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  • Writer's pictureDr Josh Bonine DC

Brainstem Injuries as a Result of a Whiplash Trauma

Brainstem Injuries as a Result of a Whiplash Trauma



When eliciting a history from a victim of a traumatic injury, cognitive questions regarding concentration, changes in emotion and difficulty sleeping can be indications of a serious underlying condition. Wenngren et al. (2002) stated that, “Attention and concentration deficits, emotional changes and sleep disturbances are findings explained by possible damage to the basal frontal and upper brain/brainstem structures” (p.122). In this case study, 5% of the patients were labeled with “severe clinical symptoms and cognitive problems” Wenngren et al., 2002, p. 121). Specific neurological testing utilizing Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response, MRI or PET Scans, can be ordered to ensure a traumatic brain injury has not been overlooked. The importance of a precise clinical history and ordering specific objective tests are imperative to properly diagnose and treat patients with possible brainstem lesions due to trauma. These types of patients are often seen in minimal damage accidents and can occur in a single car, no-crash scenario creating a coup-contrecoup injury, which will be the focus of our next educational fax.


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Reference:


Wenngren, B. I., Pettersson, K., Löwenhielm, G., & Hildingsson, C. (2002). Eye motility and auditory brainstem response dysfunction after whiplash injury. Acta Oto-Laryngologica, 122(3), 276-283.

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