What is a Diffuse Axonal Brain Injury?

Diffuse Axonal Brain Injury (TBI) From Accident MN Lawyers

A Diffuse Axonal Injury (or DAI) is a type of Traumatic Brain Injury. It occurs in about half of all severe head traumas, which makes it one of the most common brain injuries.  It is called diffuse because unlike other brain injuries that are “focal” (i.e. occurring in a particular area of the brain), this type of injury is widespread, affecting a larger area. Our personal injury lawyers have represented many people with a brain injury of this type and others because of a car accident, work accident, or slip fall or other type of accident in Minnesota.

A diffuse axonal injury is caused by the movement of the brain within the skull. Unlike hematomas and hemorrhages, where the brain damage involves bleeding, a diffuse axonal injury affects individual nerve fibers.  Nerve fibers are composed of a neuron body and an axon.  Nerves function by sending signals from the neuron body down the axon to other nerves.  When a diffuse axonal injury occurs from an accident, a shearing force severs the axons of nerve fibers, interrupting nerve communication. This can disrupt functions like movement, speech, and even those that support life. While a diffuse axonal injury can occur in moderate and mild brain injuries, they can also be quite severe. DAI is one of the leading causes of death in people with traumatic brain injury.

Symptoms of Diffuse Axonal Brain Injury

The symptom that is most evident from this type of brain injury after an accident is loss of consciousness. However, our MN accident lawyers have seen cases where the victim appeared conscious but then had other symptoms associated with the injury, depending on which areas of the brain have been affected.  Medical providers will evaluate a patient’s response to questions, stimuli and testing.  In addition, the following diagnostic tests are also likely to be performed:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – this test uses magnets, radio waves and a computer to show detailed cross-sections of the brain.
  • CT scan- this test uses a machine similar to an x-ray and computer to show detailed images of the interior of the brain.
  • Evoked Potentials – these tests look at the visual, auditory, and sensory pathways in the brain.
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) – this test measures the electrical activity in the brain.

Treatment of Diffuse Axonal Injury:

Initial treatment of a diffuse axonal injury depends on the severity of the injury. Immediate measures may include medications to reduce the swelling inside the brain, followed by rehabilitation when the patient is stabilized and awake.  A multi-disciplinary approach is often used to treat a DAI brain injury, which includes doctors, nurses, therapists and other specialists.  The rehabilitation phase may include:

  • Speech Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Adaptive Equipment Training
  • Counseling
  • Vocational Therapy
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Neurologists

Compensation for Diffuse Axonal Brain Injury – MN Personal Injury Lawyer

The road to recovery after a brain injury can be long and difficult. Because a diffuse axonal injury is usually permanent, it can forever affect your ability to work and earn money, engage with your friends and family, or otherwise enjoy your life. Our TBI lawyers have had considerable experience in handling accident cases for diffuse axonal brain injury victims in Minnesota. Our top brain injury attorneys have worked with many qualified experts – neuropsychologists, neurologists, vocational experts and economists – in order to obtain the recovery necessary to fairly compensate our brain injury clients. We have the experience to understand what the brain injury victim and family are going through, and we have the patience and perseverance to stay with you in this difficult journey. Our brain injury lawyers know how to represent the victim and family to get the best possible settlement for medical bills and other compensation, but we also know how to work with the injured person and family to help them through the process of getting treatment and accommodating the temporary or permanent challenges that come with this type of brain injury. If you or a loved one have sustained a brain injury (TBI) in an accident, please call as and speak with an accident injury lawyer for a free consultation.