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How A Concussion Affects The Brain

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HOW A CONCUSSION

AFFECTS THE
BRAIN

The brain is a fascinating part of the human anatomy. It is responsible for movement, emotion, reasoning, and vital body functions. However, a concussion can have serious effects on the brain and its ability to perform its many roles. A concussion occurs when the head is jolted or bumped and the brain actually bounces against the inside of the skull.

Click a different part of the brain in order to determine the effect a concussion can have on each part.

BRAINSTEM

Located below the Cerebellum

The brainstem is made up of the midbrain, medulla, and pons. This part of the brain connects the other parts to the spinal cord. The brainstem is responsible for maintaining your vitals like heart rate, breathing, and body temperature. It also contributes to other functions like sneezing, coughing, and swallowing.

Effects of a Concussion: In a concussion caused by sudden head twists, the brainstem can be temporarily separated from the spinal cord, which can effectively sever the corpus callosum (the connective tissues between the right and left hemispheres of the brain). The portion of the brainstem that controls lens focusing in our eyes can be damaged in a concussion, resulting in vision impairment. The brain stem also contributes to nausea when someone has sustained a concussion.

CEREBELLUM

Located below the Cerebrum

The cerebellum is the part of the brain directly under the cerebrum. The primary responsibility of this part of the brain is to help coordinate muscles and maintain balance. Your cerebellum helps you with your posture.

Effects of a Concussion: A concussion that damages the cerebellum can result in uncoordinated and slow movements, dizziness, and/or loss of balance. An individual may stagger and have a lack of coordination when moving. Damage to this area of the brain results in a tendency to fall, slight tremors, an inability to perform rapid movements, and even slurred speech.

TEMPORAL LOBE

Located in the Cerebrum

The temporal lobe, like the parietal lobe, helps us understand what we hear and, therefore, aids our understanding and interpretation of language. It also helps us to retain information and interpret sound. The temporal lobe also contributes to our ability to organize.

Effects of a Concussion: The temporal lobe is another highly vulnerable area of the brain. Damages to the temporal lobe due to closed-head injuries like concussions can result in sensitivity to sounds. A person may have an impaired ability to hear and comprehend language. Damage to the temporal lobe can also affect short and long-term memory, making it difficult if not impossible to remember words, people, things, names, past experiences and more. When this part of the brain is injured, it can also make it hard for someone to get good sleep. Some people may even have seizures after a concussion due to damage to the temporal lobe.

OCCIPITAL LOBE

Located in the Cerebrum

The primary responsibility of the occipital lobe is to help us interpret what we see. It helps us convert the image our eyes see into colors, light, and movement.

Effects of a Concussion: Damage to the occipital lobe can cause sensitivity to light, loss of vision and/or create hallucinations. A person with damage to this area of the brain may experience double vision or have difficulty seeing nearby objects. Problems with vision is a common symptom for individuals who have gotten a concussion.

PARIETAL LOBE

Located in the Cerebrum

The parietal lobe helps us move and determines spatial orientation. It is also responsible for senses, stimuli, and depth perception.

Effects of a Concussion: If damage is caused to the parietal lobe after a concussion, a patient will likely have difficulty reading, or they may get lost a lot. Damage to this area of the brain also impairs a person’s ability to find things. They may also have a hard time distinguishing left from right, making it hard for them to follow navigation and get from one location to the next.

FRONTAL LOBE

Located in the Cerebrum

The frontal lobe in the cerebrum contributes most to your personality. We rely on this section of the brain to determine our behavior, emotions, and rational thinking. The frontal lobe also helps regulate body movement and contributes to our ability to write and speak.

Effects of a Concussion: The frontal lobe is one of the most vulnerable areas of the brain due to its proximity to the skull. A concussion can affect the frontal lobe by impairing judgment, impacting attention span and organization. Serious damage to the frontal lobe caused by concussions or other brain injuries can result in loss of motivation and irrational or impulsive behavior. Other common symptoms that can come from an injury include depression and anxiety, confusion, brain fog, poor concentration, and headaches.

