Researchers at the Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico say the injury occurs prior to any overall motion of the head following impact. And that, they said, is a new concept to consider for physicians interested in traumatic brain injury.
Paul Taylor of Sandia's Multiscale Computational Materials Methods Department and Corey Ford, a University of New Mexico neurologist, made the discovery after modeling early time wave interactions in the human head following impact with a windshield.
Traumatic brain injury is associated with loss of functional capability of the brain to perform cognitive, motor and memory tasks.
"In the past not a lot of attention was paid to modeling early time events during TBI," Taylor said, it recently has received more attention because of the many U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq with head injuries caused by blast waves from explosive devices.
Taylor says modeling brain injury is a far more humane way to study scenarios leading to TBI than the traditional trial-and-error approach using laboratory animals.