How to Recognize Symptoms of TBI in Different Parts of the Brain

An illustrated image of a person examining a brain, looking for symptoms of TBI.
Understanding the symptoms of TBI and how they appear in different areas of the brain can help you better care for loved ones with TBI.

Your brain is arguably the most vital, most complex organ in your body. It is in charge of everything. It works in the background, keeping us alive, and, in the foreground as the home of our awareness. That is why, naturally, when a person suffers from a traumatic brain injury, there is so much concern.

At Heaven at Home Senior Care, we believe that understanding the symptoms of TBI in relation to the section of the brain where the damage took place can help families better understand and make more informed decisions relating to their loved one’s care.

Temporal Lobe: The temporal lobe is the home to our language comprehension, memory, hearing, learning, and sequencing. It lets us recognize faces and produces feelings. The effects of a temporal lobe injury can include difficulty with key functions as well as changes in sexual behavior, persistent talking (specifically with right lobe damage) and elevated aggression.

Cerebellum: The cerebellum manages movement, balance and coordination. A cerebellum injury can cause someone to lose the ability to do things that involve coordination, such as walking, talking, or reaching out to grab something. It can also cause tremors, dizziness, and/or slurred speech.

Frontal Lobe: The frontal lobe is home to an individual’s personality, intelligence, and feelings. It is the region of the brain that manages concentration, makes judgments, and problem-solves. It also controls body movement, including writing and speech. The effects of a frontal lobe injury can include changes and/or difficulty with the core functions controlled by the frontal lobe plus more subtle manifestations of the core functionality, such as a lack of inhibition, an impaired sense of smell, vision loss, persistence of a single thought, and mood swings.

Parietal Lobe: The parietal lobe is home to our comprehension of language, our sense of touch, our spatial awareness, visual perceptions, and our sense of time. When this portion of the brain is damaged, people might encounter problems with reading, the inability to draw or name objects, difficulty distinguishing left from right, difficulty with math, and an unawareness of or neglect of particular body parts. They will also often have challenges with eye-hand coordination.

Occipital Lobe: The occipital lobe is the home of sight. The impact of an occipital lobe injury may include vision problems, such as blurred vision or blind spots, hallucinations, visual illusions, the inability to recognize the movement of an object, or problems with reading and writing.

Brain Stem: The brain stem controls the basic mechanisms of life, including heart rate, respiration, digestion and blood pressure. It is the home of the startle response and reflex emotions, wake and sleep cycles, and our ability to sneeze, cough, vomit, and swallow. Brain stem injury can lead to problems with all of these basic mechanisms, including impacting speech, due to a diminished capacity for breathing.

The brain, though it is made up of parts, does function as a whole. Problems with behaviors or functions can cascade, as can accomplishments gained through rehabilitation. If you have a loved one with a traumatic brain injury and could use help with caregiving due to the behavioral or physiological effects of the person’s trauma, Heaven at Home Senior Care’s care team can help.

Contact our in-home caregiving team to schedule your free care consultation at 940-380-0500 in Denton or 972-245-1515 in Dallas to learn more about our services in Denton, Argyle, Frisco, and the surrounding areas.