The Brain Stem is the part of the brain connects the spinal cord to the rest of the brain.  It controls involuntary muscles such as the stomach and the heart. The brain stem also acts as a relay station between the brain and the rest of the body. As personal injury attorneys, clients with serious brain stem injuries from car accidents have decreased quality of life.  Their brain stem injuries can lead to permanent conditions such as paraplegia and quadriplegia. Every year, about 1.4 million people have some type of brain injury in the United States.  Another 5.3 million people suffer from the effects of brain damage.  Permanent injury is just one of the possible outcomes of brain damage.  About 50,000 people die as a result of a brain injury inflicted on them. Since the brain stem controls several functions, an injury to the brain stem affects other areas.  The symptoms of such an injury are similar to a normal brain injury, and the effect it has is about the same.  Examples include memory problems, difficulty concentrating, difficulty staying focused and physical defects including the inability to walk, remain balanced, and a loss of strength. Paralysis (paraplegia and quadriplegia) could occur when the brain stem is damaged since it is directly linked to the spiral cord.  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to properly identify the beginning signs of paralysis.  Recovery is possible in some cases but is dependent on the severity of brain damage. The brain stem is especially vulnerable to injury caused by rear impact to the head.  Injuries such as whiplash are prime candidates to cause brain stem injuries.  The brain stem may be small in size, but large in terms of its importance.  As personal injury attorneys, we stress the importance to getting proper medical care if you feel the onsets of any brain injury. Please contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION with an experienced personal injury attorney -- in either English or Spanish -- at (800) 655-6585 or click here to submit your case for a Free Review.