Neuropathology of Brain Injury
Neuropathology of brain injury is the actual physical side of brain injury. It is the difference between the normal pathology a person might have before suffering traumatic brain injury and the pathology after the accident that caused the brain injury. I have listed two sources below if you are interested in learning more about neuropathology of the brain:
- Graham, Greenfield’s Neuropathology, 6th Edition, ©Arnold, 1997.
- Narayan, Neurotrauma, ©McGraw-Hill, 1996.
A. Brain Injury is an Evolving Process not Just a Specific Event.
Understanding neuropathology of brain injury beyond the level it is covered here for most people is not worth the energy. For me it was unquestionably the most difficult field. But when I committed myself to understanding this area, I relied on the two above resources for my study aids. The most important lesson was that brain injury was a process that did not allow a full diagnosis to be made at 20 minutes, but only days after the event.
Greenfield’s is the most expensive book I own, but is still the consummate treatise, although I have found that its latest edition has added changed little beyond what was written in the 1990’s, despite exploding research on brain injury. Still the nuts and bolts of neuropathology has been little changed by the more recent research, because most of what is covered in Greenfield’s is learned from autopsy.
B. Understanding the Risk Factors for Poor Outcomes after Brain Injury.
I have often written about the significance of the vulnerability of a given individual to brain injury as perhaps the single most critical factor in predicting outcome following a MTBI or concussion. The most significant of the premorbid factors for predicting poor outcome are age over 40; history of prior brain injury and prior history of anxiety disorders.