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Monday, November 15

Traumatic Brain Injury / Diffuse Axonal Injury

Hi everyone. Stef here. Many thanks to Alison for giving me 'post' permissions. If I can help explain some of the medical intricacies involving Matt's condition, I will try. Kate and I are going to try to connect this evening to go over some of the questions/concerns she has regarding his condition.

Matt's TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) is due to Diffuse Axonal Injury, or DAI (due to shearing of the axons). Axons are the long, slender highways of nerve cells. Bunches of axons coming from the brain's 'gray matter' are usually termed 'white matter'. Axons are key in sending signals within/to/from the brain. They transmit the impulse from one nerve cell to the next - from gray matter to gray matter. Signaling is key in brain activity. When the brain is injured during major trauma (usually from deceleration), brain activity is impaired due to inflammation but also due to stretching and/or 'snapping' of axons. The prognosis for someone with DAI is dependent upon the severity of the shearing. Usually, lesions formed of axonal debris are visible in an MRI.

I wanted to explain all of this because Matt's brain injury is due to axonal shearing. I'm not certain if the doctor's have determined the extent of that just yet. As I said, outcome is variable though, from the literature, more severe cases of DAI remain severely impaired indefinitely. I am hopeful that Matt is not one of these cases. One of the videos I posted on my blog was of Cody. His father let me know, in an email, that Cody hit a tree while skiing out of control on a snowboard. His speed was estimated at over 30 mph. He sustained major TBI / DAI and is now attending college. He spent 2 years in hospital and doesn't remember the first 14 months of it.

I hope this is helpful in some way to those of you who want to know what is going on. It is heartbreaking because progress, at this stage, is very slow.

We love you, Matt Hardie. Hang in there.  - Stef

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very helpful information.
Thank you.

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