Loss of Memory due to Diffuse Brain Injury

One of the most difficult of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) to diagnose is diffuse brain injury. This is because the damage is so small that it will not even show up in a computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the default diagnostic tools for TBI. The patient is also often lucid and asymptomatic right after the traumatic event; symptoms develop later. A diffuse brain injury or diffuse axon injury (DAI) is said to have occurred when trauma to the head causes axons (brain nerve fibers) to be displaced. Axons are the pathways that connect one area of the brain with another.

When axons are misshapen or twisted, it can cause a disconnect between neurons which can have serious consequences for the patient. Aside from loss of memory, there may be difficulty in communicating, cognitive processing, speaking or moving. However, the effects develop gradually in the following two to three weeks so those around the patient may not even be aware of any changes at first. The most common cause of DAI is whiplash, which is when a person’s head is thrust forward and then back violently, such as during a car accident. The trauma patient would receive treatment for possible concussion, but since the patient will not lose consciousness even with DAI, the initial vigilance for TBI will be relaxed.

In the meantime, the DAI may progress, and symptoms may include frequent headaches, difficulty in focusing, dizziness and loss of memory. In most cases, the traumatized axons will regenerate over time unless the damage is extensive. However, even a temporary loss of memory and decreased cognitive and physical function can have a disastrous impact on a person’s career, resulting in loss of income, which can lead to long-term financial and emotional problems. If you suffer from DAI due to the negligent actions of others, consult with a personal injury lawyer to assess your case and recover the appropriate damages due to loss of memory and other DAI effects.

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