Turn Text Only Off

Page Utilities


Understanding Diffuse Axonal Injury Understanding Diffuse Axonal Injury

Comments [5]

Click on any phrase to play the video at that point.
[Diffuse Axonal Injury] Diffuse axonal injury, or DAI, is caused by the combination of acceleration, deceleration, and contact forces. Unlike hematomas and hemorrhages, where the brain damage involves bleeding, DAI affects individual nerve fibers. Nerve fibers are composed of a neuron body and an axon. Nerves function by sending signals from the neuron body down the axon to other nerves. When acceleration-deceleration forces are great enough, they produce a shearing force that severs the axons of nerve fibers, disrupting nerve communication. This disruption causes nerve cells to die and produces swelling in the brain. When the brain swells, pressure in the skull increases and can lead to complications such as restricted blood supply to the brain tissue and brain herniation.

show transcriptShow transcript | Print transcript

Diffuse axonal injury affects nerve fibers, which can lead to a  disruption in nerve communication — affecting a person's physical and cognitive abilities.

Used with permission from the Georgia Health Sciences University. www.georgiahealth.edu.

Related Content


Comments [5]

When a child (teenager) re-enters school part time after a severe TBI, which doctors/medical personnel should be following her on a weekly basis?

Nov 3rd, 2016 11:15am

I have a brain injury from a motorcycle accident, and I am getting help from a home hyperbaric chamber and frequency specific microcurrent, and the supplement Protandim (turmeric and some other herbs).

Sep 10th, 2016 1:52pm

Can the damage be reversed and the patient regain everything with minimal loss and about how long does it take to recover from DAI?

Jul 27th, 2016 2:25pm

What is the difference between DAI and Concussion. Even further, what is the difference between DAI, concussion, sub-concussion, coup-counter-coup injury, mTBI, Blast injury, acceleration-decleration injury. Do we know enough to really of the patho-physiology (anatomy of injury) to know the difference?

Feb 25th, 2015 9:12pm

I've wondered if seizures could cause damage like Diffuse Axonal injuries. In my case, seizures involve blockage and overdrainage of CSF in a VP Shunt. Many of these seizures have been incredibly traumatic and have caused changes in my vision that was already poor and unstable from Bergmeister's Padellae (if that is how to spell what I mean...) as well as constant tinnitus and a moment of suffocation during one particular series of seizures. Since they have occurred and been untreated, I have felt burning, tingling, pain, pressure, numb, and "crushing" sensations in my head where my brain seemed to lack CSF and where past collisions have occurred. There have been a few times that I've had external head injuries, which lead to temporary loss of consciousness and were also untreated like my seizures. I'm uncertain of the amount of damage to the brain that head injuries and seizures that I have experienced could cause but, certainly, none are good.

Nov 2nd, 2013 1:08pm


BrainLine Footer


BrainLineMilitary.org is supported in part by generous grants
from the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the Infinite Hero Foundation.

Bob Woodruff Foundation  Infinite Hero Foundation

© 2017 WETA All Rights Reserved

Javascript is disabled. Please be aware that some parts of the site may not function as expected!