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Explosions may cause bubbles to form on the brain

People in Louisiana who are caught in explosions often sustain traumatic brain injuries. Pressure waves from explosions can damage all parts of the body, but damage to the brain can be particularly severe because the brain doesn’t heal the same way other body parts do. Right now, scientists are not exactly sure how pressure waves damage brain tissue, but they are studying it.

The head of a research team from Brown University presented the group’s findings on the effects of pressure waves on the brain at the Division of Fluid Dynamics of the American Physical Society’s annual meeting on Nov. 23. Data developed by the research team shows evidence that pressure waves may cause bubbles to form in brain tissue. The bubbles may be the cause of brain damage that leads to a TBI.

The lead researcher had already done extensive research on the way that pressure waves such as sonic booms behave in fluids, solids and air. For the new study, the researcher wanted to see how pressure waves behave when they bombard brain cells. Although the team was unable to study actual brains, they used nerve cells grown in proteins to recreate brain-like tissue. The team used a powerful laser to create pressure waves at various intensities. By adjusting the intensity of the laser, the team observed the formation of bubbles in the ‘brain” mixture.

Brain injuries can often result from a motor vehicle accident, and they can vary in severity and cause a range of different cognitive and physical impairments. A person who has sustained a brain injury as the result of the negligence of another motorist may want to have the assistance of a personal injury attorney in seeking compensation from the at-fault party for medical expenses and other applicable damages.

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