Any damage that occurs when an outside force to the head or neck injures the brain is a traumatic brain injury. Falls, car accidents, sports injuries, recreational activities and assaults are common causes of traumatic brain injury. Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries, but both may cause neurological and behavioral issues. Traumatic brain injury symptoms include changes in behavior, cognition and mental state. Common examples of catastrophic brain injuries include headaches, memory loss and inability to focus in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and beyond.
Tests and assessments admissible in court
After catastrophic brain injuries, people should advocate for themselves and seek tests that the courts allow. Doctors don’t usually know what specific tests and assessments courts allow. Victims of catastrophic brain injuries should have an evaluation by their primary care physician. Victims should have an evaluation by a neurologist with training in traumatic brain injury and concussions. Not all neurologists have experience with catastrophic brain injuries. Depending on the legal needs, have an evaluation by a forensic neuropsychologist or a neuropsychologist.
Difference between neuropsychologists and forensic neuropsychologists
Neuropsychologists are psychologists who understand the relationship between the brain and behavior. Their understanding of the brain and nervous system structure allows them to see conditions concerning behavior and cognitive function. Forensic neuropsychology focuses on the science and methods for legal context. They do the same type of work as neuropsychologists but report in legal rather than medical.
Brain imaging and brain function scans
A forensic neuropsychologist recommends two types of brain imaging. A Susceptibility-Weighted MRI can access the brain’s structure and gray matter. The enhanced contrast magnitude image is sensitive to iron storage, venous blood and hemorrhage. Diffusion Tensor Imaging scans and evaluates white matter. The image accesses the wiring of the brain and nerve structures.
The two brain function scans are a quantitative electroencephalogram and a single-photon emission computed tomography scan. Both are effective for determining how the brain is functioning, but courts will only accept a qEEG. The qEEG measures electrical activity with brain wave patterns, which can catch behavioral issues from a traumatic brain injury.