Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
I hope that the following piece may be informative to others. This article may be freely reproduced electronically or in print. If through sharing a little of my experiences, it helps anyone “out there in the often very difficult, but always amazing ‘journey of life’ in any way, then I’m very happy.
THE LASTING EFFECTS OF BLOWS TO THE HEAD (CONCUSSION)
Article Summary: The brain damage sustained after a concussion is not always immediately apparent…and the effects can be long lasting A blow to the head that knocks a person unconscious can result in widespread loss of brain tissue …and this is why some people who suffer head injuries are never quite the same.
“Compare it (your head) to a jelly in a bowl. The bowl is the skull – a strong, protective container – and the jelly (the brain) is nestled within. The skull is able to withstand many types of blows; but the brain is vulnerable to sudden swirling or rotating movements. Shake the bowl and see what happens to the jelly.”
– Don Mackie, Emergency Specialist, Hutt Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand
Different mental abilities are located in different parts of the brain, so a head injury can damage some, but not necessarily all, skills such as speed of thought, memory, understanding, concentration, solving problems and using language. The cognitive effects of a brain injury affect the way a person thinks, learns and remembers. Brain damage leads to difficulty in making decisions, processing information quickly, problem solving and especially coming up with different solutions in a pressured environment of stress. (So I most like writing and “dealing with people” in a relaxed environment!).
The more severe the injury, the more brain tissue is lost. “There is more damage and it is more widespread than we had expected,” said Dr Brian Levine of the Rotman Research Institute and the University of Toronto, whose new study appears in the journal ‘Neurology’. Dr Levine studied brain scans taken from 69 traumatic brain injury patients whose head injuries ranged from mild to moderate or severe. Canadian researchers ran a computer analysis of these images and found that even patients with mild brain injuries with no apparent scarring had less brain volume. “When you have a blow to the head, it causes a neuro-chemical reaction in the brain cells that leads to cell death,” Dr Levine said. “The more cells that die, the less tissue you have. The amount of tissue loss seems to be related to the severity of the injury – how long the person was knocked out.”
Brain injury may prompt one area of the brain to be “reassigned” and take over the function of another. Professor Richard Faull from the University of Auckland (New Zealand ) explains simply: “Think of it as a sort of emergency breakdown service (‘We Fix Neurons — Fast!’). It is literally like a little highway; but instead of going directly from Auckland to Wellington, it goes to Whangarei, to Taranaki, then to Wellington! The route is highly distorted and there may be all sorts of reasons for that.”
Dr Brian Levine said the Rotman Research Institute study helped to explain why some people with brain injuries often struggled with memory problems, mood changes, confusion and reduced information-processing speed. He also said the damage was greatest to white matter, tissue that makes up the brain’s communication network. “What you have basically is a loss of brain connectivity. That is essential for efficient processing in the brain. When you have a subtle loss of that, even if it is 5 to 10 per cent, it will have a large effect on behavior.”
“The study does not mean that people who have had mild head injuries would have a disability, but it might help to explain why some people never quite recovered from their injury. You hear this all the time from people, that they’re not the same. A lot of times doctors don’t know why.”
– Dr Brian Levine, Rotman Research Institute and the University of Toronto, Canada
– from REUTERS
Extracts sourced from the New Zealand Herald, Thursday March 6th 2008
For the full article see their web page at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=82&objectid=10496350
(to which I’ve added some additional information)
With knowledge comes understanding and acceptance.
Don’t see head injury as a ‘handicap’, but just another challenge to live with, work around and overcome in the amazing journey of life.
“Success to others may be apparent in what you DO; but significance, meaning and purpose lies, then reveals itself in what you ARE and BECOME down the ‘river of life’ – how and the spirit with which you face, then overcome the daily obstacles, the frequent trials and tribulations along the often rocky path-way of life’s magical and mysterious journey. Light your path brightly.”
About the Submitter:
Craig has a close personal interest in this area. He has had a long-standing head injury and has been researching and studying in this field for nearly twenty years. Craig hopes that by sharing this information, it will make some difference in those lives affected by brain injury.
All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children –
Craig’s blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is at http://en.search.wordpress.com/?q=%22craig+lock%22 and http://craiglock.wordpress.com
P.S: To end off, enjoy these thoughts…
“We have it within; but we get it all from without. There is a well-spring of strength,
When you can see no light at the end of the tunnel, light your own candle and let your light illuminate the world, like the radiance from a window at midnight.”
That’s a metaphor, BTW”
“When the world is filled with love, people’s hearts are overflowing with hope.”
This article may be freely reproduced electronically or in print. If through sharing a little of my experiences, it helps anyone “out there in the often very difficult, but always amazing ‘journey of life’ in any way, then I’m very happy.
“The task ahead of you can always be overcome by the power within you…and the seemingly difficult path ahead of you is never as steep with the great spirit that lies within you.”wisdom, courage and great imagination within each one of us; but once we draw on this truth, it gets watered from without, by a Higher Source – the Source of Life and Love, which is God, the very Ground of our Being.”