Glossary >
Diffuse axonal injury

Diffuse axonal injury

This is some text inside of a div block.

Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is a type of traumatic brain injury that occurs when the brain is shaken or rotated inside the skull, causing widespread damage to the nerve fibers (axons) that connect different parts of the brain. DAI is commonly seen in cases of high-speed motor vehicle accidents, falls, and sports-related injuries.

The damage caused by DAI can lead to a disruption in the communication between different parts of the brain, which can result in a variety of neurological symptoms, such as:

  1. Loss of consciousness
  2. Confusion and disorientation
  3. Coma
  4. Seizures
  5. Headache
  6. Nausea and vomiting
  7. Difficulty with balance and coordination
  8. Cognitive impairment, such as memory loss or difficulty with problem-solving and decision-making
  9. Behavioral changes, such as irritability or depression.

DAI is often diagnosed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans, which can detect changes in the brain tissue and reveal the extent of the injury.

Treatment for DAI may include medication to manage symptoms, such as pain, seizures, and inflammation. Rehabilitation, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, may also be necessary to help the individual regain function and independence.

The prognosis for individuals with DAI varies depending on the severity of the injury. Mild cases of DAI may resolve on their own with rest and medical management, while severe cases can result in long-term disability or even death. Therefore, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect that you or someone you know has sustained a traumatic brain injury.

a group training in cpr/bls
CPR AED and First Aid Certification. Get certified Now with the latest AHA guidelines.
Takes less than 20 minutes. learn more


  • Diffuse axonal injury: Diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. (2020, May 22). Retrieved from
  • Diffuse axonal injury. (2020, January 24). Retrieved from
  • Diffuse axonal injury. (n.d.). Retrieved from