Myth 3: One must strike one’s head in order to suffer a traumatic brain injury.

Through movies and television, we have all come to expect that in order to suffer a brain injury one must either strike their head or have their head struck by a foreign object. This is not so. The brain has the consistency of gelatin. Think of the brain and skull as being similar to a bowl of gelatin, except that unlike a bowl, the underside of the skull is rough with many bony protuberances. These ridges can result in injury to the temporal lobe of the brain during rapid acceleration.

When the head is struck or undergoes acceleration/deceleration forces, the impact causes the brain to bump the opposite side of the skull. Damage then occurs at the area of impact and on the opposite side of the brain. This is called coup contre coup.

You can read my other posts on the 10 myths of traumatic brain injuries here.