What Happens in the Brain After a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic Brain Injury Research
In November of 2010, a study was published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine (JNM) showing that by combining powerful imaging techniques, such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET scans) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI tests), researchers are getting a better look at what happens structurally in the brain after a Traumatic Brain Injury - both in the short term and the long term.
According to one of the study's authors, the changes in brain structure and function are dynamic and continue to evolve progressively for months after a traumatic brain injury. One important aspect of the research found that there is a time window immediately following injury when medical intervention could lessen the severity of long term disability.
These findings not only give us a better understanding of how the brain functions after an injury, but they can also help in seeking new treatment therapies.
Biochemical and Physiological Events following a Traumatic Brain Injury
Following a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI), a series of biochemical and physiological events occur, which can include the following:
Early treatment is essential for maximum recovery from brain injury!
- A breakage of the neuronal membrane by the injury
- A decrease in cerebral blood flow to neurons
- An increased demand for glucose, which is not present in sufficient amounts to maintain neuronal stability
- A deficient blood supply combined with deficient oxygen supply, which leads to a metabolic disturbance
- An immediate release of excitatory neurotransmitters causing neurons to fire repeatedly until they die
- These cumulative events impact neurons that are distant from the injury site for many weeks or months
Potential Complications Following a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Information compiled with assistance from the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
- Tendency for re-injury
- Depression and anxiety
- Avoidance of activities
- Client and family stress
- Anger at the "system"
- Suicidal thoughts and attempts
- Functional difficulties at work and home
- Delays in recovery
- Chronic disability
- Long-term costs
- Problems with the law
Contact a Brain Injury Attorney in Sacramento, California
If you or a loved one has suffered a mild traumatic brain injury due to another person's negligence or carelessness, please call one of our experienced brain injury attorneys for a free and confidential case evaluation at 888-285-3333, or fill out the contact form found throughout our site.