Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a damage to the brain caused by a sudden trauma to the head. TBI is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, contributing to about 30.0% of all injury deaths. Concussions are milder cases of TBI. More severe TBI can cause a permanent damage to the brain or lead to death.

What Causes Brain Injury (TBI)?

TBIs can be caused by incidents such as a blow, a jolt or a bump to the head strong enough to disrupt the normal function of the brain. It could also be caused when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. Among the top causes of TBI are falls, violence or self-harm and motor vehicle accidents. People 75 years or older have the highest rate of TBI, likely due to more frequent falls.

Diagnosing Brain Injury (TBI)

Mild TBI can cause a headache or neck pain, nausea, ringing in the ears, confusion, dizziness, tiredness and blurred vision. A person with a mild TBI may remain conscious or may experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes. 

More moderate or severe TBI symptoms include all the above and in addition a headache that gets worse or does not go away resulting in repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, an inability to awaken from sleep, dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in the extremities, loss of coordination, and increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation. 

To diagnose TBI a healthcare provider will assess a person’s physical injuries, brain and nerve functioning, and level of consciousness. This may include imaging tests such as CT (computerized tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

How Does Brain Injury (TBI)
Relate To Aphasia?

Brain trauma that is severe enough to cause a more permanent brain damage may result in aphasia if the brain tissue that gets damaged is in areas of the brain important for speech and language production. 

Depending on the severity of the trauma, aphasia due to TBI could be transient or more permanent. Often, aphasia caused by TBI will be accompanied by other cognitive problems since TBI usually affects multiple areas of the brain.

Consistency Speeds Recovery 

You can speed up your results by being consistent with your rehabilitation. When the brain has consistent stimulation through regular practice (daily or every other day) it will reinforce and strengthen the new connections in your brain resulting in faster results.

Can a TBI Patient Fully Recover?

A full and functional TBI recovery is almost always possible, even though it might take several years of dedication. To make this type of progress, the client must take initiative. In fact, without consistent work, brain injury recovery can stall and even regress. 

At The Cottages on Mountain Creek, we strive to provide activities and therapies that assist clients in recovery. Through Bright Path Program (a sister company with The Cottages) our therapists strive to recreate the correct program which is associated with their physical and mental being. 

The following activities have been proven to help assist in recovery from TBI. The client must be an active participant in the Treatment Plan to move forward. 

Housing Options – Options include a residential treatment program (in-patient), supported independent living within single family homes and/or Day Programming (out-patient). 

Locations – Bright Path now has two locations for out-patient therapy (Sandy Springs and Buckhead). Individual therapy sessions are provided as well based on need.


In summary, Bright Path Program (sister company to The Cottages on Mountain Creek, LLC) has created an environment that allows our clients to feel comfortable. Our main campus in Sandy Springs provides programming and housing in single-family homes all on one block, making it easier for the clients to feel comfortable and to settle in quickly.

Programming is documented and outcome driven allowing family and physicians to understand the results of the program.

Always Strive for Full Recovery

Full recovery puts you under the placebo effect, where good things become true because you believe they will. But believing in yourself will help you achieve a higher recovery than anyone predicted.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Rest assured that sleeping a lot after TBI is perfectly normal. Your brain is hard at work healing itself right now and takes a lot of mental juice. Everyday activities might take up more energy than normal, so you need to allow extra rest to reenergize and heal.

Deal with Plateus

During TBI recovery, it is normal to experience the fastest results during the first few months of recovery when your brain is in a heightened state of plasticity (meaning your brain is trying hard to recover). 

After the first three to six months, your progress starts to slow down. This is considered a plateau, and it is not a sign that you should give up.  It is a sign that you need to double down. Recovery will not stop if you do not stop.

Benefits of Recreational Activities

When the brain is challenged by engaging activities, the neural pathways are strengthened. The more the neural pathways are strengthened, the more functions may be regained. The goal is to find engaging activities to maximize skill development and restore independence after brain injury.

