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Brain Injury Challenge

Do you wear a helmet when you ride your bike or roller blade? Then you already know that a helmet is a good way to avoid hurting your head. Head injuries are a kind of trauma, which is a medical term for any major injury to the body resulting from accident or violence.

Imagine that you are working alongside a neurologist who has been called to the emergency room, and the following patients with head injuries come through the door. The doctor will make the final diagnosis, but he wants your input based on what you've just learned about the brain. So read each case and decide which part of the brain may have been injured.

Patient #1

Julie arrives by ambulance after being in a car accident. She's complaining that she can't feel anything in her lower body. What part of the body may Julie have injured?
  1. limbic system
  2. cerebellum
  3. spinal cord
  4. brain stem
  5. cerebral cortex

Patient #2

Jackie fell down the stairs and hurt her head. She has difficulty explaining what happened because she has trouble forming simple sentences. What part of the brain may Jackie have injured?
  1. limbic system
  2. cerebellum
  3. spinal cord
  4. brain stem
  5. cerebral cortex

Patient #3

Nathan hurt his head while falling off his bike a few days ago. He was wearing a helmet, but didn't have it on properly (it wasn't covering his forehead). His parents tell you he "just doesn't seem to be the Nathan we know." "He's been shy and quiet since the accident—before he was bubbly and outgoing." What part of the brain may Nathan have injured?
  1. limbic system
  2. cerebellum
  3. spinal cord
  4. brain stem
  5. cerebral cortex
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