diffuse brain injury is often misdiagnosed by the medical community and misunderstood by the general population

Diffuse Brain Injury

Diffuse Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury
Acquired Brain Injury
Anoxic Brain Injury
Hypoxic Brain Injury


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Diffuse brain injury, more often than not, is misdiagnosed or NOT diagnosed because it is not revealed by a CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The diffuse damage on the cellular level can be seen only under a microscope which means it can only be seen during an autopsy.

Diffuse axonal brain injury is one of four types of diffuse brain injury and has begun to receive more attention in the medical community. Concussions and whiplash injuries are major contributors to a person having diffuse axonal brain injury.

Diffuse Axonal Brain Injury - How it Happens

This photo shows a brain cell, and it looks a lot like an octupus, doesn't it? The arms protruding outward are axons. diffuse axonal brain injury explained with photos At the lower left of the photo you can see two of the arms almost touching with a bright flash of orange between them. The space between the two arms is called a synapse and that bright flash of light represents the electrical charge that passes information from one axon to the other.

The photo shows a normal, healthy brain cell performing correctly. In other words, this is what a non-injured cell would look like when everything is performing like clockwork.

Now, let's throw in a whiplash or some other high-speed velocity change that throws the brain forward and back or side-to-side axonal diffuse brain injury or a combination of the two. The "arms" of the octupus became stretched or, possibly, torn during the event.

If you really like big words, the medical folks would refer to this as coup (forward), contracoup (backward) and centrifuglar (all around) movement of the brain.

Isotropic stress is another big word for you, and it refers to the shockwave that flows through the brain at the time of the injury.

Imagine having in front of you a nice J-ello dessert that was molded to look like the top half of a ball. As long as you're imaging, be sure to get your favorite flavor like strawberry or cherry. If you lift up the plate and shake it, what happens?

The J-ello shakes back and forth, doesn't it. If you shook it back and forth harder and harder, something else would happen. It would begin to stretch out of shape and tear. You supplied the coup, contracoup and centrifuglar movement; the waving of the J-ello as it rocked back and forth supplied a stronger and stronger shockwave inside the dessert (the isotropic stress).

The mess you now have in front of you represents the brain cells. But it may not be a mess. The tears and deformity inside the dessert may not be noticeable. They may be so tiny that they cannot be seen. Actually, you could run a sharp knife through that J-ello about half-way down, withdraw the knife and not see the cut you just made.

The deformed, stretched or torn axons can no longer transmit electrical impulses correctly. In other words, the information that was passing from one brain cell to another is no longer passing along the route.

Depending upon the severity of the event, you may experience a very brief period of unconsciousness or a more, prolonged one. You may not even know you were unconscious. Using a sports metaphor, you may feel like you've just had your bell rung and nothing more.

Days, weeks or, perhaps, a month or two passes and you begin to notice things are not like they once were. You're having frequent headaches. You're having difficulty remembering things. You're having trouble sleeping. You may seem to be having problems remembering people's names...or forget what you were talking about in the middle of a sentence.

Concussions and whiplash injuries can be much more severe than they appear. If you are planning to seek advice from a personal injury attorney following such an event, you should think seriously about consulting one who has experience with brain injury cases.

You certainly would not want to receive a settlement for neck and back pain, only to discover later that you now have a brain injury that will be with you for the rest of your life.

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