Head injury research is an essential topic for many reasons. For one, head injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in children under 15 years old (CDC). They also affect 1 out of every three people over the age of 65 who die each year, making them a significant public health concern as we live longer than ever before. So it’s no surprise that this type of research is so vital to our society.
The head is made up of two parts: your brain and your skull. Your brain has nerves on its surface called neurons which send messages to other parts of your body through electrical signals or neurotransmitters. These messages tell you what you see, hear, taste, feel – essentially anything you sense. When a head injury occurs, it is possible that the electrical signals and neurotransmitters will be altered or disrupted, which could leave you with permanent brain damage.
There are three types of head injuries: open, closed, and concussion. Open head injuries occur when penetration of the head by a foreign object such as glass. Closed head injuries are more dangerous and occur when there is no penetration into the head, but damage to its surface or internal organs occurs. Concussions happen when the brain hits the skull.
It is possible to have a head injury and not know it as there may be no pain or visible signs of damage initially. However, head injuries can cause symptoms such as headaches, memory loss, nausea, dizziness, trouble sleeping, fatigue, changes in mood, irritability, and seizures.
Head injuries are dangerous because they can lead to long-term problems that may not be immediately apparent.