Brain Anatomy FAQ

The Basics Of How The Brain Works

Weighing in at about 3 pounds — about 2 percent of a person’s body weight — the brain has six major regions, each with special functions. A brain injury affects each person differently.

Determining which of the six regions suffered injury is a primary concern. Neuropsychological tests can measure the extent, severity and location of a brain injury. Speech, writing and reasoning may be affected when the left side of the brain is injured. Artistic skill, music enjoyment and other creative pursuits are often associated with the right hemisphere. Other tasks require coordinated functioning between the two hemispheres. Memory is one of these.

The lawyers at in San Francisco understand the challenges. We have represented others who have struggled with the long-term consequences of these injuries. An accurate diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment are critical for recovery. Our team has the skill and experience to obtain the best possible results for you.

Your Body’s Computer

The human brain is part of the central nervous system and acts like a computer. Protection is provided by the skull and three layers of membranes, or meninges.

  • Skull — formed by 28 different bones with two regions: cranial and facial. The cranial area of the skull (cranium) provides a protective layer of bone covering the brain.
  • Meninges — consist of three layers: pia mater, arachnoid mater and dura mater. The acronym for these three layers is PAD. In a sense, they serve to pad the brain.
    • Pia mater — a very thin, delicate membrane containing blood vessels that adheres to the surface of the brain and spinal cord.
    • Arachnoid mater — a transparent membrane that provides a cushioning effect. Its name is based on its spider web appearance of fibrous tissue. The subarachnoid space is the space between the arachnoid and the pia mater, which is filled with spinal fluid.
    • Dura mater — a thicker, durable membrane attached to the skull that contains larger blood vessels that feed the capillaries in the pia mater and support the veins that carry blood from the brain to the heart.
  • Brain stem — At the base of the brain near bony protrusions, this area is vulnerable to damage during trauma. The brain stem serves to provide an individual with basic attention, arousal and consciousness, and handles basic survival functions such as breathing and heart rate.

Any trauma that causes brain swelling pushes fluid against the skull. This can cause the brain to push down on the brain stem. Compression of the brain stem can damage the part of the brain that is responsible for consciousness. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Altered heart rate
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Abnormal breathing patterns
  • Inability to control movement

We work diligently to ensure that our clients recover full and fair compensation after suffering traumatic brain injuries. Our past results reflect this dedication.

Schedule A Consultation Now

For more than 30 years, our attorneys have helped individuals and families deal with traumatic brain injuries from mild to severe. To find out how we can help, please call our office at 415-421-7995 or toll-free at 888-745-2988, or send us a message to set up an appointment. We offer free initial consultations to address your concerns.

Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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