Our Society LACKS Sensitivity & it NEEDS to come to TERMS with the REALITIES of Brain INJURIES

Did you know, we all mostly live such IGNORANT lives especially when it comes to our mind? If we don't study science, perhaps we just stay oblivious about what the areas our brain controls: like the parietal lobe the occipital lobe, the frontal lobe, the temporal lobe, broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. These different areas control different activities of our brain and damage to any part can affect us both in the short run or the long run.

Brain Injuries account for one of the leading causes of deaths in the world; yet there is lack of sensitivity, compassion and sympathy towards this topic. Do we have to really bear the brunt of familial pain or someone who we care for, for us to suddenly OPEN UP OUR EYES and realise how important our health is.

Is live meant to be just a race for money, living a better life where you neglect your own persona well being?

A brain injury is a severe injury to the head and it can be of many different types; depending on the nature of the fall. There are primary and secondary injuries. Primary injures occur as a result of the initial displacement of the physical structure of the brain. For example, cerebral contusion cerebral laceration, and epidural hemorrhage, etc.
Primary injuries lead to secondary injuries and are indirect results of the injury. For example impaired metabolism, edema, altered cerebral blood flow, etc.    ` 

However diffuse and focal brain injuries describe the localization and severity of the damage. Focal injury occurs in one specific area while diffuse injuries occur over a widespread area.     

Types of Brain Injuries

1.     Traumatic Brain Injury: Traumatic brain injuries are one of the leading causes of morbidity in India, accounting with road traffic accidents (RTA). In fact, it is a leading cause of mortality, disability and socioeconomic status losses in India as well as other developing countries.  

It is caused by an external force and leads to an alteration of a structural, chemical transmitter pathway, physiological and even other brain pathology. Multiple traumatic events can even lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which is a neurodegenerative disease found in people who have had multiple head injuries.

2.     Concussion: One of the most common types of brain traumas, a concussion can be caused by direct impact to the head – through gunshots/ force from a whiplash/violent shaking of the head (especially in children). The brain receives trauma from this impact or sudden momentum or even movement of change. As a result the blood vessels in the brain may stretch and even damage the cranial nerves.

3.     Penetrating: A penetrating head injury is an open head injury where the outer layer of the meninges (three membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord is breached (broken). These are usually caused by gunshots and have a 91 percent mortality rate.  

Skull diagram of Phineas Gage.
An 1868 illustration of the injury suffered by Phineas Gage, a railroad worker who had a tamping iron driven through his skull in an 1848 accident.

4.     Coup-contrecoup: Coup and contrecoup contusions are a group of focal brain injuries and are associated with cerebral contusions- a type of brain injury where the brain is bruised. They may occur individually or together. They occur ONLY and ONLY when the force impacting the head is not only strong enough to create a contusion but also at the site of impact it is able to move the entire brain and cause it to displace rapidly to the other side of the skull leading to an additional bruise. 

5.     Diffuse axonal: Also known as traumatic axonal injury (TAI), diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is an extremely severe traumatic brain injury that occurs due to shearing forces. It is surprisingly common in about half of all the severe head traumas; which does make it one of the most serious traumatic brain injuries. There are many reasons why it may happen. Some of them are car accidents, violence, sports related accidents, falls and child abuse such as shaken baby syndrome.  

Non-Traumatic Brain Injury

1.     Anoxic Brain: Every brain injury does not involve trauma. Anoxic Brain damage is an injury to the brain that is caused due to the lack/absence of oxygen.

2.     Hypoxic Brain: Hypoxia is the term used to refer to low oxygen and the brain cells that do not have enough oxygen begin to die after 4 minutes. Blood flow can get blocked to the brain or even slowed through blood clots or strokes, heart problems, and lung diseases. There are many symptoms that may lead to coma and cause hypoxic brain damage such as seizures, headaches, confusion, mood swings and decreased attention span.   (Also called stagnant hypoxia)

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