Despite intense interest and years of study, the exact mechanisms linking force and neurological injury remain unclear. Researchers know that the membranes separating the skull from the brain play a key role in absorbing shock and preventing damage caused during a head impact, but the details remain largely mysterious. New research from a team of engineers at Washington University in St. Louis takes a closer look at this “suspension system” and the insight it could provide to limit or perhaps prevent TBI.
“The idea was to find out how protective are the layers of membranes that connect the brain to the skull.” During the study, researchers used an imaging technique called magnetic resonance elastography, or MRE, on six volunteers. “We’re putting numbers to it, quantifying how much protection is actually there,” Bayly said. “During our study, 90 percent of the motion to the brain was attenuated.”