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Why might behavior changes occur after a TBI?

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2024 | Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury can impact a person’s life in many ways. One of those may be changing their behavior.

The brain is a complex organ responsible for regulating various functions, including how a person acts. When a person experiences a TBI, the impact can disrupt the normal functioning of the brain in a few ways that result in behavior changes.

Behavior and emotion regulation

Damage may impact specific areas of the brain responsible for controlling behavior and emotions. For example, the frontal lobe plays an important role in regulating behavior, decision-making and social interactions. When this area suffers an injury, individuals may experience difficulties in controlling impulses or emotions. They might also struggle with understanding social cues.

Information processing

Injury may also affect the brain’s ability to process information efficiently. Cognitive functions, such as memory, attention and problem-solving, may suffer impairment. This can lead to changes in behavior. For instance, individuals may struggle to remember important tasks or become easily frustrated over challenges they previously handled with ease.

Neurotransmitter function

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that facilitate communication between brain cells. Disruptions in neurotransmitter levels can affect mood, motivation and overall behavior. For example, a decrease in serotonin levels, which is common after TBI, can lead to symptoms of depression and irritability.

The severity of the traumatic brain injury also plays a significant role in determining the extent of behavioral changes. A mild TBI, such as a concussion, may result in temporary behavioral symptoms that resolve over time. However, a moderate to severe TBI can lead to long-lasting or permanent changes in behavior.