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.

Is There Anything I Can Do For A Brain Stem Injury Acquired 35 Years Ago?

Monday, 19 July 2010 04:15 PM

Question: What can I do for a brain stem injury that was acquired 35 years ago?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

A brain stem injury of 35 years duration has no specific treatment that can be useful. I sense it is a miracle that you are alive, given the very fine tolerances and multiple crucial pathways that cross our brain stem area. I presume the cause of your injury was identified and corrected, since you describe no further insults on your brain tissue. Since the damage is now complete, there is no medication or medication combination known to help regenerate or revive injured brain tissue.

There is much interest in various implant treatments for degenerative brain disorders such as Parkinson's disease, but these are not applicable to brain stem injuries since, at our present level of technology, the tolerances within the brainstem are too fine to permit intervention without inflicting extensive damage to adjacent neural pathways. The best analogy I can provide is to look at a bag of broccoli at the supermarket, and imagine that the stem represents your brainstem and the head represents your brain cortex.

There is very little we can do with such tight tolerances in the brainstem, and that is why hemorrhages, injuries, and damage in this area so often cause death.

© HealthDay

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