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After a Brain Injury

Your recovery

It may take weeks, months, or years to recover from a brain injury.

Some people make a full recovery. Others have mild, long-term problems, and some need extra care and services for the rest of their lives. Your brain will begin to work better as it heals.

How soon you recover may depend on:

  • how bad your injury was
  • the part of the brain that was injured
  • your age
  • the length of time since your brain injury (the longer it’s been, the slower your recovery)
  • how much swelling there is in your brain
  • the amount of bleeding
  • changes in your brain chemistry
  • injuries to other parts of your body

If blood builds up in the brain, it has to be removed to lessen pressure or swelling. As swelling goes away, your brain may work better.

If you had injuries to other parts of your body, it can affect how your brain recovers. For example, losing a lot of blood may limit the amount of blood and oxygen going to your brain which can slow healing.

We keep learning more about how the brain heals itself. Some research shows that brain tissue that hasn’t been injured can learn how to do some jobs that the injured part of the brain used to do.

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