correct diagnosis and timely treatment.

In the classification of diseases of its code, traumatic encephalopathy does not exist. The ICD-10 uses the number T90.5, that is, the “Consequences of Intracranial Injury”. In the presence of tissue edema – code G91 “Acquired hydrocephalus”.

Mechanism of disease development

The severity of the injury will be affected by the severity of the injury and the location on the head where the blow or mechanical damage of another species occurred. First, brain nerve cells are damaged. Then edema develops, which blocks the flow of blood into this area. Because of this, the movement of cerebral fluid (CSF) is disrupted. It accumulates, squeezes the ventricles of the brain.

The damaged nerve cells die; connective tissue forms in their place, that is, scars and adhesions. This part of the brain loses its functionality. After all, connective tissue cannot work the same way as nerve cells. Transmission of impulses between individual cells, between groups of cells is violated. As a result, the density of brain tissue decreases, microinfarcts occur, a decrease in brain volume is noted.

Severity of illness

Brain problems involved in the neurologist. By the nature of damage to brain structures, the manifesting symptoms are determined by three degrees of traumatic encephalopathy:

  • Grade 1 – minor damage to brain tissue (contusion, concussion). External disorders are minimal, imperceptible when communicating. A sick person notes fatigue, apathy, poor sleep.
  • 2 degree – deviations in the work of the brain are manifested in the form of emotional instability, loss of attention, memory. Symptoms appear sporadically.
  • 3 degree – there are strong neurological abnormalities due to severe brain injury. Serious disorders in the manifest as a lack of coordination, epileptic seizures, convulsions, psychosis, dementia.

Based on the degree of the disease, the doctor will prescribe treatment. Without timely treatment, the pathology will develop, moving from one stage to another.

Post-traumatic encephalopathy: what is the difficulty of diagnosis and treatment methods

Groups at risk of head injury

Post-traumatic encephalopathy is a distant complication after head injuries of varying severity. The risk group for such injuries includes amateur sportsmen and contact sports professionals. Blows to the head can be obtained in a fight or by accident, but they will carry heavy consequences in the future.

Risk their health to victims in a traffic accident. When receiving injuries, bruises, squeezing in the head. With a gunshot wound, there is a likelihood of developing CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). At risk are people who have fallen from a height. Even a child who fell from a chair may have health problems in the future. According to medical observations, more than half of patients with head injuries had problems in the future with blood supply to the brain.

Encephalopathy in newborns

Post-traumatic encephalopathy of the brain is diagnosed in newborns. It is possible with oxygen deficiency during rapid delivery, with head injuries during passage through the birth canal, during a cesarean section. A mild degree of pathology will be manifested by increased excitability of the infant, nervousness, hyper- or hypotonic limbs.

Read also … What does the diagnosis “perinatal encephalopathy” mean and what consequences it may have for a newborn

With a moderate degree of brain damage, motor disorders, convulsive, hydrocephalic signs, and reflex disorders are possible. There is strabismus, a marble shade of the skin, swelling of the fontanel.

When encephalopathy should be observed a complex of symptoms, individual symptoms can occur in healthy .

Parents should carefully note any abnormalities in the condition of the infant. All violations must be told to the doctor. Early treatment along with restorative procedures (massage, swimming, gymnastics) will help to cope with the problem.

Symptoms of pathology

Manifestations of traumatic encephalopathy will depend on the severity and location of traumatic brain injury, the size of the damage. The following symptoms are noted:

  • throbbing pain in the head;
  • dizziness, especially after physical exertion;
  • restless sleep;
  • involuntary twitching of the pupils;
  • aggressive behavior;
  • decrease in intellectual abilities;
  • anxiety, unfounded fears;
  • speech disorder, memory;
  • epileptic seizures.

Symptoms of the disease appear a few months or even years after the trauma. That is why it is difficult to associate symptoms with an accident, to establish a diagnosis. Often the manifestations of the disease are confused with other pathologies, the stage of chronic post-traumatic encephalopathy begins.


The doctor examines the patient, conducts diagnosis. It is important to differentiate the disease from other brain lesions, such as dyscirculatory encephalopathy (vascular damage). After the diagnosis, a treatment plan is drawn up. It is necessary to protect healthy nerve cells from damage, to normalize blood circulation, for this purpose medications are used.

When epilepsy is detected, special agents are prescribed. Be sure to write out the vitamins, it is recommended to change the lifestyle. For rehabilitation therapy, proper rest, staying in the fresh air, avoiding bad habits are important.

With an integrated approach, post-traumatic encephalopathy is treatable. Symptoms will reduce their intensity, appear weaker, the person will feel more confident, his vital functions will be restored. For this you need to spend a lot of time and effort.

Post-traumatic encephalopathy is a dangerous disease. It can manifest itself when a person already feels healthy, has forgotten about an accidental head-on or careless fall. It is important not to lose time, while the disease can still be cured, for this you need to know the features of its manifestation.

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