Somewhere between 50 and 75 percent of all people who have experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) cite fatigue as a symptom, and many of those people say fatigue is their worst symptom. Fatigue can occur during the days and weeks following a TBI, or it can persist as a long-term symptom for many years.
The Effects of Fatigue
Anyone who has suffered from fatigue knows how debilitating it can be. Fatigue in TBI survivors is not only associated with lessened participation in everyday activities, it has also been linked to depression.
Causes of Fatigue
Fatigue can be a symptom of the brain injury itself, particularly during the time immediately following the injury. Long-term fatigue can also be a side effect of the medications given to the patient.
Treatment of Fatigue
A thorough assessment by the physician will determine whether the fatigue is cognitive or physical in nature. Patients who feel like they just can't sustain mental effort following a brain injury most likely have cognitive fatigue associated with TBI. Treatment generally consists of a combination of proper sleep management and prescription drugs.