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Animated Deceleration Injury from a Traumatic Brain Injury Animated Deceleration Injury from a Traumatic Brain Injury

Comments [34]

Click on any phrase to play the video at that point.
During a sudden deceleration, as shown in the beginning of the animation sequences, the brain violently impacts against the inner surface of the skull at two times--first when the head impacts with the airbag or otherwise stops its forward motion and begins its immediate, rapid, violent reversal of motion, and second when the head impacts against the headrest and repeats the immediate, rapid, violent reversal of motion. By observing the collision from a view that follows the motion of the head, one can appreciate the deformation of the brain as it violently impacts against the front and back of the skull. When the impacts of the brain against the skull are viewed in slow motion, the shock waves that travel through the brain during the impacts can be observed. Close inspection of an area of the outer surface of the brain and inner surface of the skull during the initial impact shows the soft, fragile brain scraping against the hard, jagged inner surfaces of the skull to create shearing forces. As the gray matter, comprised of cell bodies, and the white matter, comprised of axons, are of two different densities, the shearing forces create a plane of cleavage where many axonal injuries occur. The axons may be completely torn, partially torn, or separated from their connections with other cells. Thousands or even millions of scattered axons may be torn, but unless some of the larger and more resilient arteries are also torn, no bleeding occurs. Traditional imaging studies such as CT or MRI are not nearly sensitive enough to detect individual axonal injuries or even relatively large groups of axonal injuries. CT and MRI are designed to detect areas of bleeding. Unless a blood vessel or multiple vessels are torn, creating a relatively large bleed, these studies fail to demonstrate any findings that would indicate the presence of multiple, widespread, and microscopic axonal injuries that can result in devastating neuropsychological deficits. In situations when the forces involved are severe enough to result in injury to the blood vessels, the injuries to the axons are even more severe. An injury to one or more blood vessels results in the release of red blood cells into the surrounding brain tissue. CT and MRI are designed to detect blood or, after a period of time, the remnants of blood, called hemosiderin. Large quantities of red blood cells must hemorrhage from a blood vessel or blood vessels to be detectable on CT or MRI. If even one small hemorrhage occurs that is detectable, it is an indicator that there are likely vast numbers of associated axonal injuries that are not depicted in the scan.

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Learn more about what happens to the brain in a car crash.

Transcript of this Video.

© Medivisuals. For display on BrainLine.org website ONLY. Permission to use in litigation may be obtained by contacting Medivisuals.com.

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Comments [34]

I was in a car accident on October 24th 2013. Since then I have been living with a diffuse axonal injury, & slight memory problems. I am thankful to be alive though. I will be in recovery & rehabilitation for years.

Aug 7th, 2016 8:02pm

Like everyone else thanks 6 months ago a drunk driver pulled in front of me . 

I hit him i was riding my motorcycle 1  month later i woke up in the hospital with a moderate T.B.I.  

This site is best to inform a person Ive been doing since i learned how to type


Feb 6th, 2016 8:54pm

What about if a tbi person that already has injuries to a previous car accident.. is involved in a second car accident.. can that person has more injure to it..or how can I tell........is my tbi adult son case....

Jan 12th, 2016 5:01pm

This is a great way to "Bring home" the affects of Shaken Baby Syndrome to students in my class. Very easy to understand.

Oct 7th, 2015 8:21am

Does your brain ever feel like its moving and you cant hold thoughts.

Sep 8th, 2015 8:11pm

Very well done on this video and want to say that this site is a leading site for TBI information for me and I am sure others.  In 2010 I was involved in an ATV wreck and I was not wearing my helmet.  One month later I woke up and since that day I have tried to continue to my education in this matter.  Your site continues to be my number one resource....Thank You!!!

Apr 28th, 2015 5:59pm

I was in a dirt bike wreck 7 years ago.  Having problems.  MRI's come back negative.  Thank You So Much For This Article!!

Apr 28th, 2015 5:35pm

An excellent video with lots of valuable information and easy to understand.

I have had many minor and medium brain impacts over my 67 years. I suffer from a number of conditions which might be relevant. The one thing I remember my doctor asking was if I had ever lost consciousness. My answer, perhaps briefly, once or twice. I have had MRIs and I believe one CT. All were apparently unremarkable for TBI.

After viewing the video I am questioning whether a SPECT scan, fMRI or other procedure might be more definitive.

Feb 17th, 2015 7:14pm

 i fell 11 ft and broke my fall with my forehead on concrete wall, the dr. said i have this...now i understand the difficulties ...it is a great video for siblings to read and see what there ignorance limits them to in understand a person with a tbi

Oct 25th, 2014 10:52am

It is also interesting to know that those axonal connections are as fine as the fibers of cotton candy.

Jun 11th, 2014 10:57pm

A SPECT Scan can show the real damage done to the brain. For more information, go to www.cerescan.com

Jun 11th, 2014 8:03pm

I found the information regarding the use of MRI/CT for detection of blood interesting. After my TIA, since there was nothing on those tests, the neurologist declared nothing wrong. Only AFTER a neuropsych eval(months later) were deficits detected. What, if any, testing can be done for axonal damage? I've read about functional MRI's.

Jun 11th, 2014 10:13am

truly informative and very nice animated presentation to be shown to medical students and general public.

Jun 7th, 2014 1:15am

thankyou so much ...helped me a lot

Mar 7th, 2014 4:45pm


May 6th, 2012 8:47am

very educatinal tnanks

Feb 25th, 2012 6:22am

You'll NEVER know how much this has helped THANK YOU THANK YOU

Jan 1st, 2012 11:27am

The information on the humaan brain provided in the media is highly appreciable and holds great potential for motivating the upcoming students to carry research on the functioning of the most complex organ of the human body.

Jan 1st, 2012 6:46am

great video explains a lot to me as I have had a brain injury and vital to help me cope and manage my condition well done

Dec 15th, 2011 2:19pm

This video gave me insight of my child's brain injery in his child hood.

Jul 20th, 2011 8:18am

thanks and welldone

Jul 2nd, 2011 1:06am

Thank you. I want to learn more.

Jun 30th, 2011 6:43am

Thank you so much for this excellent tutorial. Everyone should see it.

Jun 29th, 2011 10:15am

very educative

Jun 15th, 2011 1:29am


May 31st, 2011 2:30am

i am to happy to see it

May 29th, 2011 12:53pm


May 4th, 2011 6:04am

Excellent resource! would be a great patient/family education resource.

Apr 9th, 2011 9:00am

neat job!! :)

Apr 8th, 2011 7:27am

This Video Made Me S M A R T : )

Apr 5th, 2011 7:58am

very nice video.

Mar 26th, 2011 3:46pm

very nice and smart..

Feb 13th, 2011 4:03pm

smart informative video

Jan 27th, 2011 10:24am

nice video

Jan 16th, 2011 9:00am


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