Acquired Brain Injury

A Brief explanation of how an Acquired Brain Injury occurs

Our brain is the consistency of Jell-OTM, suspended in a think glycerin-like fluid, wrapped in a thin, rubber inner tube-like material, and enclosed in the skull, a rigid, hard case. Nature has done an amazing job of protecting our most valuable asset.

Unfortunately, even nature’s best design has limits: hit your head with enough force to overcome these protective barriers, and the price is horrendous.

Striking your head with sufficient force damages the brain at the site of impact. To make a very bad situation even worse, the blow may cause the brain to bounce off the other side of the skull. Damage is doubled – the potential for loss or mental, physical and emotional capacity and flexibility is multiplied.

A heavy blow to the head causes a rapid acceleration and deceleration of the brain. The head whips forward, stops suddenly, and then violently whips back because of the white matter (the brain’s bulk) and the grey matter (the brain’s thin outer layer) are of different densities, they move at different speeds.

As the two tissues slip against each other, billions of axons are damaged, some even severed (called axon shearing). Axons are slender, thread like filaments that connect nerve cells in the brain and throughout the body. Their job is to send communication signals from one area of the cortex to another, from the cortex to the brain’s deep structures, and to all parts of the body.

When injured, the axons are not able to efficiently carry the brain’s communication signals. If sheared, signals will not be able to transmit at all. Brain performance is hampered, and symptoms such as confusion, headaches, visual disturbances, speech problems, coordination, spastic limbs, and even paralysis occur.

Our brain does so much of its work by communication with itself – by rapidly connecting, disconnecting, and then reconnecting its many specialized areas. In those with head injury, the brain’s coherence may become excessive, locking the brain into inflexible thinking and behavior patters. Other mental problems, fuzzy thinking and confusion, for example, and physical symptoms such as dizziness and headaches, are common.

In summary the common symptoms of traumatic brain injury are as follows:

  • Spinal fluid coming out of the ears or nose, looking like thin, watery liquid
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Suspected concussion (not all concussions cause loss of consciousness)
  • Severe dizziness or loss of balance
  • Dilated eyes
  • Loss of vision, or change in vision, either improved or reduced
  • Slow pulse
  • Slow breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargic
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Numbness or tingling sensations in any parts of the body

Overview of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Author: MUSHWeb (2011, 03, 22) TITLE: Overview of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).Retrieved from

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