Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries affect your life in many ways, but TBI has also been linked to the death of brain tissue after the initial impact. Dr. Sergei Kirov is a neuroscientist at the Medical College of Georgia Regents University, and his latest work has related to researching the damage that a head injury can cause to the brain in the following hours after the initial impact.
After a TBI occurs, both swelling and reduced blood flow take place and connections between neurons begin to die. Smaller cells, also known as astrocytes have been known to swell significantly when an injury occurs. A neuron is typically surrounded by 25 astrocytes and when these small star shaped cells swell up they smother the neuron and connective branches they support. This causes a lot of danger to the brain because astrocytes are responsible for providing physical support, nutrition and biochemical support to the neurons as well as repair and scarring of the brain following an injury.
These neurons will only take so much before they run out of energy and stop functioning, even though it has been said that they will still survive for hours after this happens, possibly giving doctors enough time to help, unless depolarization takes place.
“Like the plus and minus ends of a battery, neurons must have a negative charge inside and a positive charge outside to fire,” Kirov said, and for the brain, firing is a way of communication.
If the injury is serious enough, spreading depolarization can occur and is known for killing brain cells and brain tissue. This occurs abundantly in individuals that suffer from a TBI and can be identified by swelling of neurons, distortion of dendritic spines, and silencing of brain activity. Depolarization can also occur without a brain injury; instead it is a healthy way of firing neurons. Researchers found that when depolarization occurred brain cells were completely recovered but were only partially recovered if injured.
Dr. Kirov is far from finished when it comes to studying the brain and head injuries. He stated that he plans on researching astrocytes and whether their swelling after an injury is a form of protection or a damaging reaction, as well as better ways to protect the brain from injuries.
Matthew A. Dolman, Esq., is a traumatic brain injury attorney. He has built a reputation among his peers for successful outcomes obtained for victims of traumatic brain injury. For more information or to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation, please call the injury law attorneys at the Dolman Law Group today at: (727) 451-6900.Google+