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Why might a crash-related brain injury fail to heal?

On Behalf of | May 19, 2023 | Personal Injury

If you suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a car accident, it could take a long time to heal. The path to healing is often extensive, sometimes involving months in the hospital and months or even years of recovery at home. Sustaining a TBI is a significant event because the brain is such a fragile organ and healing can take a long time.

In some cases, healing doesn’t happen at all. It may happen immediately after the event, and some skills and abilities may return. But that healing will then hit a plateau and will not continue any further. People often wonder why they can’t make a full recovery from a brain injury the way they would from something like a broken bone.

For the most part, your brain can’t create new neurons

The reason for this is that, for the most part, your brain doesn’t have any ability to create new neurons. There are two very specific areas that have some limited ability to do this. But most of the brain can’t do it at all. Instead, you are simply born with all the neurons that you’re going to have. If these are lost, they are lost forever. Other types of tissue, like skin or bone, are reliant on new cells as they heal. Since your brain cannot create any new neurons, it can’t replace the ones that were lost in the accident.

So why does some healing happen? As noted, there is a limited ability to create some new neurons, along with other cell types. But what is more common is that the brain will look for new pathways within the neural tissue. In some cases, the brain can essentially “reprogram” itself to find a way to heal even though the brain cells are not being replaced. It finds new neural pathways to send the electrical signals as necessary.

But that is also why this level of healing will sometimes hit a plateau. There’s only so much that the brain can do to seek out these new neural pathways, and all skills and abilities may never return. Full healing may not happen.

What options do you have?

If you are facing a lengthy recovery, or possibly an injury that may not fully heal, take time to seek legal guidance. You may be entitled to significant compensation from parties that are at fault for your crash and the harm it caused.