What is The Human Brain Stem?
Damage to any part of the human brain can have severe effects on the future of the injured. Especially this is the case when the fragile brain stem is hurt. This vital piece of the brain is located where the spinal cord meets the rest of the brain. Importantly, it controls voluntary functions, such as fine motor control and facial muscles.
The delicate brain stem also controls needed automatic functions, including a person's heartbeat, digestion, and breathing. Due to the stem's role as the main passage between the cerebral cortex and the body, injuries here are often debilitating and life-threatening.
The composition of the Human Brain Stem and Damage Outcomes
The brain stem is made up of several parts.
These parts include the:
- Medulla oblongata
Injuries to any of these areas can affect the rest of the body. Damage due to swelling or similar injury could lead to severe blood issues, including stroke or hemorrhaging. Also, it could cause long-term problems. These include issues with motor control, breathing, or even speaking.
In other cases, such damage can cause severe shifts in personality or even loss of memory. Furthermore, brain stem damage can lead to fainting, coma, and in some cases, paralysis. Some brain stem injury victims have been bedridden or in comas for the remainder of their lives. There are also long-term issues caused by such damage that can lead to sudden death.
- Trends in Treating Brain Stem Injuries
Modern science has made strides to treat such injuries. But brain stem injuries remain decades away from active treatment. Common causes of such an injury include car and motorcycle accidents. There can also be similar injuries due to high falls and work accidents.
These injuries can be especially severe and more likely for children.
- Brain stem injuries have also been the result of contact sports. These can include sports such as football. They can also arise from recreational activities like skateboarding and horseback riding.
All Brain Injuries Carry Risk
No matter what the cause, the effects are almost always severe. Most that suffer from brain stem injuries have extended periods of therapy and hospital care. Such specialized care remains expensive. And the costs of care can bankrupt a family.
Such injuries can also lead to unexpected deaths and add burden to the household. Those that suffer these accidents are often left out of work, and their family is unable to make up for their income.
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