Woman using cold compress for headache relief Woman using cold compress for headache relief

Does Neurostorming Mean the Brain is Healing?

If you hurt your head, you might experience something called neurostorming. This happens when your sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive as your body gets alerted of the head getting hurt.

This system usually makes your body ready to fight or run away from danger.

1. What is Neurostorming?

Neurostorming is like an alarm for your body, so when the sympathetic nervous system is activated, it not only makes your body alert but also makes your heart beat faster, your blood pressure rises, and your body temperature is adjusted accordingly. 

This “fight-or-flight” reaction is helpful in dangerous situations, but if your brain is injured, this system can get confused and overly active, releasing stress hormones even when there’s no real danger.

In simpler terms, when something bad happens to the brain, the body can react strongly, and we call this reaction a sympathetic response. In people with severe traumatic brain injury, they can’t control or calm down this response. 

Does Neurostorming Mean the Brain is Healing
Source: Depositphotos

The brain injury itself triggers this strong response, which is needed to deal with the effects of the injury quickly. But because the brain is hurt, it’s hard for the person to stop this strong response, often known as paroxysmal sympathetic hyperactivity (PSH).

PSH, also called neurostorming, usually happens in the early stages of recovery. Also, the duration is variable; in some people, it goes on for a few hours, but others might experience it for days or even months. How severe and how long PSH lasts often depends on how bad the brain injury is. 

Usually, it occurs when a person is recovering from a traumatic brain injury, as they are in the process of regaining consciousness. Some might still experience it when they are starting to become more consistently aware. This condition is generally seen in children but sometimes can even be experienced in adults with a severe brain injury.

2. Neurostorming Symptoms 

Symptoms of neurostorming can vary, and they might happen for a few hours to several months after a head injury. Usually, they are all controlled by the central nervous system.

Does Neurostorming Mean the Brain is Healing
Source: Depositphotos

 High body temperature, high blood pressure, very fast heart rate, rapid breathing, excessive sweating, stiff muscles, unusual body postures, restlessness, large pupils, and changes in metabolic rate are all signs of neurostorming and should be quickly addressed.

This is a severe condition, so if any person is found with such symptoms, they should be provided with professional medical help as soon as possible. 

3. Causes of Neurostorming after Serious Brain Injury

Neurostorming is often linked to injuries that result in a lack of oxygen, bleeding inside the brain, or excessive fluid in the brain. 

However, it happens most often in people with traumatic brain injuries (TBI). It’s estimated that about 15-33% of individuals who are in a coma after a severe traumatic brain injury may experience neurostorming.

Does Neurostorming Mean the Brain is Healing
Source: Depositphotos

Most of the time, neurostorming episodes after a brain injury happen without any clear reason; they happen on their own. However, some common things that might make it more likely include:

  • Changes in medication or suddenly stopping medication
  • Moving the person to a different position
  • Things in the environment that cause stimulation, like alarms or loud noises

Since the person is unconscious, nurses often have the job of helping them move and do daily tasks like bathing and eating. Neurostorming is known to happen more often during these activities.

4. What Happens After a Brain Injury?

After a brain injury, storming episodes often happen on their own without a clear cause. However, some common reasons include changes in medicine or suddenly stopping treatment, changes in body position, and stimulation from the environment like alarms or loud noises.

If not treated, neurostorming can harm a person’s health. It can lead to dehydration, muscle tissue breakdown, weight loss, pressure sores, and injury to muscles and bones. 

Does Neurostorming Mean the Brain is Healing
Source: Depositphotos

Neurostorming can make the body work much harder, increasing metabolism, core temperature, blood pressure, and muscle tension. This extra effort can cause a person’s energy needs to double, leading to muscle and fat loss.

People with faster metabolisms and heavy sweating are more likely to develop painful pressure sores, which can increase the risk of infection and limit movement. Those with abnormal body postures for a long time without treatment may also suffer lasting damage to their muscles and bones.

Because of these risks, treating neurostorming promptly and effectively after a brain injury is crucial.

5. Dangers Linked to Paroxysmal Sympathetic Hyperactivity

If not taken care of, neurostorming can make someone more likely to have other health problems.

Dangers of untreated neuro storming include:

  1. Getting dehydrated
  2. Muscles getting weaker
  3. Losing weight
  4. Developing sores from pressure
  5. Hurting muscles and bones
Does Neurostorming Mean the Brain is Healing
Source: Depositphotos

As mentioned before, neurostorming can make the body work much faster and increase body temperature, blood pressure, and muscle tension. When a storm happens, the body might need 100-200% more energy. This big increase in how fast the body works can lead to losing muscle and weight.

People with faster metabolism and lots of sweating are more likely to have problems with their skin and might get sores from pressure. These sores can be very painful, making it easier to get an infection and hard to move around.

Also, if someone has strange body positions for a long time without treatment, it could cause lasting damage to their muscles and bones. That’s why it’s really important to treat neurostorming after a brain injury quickly and in the right way.

6. How Family Members Can Help Avoid Neurostorming?

Neurostorming after a brain injury is a serious thing. Families might get worried that their loved one is getting worse when neurostorming happens, but it’s a normal part of having a severe brain injury.

Even though it might feel like there’s nothing you can do when someone is having a neuro storm, there are ways you can help:

Does Neurostorming Mean the Brain is Healing
Image by u_3lkoxbah4k from Pixabay
  • Learn about it – Understand what signs to look for when there’s neurostorming after a brain injury (like the ones mentioned before. 
  • Tell the nurses – Once you know what neurostorming looks like, you can tell the nurses about it before things get really bad, so call a nurse if you notice changes in your loved one’s temperature or heart rate.
  • Prevent it – Using a cool cloth to keep their temperature down, gently massaging their arms and legs, and speaking softly to them can help stop neurostorming from happening.

Even if your loved one is not awake, their brain can still react to stress. So, try to keep their room calm and relaxing.

The hyperactive sympathetic nervous system is not an incurable condition; it is difficult but not impossible. It can even affect your mental health. You can use physical and occupational therapy measures after consulting medical professionals or healthcare providers.

  1. This article about neurostorming and brain healing is really helpful. It talks about how neurostorming occurs when the brain is hurt and explains the symptoms and causes in easy terms. The part about how family members can help is practical, and the author’s background in nanotechnology adds credibility. It’s a useful read for understanding severe brain injuries and what can be done to manage them.

  2. I’ve experienced head injuries in the past, and stumbling upon this has been eye-opening. Prior to this, I wasn’t aware of the concept, but when it comes to health, it’s important to know various concepts, especially in case of you or a loved one gets hurt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *