Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Doreen, Aug 1, 2010.
upon receiving a blow to the head? (sometimes, that is)
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Google is your friend. I typed in your question and got this.
Thanks for that but I googled and ask jeeved my question also and read that answer amongst others. I found that answer lacking. He or she lists a lot of things he or she thinks the brain must handle in that situation, says it is too much and so the mind shuts off because of overload. But this is just guessing. Consciousness could continue, for all we know, just blasted with white noise and something like TV screen snow. Why lots of tasks/stimuli leads to shut off is not really dealt with.
I liked this answer better....
but he more or less says he's not sure.
I think the question is tough because it gets close to the issue of consciousness in general.
I don’t know about blunt trauma but I do know a little about epilepsy, so I’ll speculate......
The behavioural manifestations of epileptic seizures in humans range from mild twitching to loss of consciousness and uncontrollable convulsions. Loss of consciousness and uncontrollable convulsions can also be the symptoms of an acute trauma to the head. So maybe there’s a common element to the neuropathology?
Epilepsy is a brain disorder caused by the rhythmic firing of large groups of neurons. Epileptic seizures are thought to originate from hyperexcitable regions in the cerebral cortex. The cortex is the outermost part of the brain and would receive the greatest shock wave from a blow to the head. Furthermore, epileptic seizures can be caused by a variety of acute factors, including cortical damage from trauma, stroke or tumours.
So, all this leads me to speculate that trauma to the head might initiate a hyperexcitable focus in cerebral cortex similar to that of epilepsy and results in unconsciousness just like it can in epileptic seizures.
There is a nerve that runs just behind the jawbone. Boxers/fighters call this 'the button'. if you hit a person in the face/jaw in such way that the other side of the jawbone pinches back on that nerve, they can drop like a rock. Like a 'button' turning them off. Other times, as many of you who watch fights know, a shot can 'rock' a fighter. He didn't get shut down, but his brain is not functioning properly. This is a system-wide condition. Often it's called 'rubber legs' in a fight, as the person is still awake but they lose their balance(due to semicircular sloshing) and their muscle control via the nervous system impact.
The brain floats in fluid to keep it nice and cushy. A blow to the head, or any of the forces that can cause the brain to 'bump' into the skull cause a nervous system overload and we shut down too. These cause damage to the brain over time, hence a 'punch drunk' fighter, or one who shows Parkinsonian symptoms like Ali.
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