MSNBC reported last week on a unique complication affecting some brain injury patients. One brain injury patient’s story was shared. The man was lying in his hospital bed when he demanded to know whose arm was in the bed with him. The man would pick up the arm and try to throw it off the bed only to have the arm come back and hit him in the chest. The victim had no idea that the arm was his own.
As the American Academy of Neurology fellow who was working with the patient explained, the victim was suffered form hemispatial neglect. One of the symptoms of this neglect is that patients become unaware of all happenings on one side of their body. The side of the body where awareness is lost depends on the part of the brain that is injured. There is “cross wiring” in the brain, so that injury to the right side of the brain affects the left side of the body and vice versa. While the damage could occur on either side, almost all cases of hemispatial neglect affect patient’s left side. This is the case, doctors’ suspect, because the right side of the body has visual information processed by both sides of the brain. Therefore, if there is damage to the left side of the brain, the right side can compensate.
Any type of brain damage can result in hemisptial neglect. The patient in this case was a stroke victim, but traumatic brain injury victims, those with tumors, and even degenerative disease sufferers have had the same problem. Our Chicago injury lawyers know that this sort of damage can have profound impacts on the lives of victims. The brain processes visual information in three ways. One form allows the brain to know what it seen, another tells the brain where the thing in sight is located, and then that information is combined with information fromm another part of the brain telling the brain what the object is. If any of those pieces is damaged as a result of a brain injury, then the individual has difficulty interacting with their environment.
It is not an overstatement to say that the human brain remains the most mysterious object on the planet. Our most advanced scientists are only beginning to unravel the mystery and complexity of the organ. As a result, there remain precious few medical treatments that allow victims of brain injuries to fully recover. The most seriously injured often never recover. That is why our Chicago brain injury attorneys urge all community members to remain very cognizant of their actions to minimize potential brain injuries. Of course there are times when things happen which could never have been prevented. Yet, many brain injuries, particularly those caused by blunt head trauma, are the result of the careless actions of another. In those cases, victims can receive compensation for their losses from the wrongdoers. Please visit our office to learn how we can help you receive the timely redress to need to help in your recovery.
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