Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Can a Brain Stem Injury Be Reversed?

Thursday, 05 November 2009 03:17 PM

Question: Can a brain stem injury be reversed?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Brain stem injuries vary from mild to severe. They may involve the vital life-sustaining areas of our brain, our cranial nerves and the central nuclei necessary for basic functions such as breathing, balance, temperature regulation etc. Without an intact brainstem, the upper level cognitive, emotional, sensory, motor and abstract functions of our cerebral hemispheres are gone. Brain stem structural injury is usually very serious, and aggressive life support measures are usually necessary initially. It is impossible to generalize all brain stem injuries, since some are recoverable, but often with accompanying defects. Conventional teaching said that brain injury is irreversible, but I have found that there are times when an apparently devastating injury has had a degree of recovery that cannot always be predicted.

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