Meninges – Dura Arachnoid Pia 104

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Skull – Brain’s Egg Carton – 103Introduction to the Anatomy of the Brain Itself – 105

Gordon Johnson:        Let’s talk a minute about the meninges, did I say that right?

Dr. Erin Bigler:            Yes, uh huh.

Gordon Johnson:        We had the conversation yesterday before we started. I said well maybe I could bring a plastic bag, just sort of demonstrate what the meninges do in terms of the coating of the brain. There’s three different levels?

Dr. Erin Bigler:            Yes. There are three different aspects of the meninges, but only the outer layer, the dura mater, is tough.

Gordon Johnson:        And you said that the plastic bag wouldn’t really work, it would be more like perhaps the texture of my jeans?

Dr. Erin Bigler:            Right.

Gordon Johnson:        Something thicker, leathery although not as thick as are my leather shoes or something.

Dr. Erin Bigler:            Much thinner.

Gordon Johnson:        All right. Inside of that, there are two other layers?

Dr. Erin Bigler:            You have what’s called the subarachnoid space, and then you have the pia mater.

Gordon Johnson:        And those are there essentially almost like a glove to hold, to bring in, like you might hold your fingers in a glove?

Dr. Erin Bigler:            They also hold the surface vasculature, the blood vessels.

Gordon Johnson:        In normal motion, they protect the brain?

Dr. Erin Bigler:            Correct.

Gordon Johnson:        When the brain is subjected to severe traumatic forces, do they also have the capacity to cause damage to the brain?

Dr. Erin Bigler:            Well, housing where blood vessels are, blood vessels in many respects are just as delicate as neurons, the basic unit of the brain, and especially when you get to the micro vessels. So you have this problem where this mechanical deformation of the brain not only injures blood vessels or brain cells, it also injures blood vessels. It’s common to get bruising in more-severe injuries to the surface of the brain, and that’s where those blood vessels are interfacing with the surface aspect of the brain. They’re hitting these bony ridges that you can see here.

Gordon Johnson:        The ridges are there to hold the brain in place, to provide protection in routine day-to-day activities. Those ridges become weapons when the brain is subjected to severe forces?

Dr. Erin Bigler:            Correct.





Gordon Johnson

Attorney Gordon Johnson is one of the nations leading brain injury advocates. He is Past-Chair of the TBILG, a national group of more than 150 brain injury advocates. He has spoken at numerous brain injury seminars and is the author of some of the most read brain injury web pages on the internet.

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