What is the brain and how does it get injured?
- The Brain is an organ within the skull composed of mainly fat and water.
- There are two main types of brain cells:
1.) Neurons: messenger cells that transmit and receive electro-chemical signals.
2.) Glia: Supportive cells that provide structure and aide neurons in their ability to fire by maintaining a proper brain environment.
- Injury to the brain can occur through contact (like a strike to the head) or inertial forces (like slamming on the breaks in your car).
- Due to its soft and malleable nature, the brain is subject to shearing forces which damage its neurovascular (nervous and blood) structures.
The importance of shear forces were confirmed in series of studies across different laboratories, leading to the conventional wisdom that shear deformation caused by rotational acceleration is the predominant mechanism of injury in concussion.