When the brain is challenged by engaging activities, the neural pathways are strengthened. The more the neural pathways are strengthened, the more functions may be regained. The goal is to find engaging activities to maximize skill development and restore independence after brain injury.

Examples of Activities for Brain Injury Patients:

  • Puzzles and Board Games
  • Video Games
  • FitMi
  • Painting
  • Dancing
  • Animal Interactions
  • Creative Writing
  • Knitting
  • Music
  • MusicGlove
  • Gardening
  • Community and Culture Outings
  • Light Cooking
  • Adaptive Sports

Puzzles and Board Games

Puzzles and board games are great ways to practice cognitive skills and have fun. Board games are usually played as a group activity which adds a social dynamic for more cognitive stimulation.

Examples include Chess, Sudoku, Scrabble and Uno. Puzzles are another fun activity to challenge memory, strategy and problem-solving skills.

Video Games

Video Games improve cognitive skills because they engage different parts of the brain. Studies have also shown that video games help improve decision making, problem-solving, and information processing.


FitMi is an interactive home therapy device designed to help improve function in the whole body after brain injury. It prescribes physical therapy exercises that target different muscle groups and unlocks harder exercises as you improve (additional fee of $300.00).


Engaging in painting or other forms of art therapy can help strengthen concentration and other cognitive abilities. It can also help improve memory, visuospatial abilities, problem-solving, and fine motor skills. 


Dancing can help improve motor skills like full-body coordination and balance, making it a worthwhile recreational activity for brain injury survivors. It combines the benefits of aerobic exercise with the cognitive and emotional benefits of music therapy

Animal Interactions

Service dogs are trained to assist brain injury survivors with limited physical abilities by providing balance support and assisting with daily activities. Along with physical support, service dogs can offer emotional support to patients struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression.

Creative Writing

Creative writing is another fun activity that can stimulate your brain and spark creativity. Writing engages several areas of the brain and helps increase memory and retention.  Journaling is another good source for creative writing. Reading out loud in particular challenges listening and reading comprehension skills.


Knitting is a great activity to fine motor skills and overall hand function. It can also provide a sense of control that may have been lost after brain injury and allows you to undo mistakes.


Music Therapy is a popular modality that has been clinically proven to stimulate the brain and promote healing. Music can help brain injury survivors improve a wide variety of skills such as language, cognitive, and even motor functions.

MusicGlove is a hand therapy device that has been clinically proven to help improve hand function within two weeks of regular use. It works by motivating users to make various hand therapy movements in sync with a musical game.

Because it combines elements of both music and gaming, MusicGlove is one of the most fun and effective activities for brain injury patients. Some survivors forget they are doing therapy because they become immersed in the experience.


Studies have shown that gardening helps improve overall health including cognitive function. It has also helped reduce stress, anxiety, and mood disturbances that survivors may often experience after brain injury.

Community and Culture Outings

Recent studies have found that community engagement is an essential part of recovery after brain injury. When the brain is exposed to a new environment it stimulates neuroplasticity to adapt to that environment; and neuroplasticity is the essence of recovery. 


Cooking is an activity that involves a multiple-step process which can often be difficult after a brain injury, but luckily there are recipe books specifically for brain injury survivors. Along with ensuring an adequate diet, cooking can help improve your memory, executive functions (complex cognitive skills), and boost energy. 

Adaptive Sports

Complex activities such as baseball, bowling, and cycling are usually done as a group which can help improve any feelings of social isolation that may occur after brain injury. Social isolation may interfere with recovery. Therefore, it is important to find a community in which you feel comfortable and welcome.

Staying Motivated with Activities for Brain Injury Patients

Engaging in brain-stimulating activities after brain injury can help promote neuroplasticity which is essential for recovery. Recreational therapy offers a variety of activities for brain injury patients to choose from including knitting, painting or dancing. 

Contact us Today to learn
more about our

Traumatic Brain Injury Program

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