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Patterns in anoxic brain injury

Anoxic brain injury can result from anything that causes an inadequate supply of oxygen to the brain-carbon monoxide poisoning, respiratory arrest, or anemia, for instance. Certain parts of the brain are vulnerable to this decrease in oxygen, and these parts of the brain are responsible for functions such as memory, motor skills, and visual perception.

Anoxic brain injuries do not occur as frequently as traumatic brain injuries and therefore research is relatively limited. However, since there are certain brain areas thought to be vulnerable to anoxia, there should also be fairly clear clinical and functional patterns of impairment.

A recent study combining multi-causal cases of anoxic brain injury found that anoxic brain injury patients did indeed have poor scores in memory and visual perception (but not significantly in motor skills). As compared to traumatic brain injury patients, anoxic brain injury patients were more likely to acquire late onset seizures, have poorer scores in short-term and visual memory tasks, and show less progress in rehabilitation.

Fitzgerald A, Aditya H, Prior A, McNeill E, & Pentland B. Anoxic brain injury: Clinical patterns and functional outcomes. A study of 93 cases. Brain Injury. (September 2010).


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