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BrainFacts.org

Introduction

Brain and spinal injuries physically damage nerve cells. They can also prevent nerve cells from receiving blood, resulting in cell death, in addition to the damage nerve cells suffer from injury-related trauma. Even after an accident, damage can spread to surrounding tissue, making things worse with time. These changes can cause a variety of symptoms including paralysis, compromised speech, and emotional and memory problems. Scientists are actively searching for new ways to keep cells alive in damaged environments, prompt the brain and spinal cord to generate new cells, and create better rehabilitation programs to help the millions worldwide living with neurological injuries. While advances in imaging technology have enabled physicians to pinpoint injury locations faster, molecular and cellular tools are helping scientists identify chemicals that can protect the brain and spinal cord from further damage. Ongoing research aims to reawaken brain circuits silenced by stroke or injury and drive the creation of new ones.

Discoveries

Source: Society for Neuroscience
Brain lesions have taught scientists a lot about how the brain works.
Source: TED
After a traumatic brain injury, it sometimes happens that the brain can repair itself. Siddharthan Chandran walks through some new techniques using special stem cells that could allow the damaged brain to rebuild faster.
Source: Wellcome Trust
Stroke can affect any part of the brain, resulting in the death of tissue vital for the brain’s normal functions, including language. In this film we meet Tess and Michael, who have each had a stroke affecting language in very different ways.

Injury in the News

Source: TIME
Date: 1 Dec 2014

New study looks at high school athletes.

Source: NPR Shots Blog
Date: 29 Sept 2014
If you have a problem with your heart or liver, the diagnosis is likely to be made by a lab test or medical image. But neurologist Allan Ropper says those tests often fail when it comes to the brain.
Source: LiveScience
Date: 23 July 2014
An ancient skeleton unearthed in Israel may contain the oldest evidence of brain damage in a modern human.