A wild brawl outside a Los Angeles high school graduation turns tragic when a dude gets hit with a right hook and slams face first into the concrete floor. He first seizes up and then he starts to shake as things take a seriously dark turn.
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Brain damage or brain injury (BI) is the destruction or degeneration of brain cells. Brain injuries occur due to a wide range of internal and external factors. In general, brain damage refers to significant, undiscriminating trauma-induced damage, while neurotoxicity typically refers to selective, chemically induced neuron damage. A common category with the greatest number of injuries is traumatic brain injury (TBI) following physical trauma or head injury from an outside source, and the term acquired brain injury (ABI) is used in appropriate circles to differentiate brain injuries occurring after birth from injury, from a genetic disorder, or from a congenital disorder.
Symptoms of brain injuries can also be influenced by the location of the injury and as a result impairments are specific to the part of the brain affected. Lesion size is correlated with severity, recovery, and comprehension. Brain injuries often create impairment or disability that can vary greatly in severity. In cases of severe brain injuries, the likelihood of areas with permanent disability is great, including neurocognitive deficits, delusions (often, to be specific, monothematic delusions), speech or movement problems, and intellectual disability. There may also be personality changes. The most severe cases result in coma or even persistent vegetative state. Even a mild incident can have long-term effects or cause symptoms to appear years later.
Studies show there is a correlation between brain lesion and language, speech, and category-specific disorders. Wernicke’s aphasia is associated with anomia, unknowingly making up words (neologisms), and problems with comprehension. The symptoms of Wernicke’s aphasia are caused by damage to the posterior section of the superior temporal gyrus. Damage to the Broca’s area typically produces symptoms like omitting functional words (agrammatism), sound production changes, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and problems with comprehension and production. Broca’s aphasia is indicative of damage to the posterior inferior frontal gyrus of the brain.
An impairment following damage to a region of the brain does not necessarily imply that the damaged area is wholly responsible for the cognitive process which is impaired, however. For example, in pure alexia, the ability to read is destroyed by a lesion damaging both the left visual field and the connection between the right visual field and the language areas (Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area). However, this does not mean one suffering from pure alexia is incapable of comprehending speech—merely that there is no connection between their working visual cortex and language areas—as is demonstrated by the fact that pure alexics can still write, speak, and even transcribe letters without understanding their meaning.