Brain & Spinal Injury

Welcome to the Brain & Spinal Injury Section

How do Brain Injuries Happen?

Our Complex, Delicate Brains

The following images show the complex networking of neurological activity involved in brain functioning. They depict the remarkable advances in imaging technology called Diffusion Tensor Imaging and can show damage areas of the brain, as well as the disruption in transmission of cellular activity.

Brain Imaging Technology

White matter fiber tracking derived from Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI). The paths of fibers passing through the corpus callosum were tracked. Red represents fibers running primarily left/right. Blue is up/down, and green is front/back.

Diffusion Tensor Imaging Colors

Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) revealing connectivity in the brain

This movie depicts fibers of “connectivity” in the brain, as seen through diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), an MRI technique. The pulses of light travel along each fiber, tracing beginning to end; the pulses go only one way in this animation. The resulting visual conveys the concept of information flow through the brain’s “wiring.”

What Are Brain Injuries?

There are many ways in which you or a loved one may sustain a brain injury. We are most familiar with brain injuries that are caused by accidents from automobiles, motorcycles, and bicycles, and more recently we have witnessed a growing concern from sports-related brain injuries and concussions, such as football. We continue to learn more about the pervasive effect blasts from explosives by our veterans returning home from war overseas.

Phineas Gage

One of the well-known cases of brain injury in which a blasting charge sent a 1.5” wide and 3’ long metal spike through his face and frontal lobe. Mr. Gage suffered profound cognitive deficits and problems with social behavior.

Phineas Gage Simulation

Phineas Gage Injury

Phineas Gage Injury Xray

Phineas Gage after his injury

Although some brain injuries stories are not quite as striking as Phineas Gage or the photo above, other types of brain injuries can bring on devastating results.

From the Brain Injury Association of America

Falls continue to be a leading cause of brain injuries, especially for small children and older adults. Falls in the workplace contribute to brain injuries and many new safety initiatives can be developed and introduced to vastly reduce the incidents of injuries.

But a person can receive a brain injury in many other ways than a blow to the head such as loss of oxygen from drowning, a heart attack or stroke, chemical exposure, or drug and alcohol overdose.

Brain Imaging Technology YouTube Videos

Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Frontal Cortex

Exploring brain connectivity – Diffusion Tensor Imaging

Statistics and Prevalence

Brain Injury Facts and Statistics in the United States



A tutorial about Brain Injuries & Medications

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