Encephalitis is an autoimmune disease that is characterized by the inflammation of tissues within the brain. An autoimmune response may cause this inflammation.
Alternatively, certain infections may also cause this inflammation. As a result, the brain starts to swell, leading to highly severe headaches, stiff joints, and mental confusion.
Encephalitis is becoming increasingly common, particularly in the younger population. Provided that the diagnosis is made on time, it is possible to recover from encephalitis in a short period. However, if the diagnosis is delayed, the patient may find it challenging to recover quickly.
Encephalitis rehabilitation involves heavy treatments and intensive care from the beginning of the recovery process. Recovery time differs from person to person. Some patients may recover within a few years, others may take a lifetime.
In any case, rehabilitation is a crucial step after diagnosis. It is possible that the patient may not recover in a short time. Specific treatments may need to persist for a more extended period to be practical and helpful for the patient.
The rehabilitation goals for encephalitis patients will involve building habits and systems. There will also be the use of aids that will compensate for their condition. The patients will be taught techniques and strategies that will aid them in carrying on their daily life and completing everyday tasks.
Rehabilitation may begin from the center or hospital, but it must be continued to the patient’s regular life and home as well. Some may find it hard to readjust to their daily life. Rehabilitation needs to focus on practical issues and procedures they can translate into their everyday life.
Rehabilitation is a different process for all patients. That said, for an ideal rehabilitation process, professionals from multiple disciplines may be contacted to provide the patients with the best quality care and training.
Occupational therapy aims to adjust the patient back into their daily life. Rather than focusing on the primary functions such as movement, walking, and talking, occupational therapy focuses on the nitty-gritty aspects of everyday life.
An occupational therapist will facilitate the encephalitis patient relearning how to perform basic tasks. These include dressing themselves, washing and grooming, cooking basic meals, and modifying their environment in a way that is conducive to their condition.
Because encephalitis may also cause cognitive distortion and other mental issues. Occupational therapists may also help the patients develop life skills such as budgeting, planning, and organizing.
It is the job of the occupational therapist to recommend modifications or effective alternatives for the patient’s condition. This makes their daily life easier and give them more autonomy over their diagnosis. Occupational and vocational therapists may also be consulted in helping the patient adjust to their work life after diagnosis.
Physical therapy will be incorporated into rehabilitation for functions that involve more specific bodily movements.
The physical therapist helps patients reclaim control of their muscles. The therapist trains them to build the strength they need to return to their previous level of functioning.
Physical therapy may also help maintain balance and a more stable gait. For encephalitis patients, physical therapy may involve relearning supposedly simple functions. The activities include walking, talking, and moving with precision.
The goal is to make the patient independent in their movements, so they no longer require another person to aid them in essential mobility.
A more severe form of encephalitis may involve the role of a speech therapist.
Alternatively, depending on the issue, a speech-language therapist may also be involved.
A speech therapist is one that focuses on the foundations of talking. Their goal is to help the patient learn how to coordinate the movement of their mouth to form coherent words and articulate their thoughts.
A speech-language therapist treats both speech difficulty and difficulty with language, swallowing, and understanding what an individual hears.
If the patient with encephalitis struggles with both speech and understanding other people, they may require speech-language therapists to aid in their rehabilitation.
Encephalitis is a condition that affects the brain, so it is a given to involving neuropsychologists.
Neuropsychology experts will aid in understanding the cause of the patient’s encephalitis and how it may affect their emotions, behavior, and mood. If a patient is struggling with a more severe type of encephalitis, they may have difficulty concentrating, planning, speaking, and remembering.
These issues will also be apparent through occupational therapy and speech-language therapy. The neuropsychologist may determine why the patient is struggling and provide valuable information for the team.
Dealing with autoimmune diseases is no walk in the park. The rehabilitation team for encephalitis patients may involve both psychiatrists and psychologists.
Psychiatrists play a crucial role in the diagnosis of encephalitis as the condition directly affects the brain and its functions. In fact, many patients may first receive their diagnosis through a psychiatrist after reporting disconcerting mental difficulty or abnormal functioning.
Besides the diagnosis, psychiatrists can also aid in encephalitis rehabilitation. Encephalitis patients may require various forms of treatment, including pharmacological solutions and non-pharmacological therapies.
Therefore, psychiatrists are the perfect addition to the rehabilitation process. Once the neuropsychologist provides adequate information, the psychiatrist can prescribe medication to alleviate and lessen some of the symptoms.
Psychological rehabilitation will also involve psychologists.
Contrary to popular belief, rehabilitation cannot be complete without using both medications and therapy in conjunction.
For effective treatment, it is essential that the patient also receives psychological care. One main reason is the effect the knowledge of the diagnosis may have on the patient. Such a diagnosis takes a toll on the patient’s mental health. It makes them more worried and anxious about their life, financial issues, and the changes they need to make.
A psychologist will aid them in adjusting to their new life and focus on becoming mentally stronger.
Alternatively, patients with encephalitis may also struggle with executive functions. This includes planning and organizing because of psychological turmoil rather than neurological reasons. In this case, psychologists will be needed for the patient’s rehabilitation.
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