HOW A CONCUSSION AFFECTS THE BRAIN

The brain is a fascinating part of the human anatomy. It is responsible for movement, emotion, reasoning, and vital body functions. However, a concussion can have serious effects on the brain and its ability to perform its many roles. A concussion occurs when the head is jolted or bumped and the brain actually bounces against the inside of the skull.

Click a different part of the brain in order to determine the effect a concussion can have on each part.

BRAINSTEM

Located below the Cerebellum

The brainstem is made up of the midbrain, medulla, and pons. This part of the brain connects the other parts to the spinal cord. The brainstem is responsible for maintaining your vitals like heart rate, breathing, and body temperature. It also contributes to other functions like sneezing, coughing, and swallowing.

Effects of a Concussion: In a concussion caused by sudden head twists, the brainstem can be temporarily separated from the spinal cord, which can effectively sever the corpus callosum (the connective tissues between the right and left hemispheres of the brain). The portion of the brainstem that controls lens focusing in our eyes can be damaged in a concussion, resulting in vision impairment. The brain stem also contributes to nausea when someone has sustained a concussion.

CEREBELLUM

Located below the Cerebrum

The cerebellum is the part of the brain directly under the cerebrum. The primary responsibility of this part of the brain is to help coordinate muscles and maintain balance. Your cerebellum helps you with your posture.

Effects of a Concussion: A concussion that damages the cerebellum can result in uncoordinated and slow movements, dizziness, and/or loss of balance. An individual may stagger and have a lack of coordination when moving. Damage to this area of the brain results in a tendency to fall, slight tremors, an inability to perform rapid movements, and even slurred speech.

TEMPORAL LOBE

Located in the Cerebrum

The temporal lobe, like the parietal lobe, helps us understand what we hear and, therefore, aids our understanding and interpretation of language. It also helps us to retain information and interpret sound. The temporal lobe also contributes to our ability to organize.

Effects of a Concussion: The temporal lobe is another highly vulnerable area of the brain. Damages to the temporal lobe due to closed-head injuries like concussions can result in sensitivity to sounds. A person may have an impaired ability to hear and comprehend language. Damage to the temporal lobe can also affect short and long-term memory, making it difficult if not impossible to remember words, people, things, names, past experiences and more. When this part of the brain is injured, it can also make it hard for someone to get good sleep. Some people may even have seizures after a concussion due to damage to the temporal lobe.

OCCIPITAL LOBE

Located in the Cerebrum

The primary responsibility of the occipital lobe is to help us interpret what we see. It helps us convert the image our eyes see into colors, light, and movement.

Effects of a Concussion: Damage to the occipital lobe can cause sensitivity to light, loss of vision and/or create hallucinations. A person with damage to this area of the brain may experience double vision or have difficulty seeing nearby objects. Problems with vision is a common symptom for individuals who have gotten a concussion.

PARIETAL LOBE

Located in the Cerebrum

The parietal lobe helps us move and determines spatial orientation. It is also responsible for senses, stimuli, and depth perception.

Effects of a Concussion: If damage is caused to the parietal lobe after a concussion, a patient will likely have difficulty reading, or they may get lost a lot. Damage to this area of the brain also impairs a person’s ability to find things. They may also have a hard time distinguishing left from right, making it hard for them to follow navigation and get from one location to the next.

FRONTAL LOBE

Located in the Cerebrum

The frontal lobe in the cerebrum contributes most to your personality. We rely on this section of the brain to determine our behavior, emotions, and rational thinking. The frontal lobe also helps regulate body movement and contributes to our ability to write and speak.

Effects of a Concussion: The frontal lobe is one of the most vulnerable areas of the brain due to its proximity to the skull. A concussion can affect the frontal lobe by impairing judgment, impacting attention span and organization. Serious damage to the frontal lobe caused by concussions or other brain injuries can result in loss of motivation and irrational or impulsive behavior. Other common symptoms that can come from an injury include depression and anxiety, confusion, brain fog, poor concentration, and headaches.

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