New Study Finds Whiplash Caused Brain Injury In Over 20 Percent Of Cases

By Paul Mitchell, Q.C.
Categories: Blog, Personal Injury

Preliminary findings show that the connection between whiplash and brain injury is more significant than thought.

While it has long been known that whiplash can cause injuries to the cervical spine, a new study published in the July issue of the journal Brain Injury, “Chiari and whiplash Injury”, co-authored by Ezriel E. Kornel, M.D. F.A.C.S., Michael D. Freeman, Ph.D., and others) shows that whiplash may also cause anatomical changes that can result in brain injury in some cases.

The study, one of the few to look at the connection between whiplash and brain injury, examined the MRI scans of 1200 neck pain patients and found that those patients suffering from whiplash were more likely to have anatomical changes to the brain resulting in brain injury, specifically, a herniation of the brain called “Chiari malformation”, in which the bottom part of the brain (the cerebellum) dips through an opening in the base of the skull after a whiplash injury. Preliminary findings showed that brain injury occurred in 23% of the whiplash cases studied.

According to Dr. Kornel, a principal with Brain & Spine Surgeons of New York in White Plains, N.Y., "This condition can be quite painful and endanger the patient’s health, with symptoms that may include headaches, neck pain, upper extremity numbness and tingling, and weakness. In a few cases, there can also be lower extremity weakness and brain dysfunction." Dr. Kornel advises anyone suffering from whiplash to see a physician immediately.

Dr. Kornel is a leader in minimally invasive endoscopic surgery of the spine, as well as minimally invasive approaches in the surgical treatment of brain tumors. Dr. Kornel has been a principal of Brain & Spine Surgeons of New York since 1990. He currently serves on the board of directors of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

A copy of the study is here "Chiari and Whiplash Injury,"

Paul Mitchell, Q.C.is a BC personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience with brain injury claims. He acts for the brain injured all over BC, and will not act for ICBC or any other insurance company.

Paul was a founding Director of BrainTrust Canada (Central Okanagan Brain Injury Society), and was on their board for over 25 years. He has presented at numerous brain injury conferences, including the Naramata Brain Injury Conference, and the BC Brain Injury Conference in Vancouver. He is also the author of many articles and publications on brain injury.

For more information on brain injuries, or for a confidential discussion of your brain injury claim, contact Paul Mitchell, Q.C. at 250-869-1115 (direct line), or send him a confidential email at mitchell@pushormitchell.com