Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Brain-Injury Patients Will Never Be the Same; Long Road to Recovery for Molly Meldrum

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Brain-Injury Patients Will Never Be the Same; Long Road to Recovery for Molly Meldrum

Article excerpt

BRAIN-injury patients often face a long road of rehabilitation, and for many life will never be the same.

Their injuries can result from a variety of causes, ranging from minor knocks to the head that lead to momentary dizziness through to severe falls and accidents that leave patients in a coma, as in Molly Meldrum's case.

Patients can be left with disabilities that affect their ability to move, think, behave and deal with emotions.

Experts say how well people recover depends on the part of the brain that is injured and the severity of the damage.

Neuropsychologist Robyn Tate, of the University of Sydney's rehabilitation studies unit, said a patient who emerges from a coma with a brain injury usually goes through a period of confusion known as post traumatic amnesia (PTA).

C[pounds sterling]The person is usually disorientated and they don't know what the time is or where they are and may not know who they are or their age,C[yen] Professor Tate said.

C[pounds sterling]About one-third of people can have behavioural disturbances and can be agitated.C[yen]

Doctors estimate the severity of the brain injury by measuring the time from when the injury occurred to the end of the PTA period.

Many patients' rehabilitation takes about six months because their brain injury has affected their ability to move, talk and remember things.

C[pounds sterling]People with milder injuries will have less impairment and their recovery potential is better than people who are unconscious for a long time,C[yen] Prof Tate said.

C[pounds sterling]For a significant proportion of people it changes their life forever. …

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