Traumatic brain injury. These are three of the most dramatic words in the English language. The brain is an incredibly important part your body. Without your brain, you can’t think, eat, have friends, or do much of anything. If your brain suffers a traumatic injury, you could permanently lose contact with your mind.
Here are five things about traumatic brain injury that everyone should know. Brain injuries play a large role in the world, are frequent, and are often underreported.
Every Brain Injury is Serious
There are no mild brain injuries. That’s according to a recent research published in the journal Acta Neuropathologica. Researchers have found that many forms of brain injury that scientists had once thought of as minor, like small concussions, are in fact much more serious. The brain is complex, delicate machine. The connections are fragile and sophisticated. They can’t sustain minor injuries. Calling any brain injury minor would be like saying there’s such things as a minor decapitation.
Anything that goes wrong in the brain is a big deal. If you or anyone you know has had a brain injury that’s been written off as mild, you need to take note and watch for symptoms of long term brain damage.
Brain Injuries Can Go Unnoticed
When athletes hit their heads, they often return to the game with nothing more than a “walk it off, son.” When people trip and fall down the stairs, they often step back up and return to their days. Any knock to the head can result in a brain injury, and as we have just discussed, there’s no such thing as a minor brain injury. It’s not uncommon for people to sustain traumatic brain injuries without even realising it—the negative effects can take a long time to show up.
If you’ve sustained a blow to the head, you need to take it seriously. Damages to the brain might not be immediately apparent. Ask a physician to get an expert opinion.
Brain Injuries Can Shed Light on the Workings of Uninjured Brains
Researchers use people with brain injuries to study how all brains function. For instance, some recent research studied the reactions of people making decisions about whether or not they liked a piece of art. The researchers compared the reactions of people who had brain injuries with the reactions of people who did not have brain injuries. By studying their decisions in relation to the sections of the brain that had been injured, researchers could figure out which parts of the brain affect decision making.
Brain injury victims have a long history of helping the medical profession to understand the workings of the brain. In the 19th, century, a railroad worker named Phineas Gage sustained profound brain damage as the result of a railroad accident. After the accident, his personality changed dramatically. This was one of neuroscience’s first big cases. By studying the man’s brain regions and comparing that with his behavior, scientists were able to make some good guesses about which brain sections influenced which sorts of the personality.