What is a diffuse axonal injury?

axonA diffuse axonal injury is caused by a shaking or rotation of the head that causes the brain to move within the skull.  Nerve tissue is torn or sheared (thus, these are also called shearing injuries)and the brain may release chemicals that cause more injury. It’s common in car accidents and can occur without a skull fracture or brain contusion.

Diffuse axonal injuries can be very difficult to diagnose because CT Scans and MRIs may not detect them and they may result in permanent cognitive and behavioral injuries.

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