Unlike diffuse brain injuries, which occur throughout the brain, focal brain injuries are confined to one area of the brain. These types of injuries are often the result of a severe blow to the head, violent assault, a bullet from a fire arm, or a fall. In most cases, the brain tissue is damaged at the site where the injury occurred.
Types of Focal Brain Injuries
There are several different types of focal brain injuries. They can be open or closed. A closed injury occurs when pieces of the skull press into the brain, while an open injury occurs when something pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.
Bruising of the brain tissue is called a contusion, while bleeding in the skull is called intracranial hemorrhage or hematoma. Bleeding can occur within the skull but outside the brain, or it can occur within the brain itself.
Signs and Symptoms of Focal Brain Injuries
Signs and symptoms of focal brain injury vary widely, depending upon which area of the brain is damaged. For example, if the area of the brain responsible for speech is damaged, than speech will be affected to some degree depending upon the severity of the injury. Focal brain injuries can be categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. Prognosis is directly linked to the severity of the injury.