Can a Brain Injury Damage the Reticular Activating System?

Can a Brain Injury Damage the Reticular Activating System?

What exactly is the reticular activating system and is it something that can be damaged from a closed head injury? And if so, can it be fixed or treated?


The reticular activating system (RAS) is the area of the brain responsible for regulating arousal and sleep-wake transitions. Damage to the reticular activating system, which has its origins in the brainstem, can occur after a TBI.

Damage to the RAS is generally not “fixable,” but certainly can be treated with rehabilitation strategies that focus on the awake/sleep cycle, pain management, balance issues, and learning to filter incoming stimuli to discriminate irrelevant background stimuli from what you want to retain.

Posted on BrainLine December 19, 2011.

Comments (1)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

My reticular formation is damaged in the medulla of my brain stem following a stroke.
I am yet to overcome my persistent and chronic daily fatigue, 7 years following the insult.
Any ideas?!