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How a brain injury affects behavior

An estimated 2.4 million people suffer brain injury each year from Montana to Mexico. Brain injuries are often traumatic for the victim and those close to the victim, including friends and family members. In many cases, brain injury can lead to changes in behavior, mood or ability to make sound decisions or solve complex problems. Understanding how a brain injury functions is crucial to being able to best help a person with a brain injury.

The brain is traditionally divided into the right and left brain. In this model, the right side of the brain controls creativity, feelings, conceptual perception and empathy, among other qualities. The left brain is responsible for higher cognitive functions, logic and reason as well as the ability to make detached decisions and engage in detailed analysis. Depending what side the injury is on, these qualities may be heightened or sublimated.

A person who is traditionally associated with left-brain-oriented behavior may begin to act more emotional or demonstrate confusion in the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury. Likewise, a person who demonstrates typical right-brain-oriented behavior may become more analytical and unemotional. Intuitive understanding or precise categorization systems might be compromised in the wake of such trauma. Because so little is known about how the brain functions, behavioral symptoms may linger long beyond physical injury healing.

In a case where brain injuries have occurred, an attorney might wish to examine the testimony of friends, family and coworkers to determine the extent of injury and alteration to the victim's personality and ability to function in usual normative modes. The attorney could issue a demand for compensation including medical treatment and therapy in the past, present and future, pain and suffering and reduction in quality of life for all affected parties.

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