Anoxic Brain Damage
(Anoxic Brain Injury; Hypoxic Brain Injury)
|Progression of Anoxic Brain Damage|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Blood flow to the brain is blocked or slowed. This can happen with:
- Blood clot or stroke—blood flow to an area of the brain is blocked
- Shock and heart problems, like heart attack—blood is not pumped effectively enough to reach the brain
The blood flow is normal but the blood is not carrying enough oxygen. This may happen because of medical conditions like:
- Lung disease—oxygen has trouble passing from the lungs to the blood
- Chronic anemia—a condition that results in low red blood cells, these cells carry the oxygen in blood
- You have exposure to certain poisons or other toxins. For example, carbon monoxide poisoning keeps your blood from picking up oxygen.
- There is a lack of oxygen in the air. This can occur at high altitudes.
- Decreased concentration and attention span
- Mood swings and/or personality change
- Intermittent loss of consciousness
- Parkinson’s like syndrome
- Abnormal muscle jerks with movements
- Head CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make detailed images of the brain
- MRI scan —a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the head
- Electroencephalogram (EEG) —a test that measures the electrical activity generated by the brain
- SPECT scans—a type of CT scan that examines areas of the brain for blood flow and metabolism.
- Evoked potential tests—tests used to evaluate the visual , auditory, and sensory pathways
- Slow down brain activity and decrease need for oxygen
- Reduce the swelling from injured brain tissue—swelling can cause further damage
- Oxygen therapy—to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood
- Efforts to cool the brain—to help limit brain damage.
- Hyperbaric oxygen treatment —may be used with carbon monoxide poisoning
- Physical therapist—to retrain motor skills, such as walking
- Occupational therapist—to improve daily skills, such as dressing and going to the bathroom
- Speech therapist—to work on language problems
- Neuropsychologist—for behavior and emotional issues related to the injury
- Anti-epileptic medicines—to treat ongoing seizures
- Clonazepam (eg, Klonopin)—to treat muscle jerks
- Chew your food carefully.
- Learn to swim.
- Carefully supervise young children around water.
- Stay clear of high voltage electrical sources (including exposure to lightning).
- Avoid chemical toxins and illicit drugs.
- Check gas burning appliances for carbon monoxide production and install carbon monoxide detectors.
American Brain Injury Society http://www.biausa.org/
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov/
Brain Injury Association of Alberta http://www.biaa.ca/
Ontario Brain Injury Association http://www.obia.ca/index.php/
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Fauci AS, Braunwald E, Kasper DL, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill; 2008: chap 269.
Hopkins R, Haaland K. Neuropsychological and neuropathological effects of anoxic or ischemic induced brain injury. J Int Neuropsychol Soc . 2004;10:957-961.
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- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/93/2012 -