[Neuroscience] Re: Did I damage my prefrontal cortex?

Matthew Kirkcaldie via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by Matthew.Kirkcaldie from removethis.utas.andthis.edu.au)
Mon Jan 28 16:33:15 EST 2008

In article 
<ca529bf5-dac9-40f9-8ac6-aae9e42b00e1 from u10g2000prn.googlegroups.com>,
 chadmaester <chad.d.johnson from gmail.com> wrote:

> So, I am wondering two things: 1) how likely is it that I damaged my
> prefrontal cortex (or any other part of my brain); and 2) if I did in
> fact damage my brain, how bad does the damage sound?

It's pretty much impossible to acutely damage the cortex by a physical 
blow without losing consciousness. Of course the forces experienced by 
your head were relatively serious compared to a normal bump on the head, 
but the brain is in a fluid-filled cushioned capsule, suspended by 
elastic fibres within that fluid. If the blow was strong enough for your 
cortex to bump into the skull lining it may or may not have been 
slightly bruised but that would have been assessed at the time you had 
medical attention, and would most likely recover completely.

For a brain injury to cause the personality and behaviour changes you 
describe, it would require damage to the orbital prefrontal cortex, 
which rests on top of the eye sockets - that usually involves some kind 
of trauma to the face where the orbital bones push up into the brain 
there, which is not the kind of injury you had.

Furthermore the fact that you are aware of behaviour changes pretty much 
guarantees that your frontal cortex is intact - if it were damaged to 
produce changed behaviour, your ability to comprehend the difference 
from your previous behaviour would go as well. That's why we feel like 
the same person for our entire lives, despite quite major changes in the 
brain's capabilities, particularly frontal cortex functions like social 
judgement and behavioural regulation.

      Cheers, MK.

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