Everything you need to know about Diffuse Axonal Injury!
The accidents of Road traffic injuries are increasing at a rapid rate nowadays, due to which a person can lose their life or become disabled. Fractures, wounds, and cuts appear externally, but, what happens when internal injuries persist and give the severe symptoms?
Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI) is a type of traumatic brain injury. Those injuries generating the shearing force in the neurons promote the brain tissues to sliding over one another. As a result, the extensive axonal or white matter injury occurs along with several micro tears. Additionally, the nerve cells become swollen, disturbing the nerve signals. The prognosis of Diffuse Axonal injury is not satisfactory. However, conservative management is only an option. As many parts of the brain are affected in diffuse axonal injury, it’s always severe and can even become life-threatening sometimes. Depending on how extensive the injury is and how early the treatment is started, some people may get full recovered, while others may not.
Causes of Diffuse Axonal Injury
The main mechanism causing the diffuse axonal injury is acceleration and deceleration. Mainly, it is the shaking-related injury and damages the brain tissues quite badly. The rapid stress and shearing force over the neurons creates the lesions in the white matter. So, the most common causes that trigger up this mechanism are:
- • Falls
- • Sports-related injuries
- • Blow to the head
- • Motor Vehicle accidents
- • Shaken baby syndrome
Symptoms of Diffuse Axonal Injury
Because of the brain injury, not only just the diffuse axonal injury can occur with the accident, you can suffer from contusions or concussions with DAI. So, it’s important and difficult to identify the problem earlier. If you’ve had a head blow and you shake the head uncontrollably at that time, you should seriously consider the medical checkup.
Also, if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms after falls, sports-related injuries or MVA, you should report to Emergency department right away:
- • Changed cognition or perception
- • Unexplained and sudden change in mood or personality
- • Altered consciousness levels
- • Difficulty in recognizing the words, person, people or place
- • Changes in memory
- • Difficulty in reading and speaking
If the lesions are formed in your motor area of the brain, it can cause motor symptoms too, including trouble walking or coordination. Also, the person with DAI can go into a coma as the disease progresses.
The Diagnoses of DAI
The MRI is the gold standard for determining the lesions in the brain and confirming the DAI. However, CT scan is also suggested to eliminate other related causes. The MRI is contraindicated in those who have the pacemaker implantation, metallic foreign body. If CT scan is not showing up the suggestive findings of DAI but the person is having the symptoms like, unconsciousness, your doctor will suggest getting MRI done.
Diffusion Tensor imaging is a new technique showing the extent of axonal injury even when the MRI findings are not so clear. Complete blood count and other blood tests are also conducted, in order to more clearly specify about the problem.
Treatment of DAI
As stated earlier, the severity of DAI develops the baseline of how to cure the injury. In some people who have high degree of DAI, the chances of regaining the consciousness back is extremely difficult. On contrary, those who have experienced less severe injury have greater chances of recovery.
The main goal is to reduce the swelling of brain and then precede the treatment. Professionals also suggest other therapeutic approaches to optimize the recovery and get the results fast, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, recreational therapy, and adaptive equipment therapy, which can lead to significant improvements.
Stem cell Therapy and DAI
New advanced approach for curing many neurological disorders is stem cell therapy, having the impeccable results on the condition of a person. A recent study published in 2015 in Journal Springerplus revealed that the intrathecal administration of stem cells in patients with traumatic brain injury improve the blood flow in brain, promotes angiogenesis and enhances the oxygen supply to the cells. In this way, the healing and positive mechanisms are generated in your brain with the administration of stem cells in your brain.
Earlier the treatment is started; greater the chances are for recovery. But in case the symptoms are sudden and severe, predicting anything before is crucial. So, treating the DAI is all about implementing the collaborative approach to leave a positive impact on the quality of a sufferer.