Brain injuries are probably more common than you realize. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 214,000 people were hospitalized for non-fatal brain injuries in 2020. Another 64,000 died from these injuries that year.
Not all these brain injuries produce the same outcomes. A minor concussion injury could give you a headache and make you nauseous for a few days without producing any lasting cognitive or emotional symptoms. A parietal lobe injury, on the other hand, could alter your perception, coordination, or personality.
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What Is the Organization of Your Brain?
Your brain controls your entire body. It gathers information through your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin. It then generates control signals in response to the sensory input. These control signals may require conscious thought or may happen automatically.
Your brain consists of roughly 85 billion neurons. These brain cells communicate with each other using a combination of electrical and chemical signals. The chemical signals come from neurotransmitters. These chemicals tell the neuron when and how to fire to send a signal.
The electrical signals result from ions. A neuron “fires” by moving ions from its interior to its exterior. Since ions have an electrical charge, moving them to the surface causes the neuron to fire.
Scientists do not know exactly how these firing signals store and transmit information. They suspect that the amount of activity, such as the pattern and frequency of the firing, relates to the content of the message. They have also observed that neurons create connections when you form a memory and then fire together when you recall it.
Neurons that perform the same or related functions sit together within brain regions. By having neurons specialize in certain functions, the brain can devote different levels of brain power to different tasks. Scientists refer to these regions as “lobes.”
How Do Brain Injuries Happen?
Brain injuries can happen in many ways. According to the CDC, there are several common causes of brain injuries.
Falls, including falls from an elevated location and slip and fall accidents, are the top cause of brain injuries. These types of accidents account for over half of all brain injuries, according to the CDC. Thus, a fall from a ladder in a workplace accident can cause brain trauma when you hit your head.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car accidents also cause many brain injuries. Your body experiences powerful forces in automobile collisions that can bruise and tear the brain tissues even if you do not hit your head. You can also get ejected from your vehicle, leading to head trauma and brain injuries.
Assaults, including gun violence, are the leading cause of fatal brain injuries. Weapons, like guns and knives, can penetrate the skull and damage the brain’s physical structure. They can also cause bleeding in the brain.
What Are Some Examples of Parietal Lobe Injuries?
You can damage the parietal lobe in many ways, such as the following types of brain injuries:
Concussions happen when your brain gets shaken inside your head. The cushioning that surrounds your brain prevents it from slamming into the skull. But in doing so, it presses against the brain, damaging the cells.
The parietal lobe sits at the top of your brain, slightly behind the center line. You can suffer a concussion to this area of your brain when your head whips back rapidly or when you hit the top of your head.
Concussions are mild brain injuries that rarely cause death.
Contusions are bruises on your brain. They happen when you suffer such severe head trauma that the brain overcomes the cushioning of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and meningeal membranes and smashes into the skull. The impact ruptures small blood vessels in your brain, causing a bruise.
Bleeding in the brain causes two problems. First, the ruptured blood vessels cannot deliver blood to the brain. Your brain cells use 15-20% of the blood flowing in your body. When the blood flow gets disrupted, brain cells begin to die within just a few minutes.
Second, the leaking blood generates pressure in the brain. The pressure can damage brain cells and squeeze additional blood vessels, causing the damage to spread.
Contusions often produce severe symptoms that lead to permanent brain damage, coma, or death.
Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI)
Brain cells have three parts. The dendrites receive signals. Those signals travel down the axon to the soma, where the cell processes the received information and sends out signals.
When your head whips back and forth in a car accident or other traumatic event, the axons can tear. Without the axon, the received signals cannot reach the cell’s processor, and the signal gets lost. These injuries produce permanent brain damage, coma, or death.
Anoxic injuries happen when your brain is deprived of oxygen.
Anoxic injuries can result from:
- Poisoning, particularly carbon monoxide poisoning
- Smoke inhalation
Without oxygen, brain cells begin to die within just a few minutes. You will suffer permanent brain damage after four minutes without oxygen and die roughly four minutes after that.
A subdural hematoma is the medical term for bleeding in the brain. These injuries happen when a blood vessel ruptures underneath the dura mater, a membrane that protects the brain. The membrane fills with blood and squeezes the brain. If doctors cannot relieve the pressure, a subdural hematoma will kill you.
What Are the Potential Symptoms of Parietal Lobe Injuries?
The parietal lobe performs several higher-order brain functions.
Primary processing of sensory information happens elsewhere in the brain. The parietal lobe gathers these perceptions and assembles them into your image of the environment full of images, sounds, and smells. A parietal lobe injury can prevent you from forming a coherent image of your environment.
Recall of Learned Movements
The parietal lobe handles non-verbal memory. When you learn a movement, it gets stored here. A parietal lobe injury can interfere with your ability to learn or perform movements like typing or driving.
The parietal lobe tells you where you are in the world and where objects sit relative to each other. When you damage this brain region, you have difficulty assembling parts and reaching for objects. You might even lose your ability to write and confuse your right and left sides.
Your parietal lobe helps you understand your body’s condition. Victims of parietal lobe injuries might neglect to bathe and deny that they have any deficits from their brain injury. Your personality might even change.
Can I Get Compensation For a Parietal Lobe Injury?
You can pursue compensation when someone else’s actions lead to your brain injury. Your injury claim can stem from either intentional or negligent conduct. Thus, you could pursue a claim when a driver deliberately hits you in a road rage crash or negligently hits you in a traffic accident.