Pituitary Gland Damage Helps Prove Brain Injury


Pituitary Gland Damage Helps Prove Brain Injury

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Traumatic Brain Injury lawyer. People who are trying to prove that they have suffered brain injuries in a car accident are often trying to fight an uphill battle. The opposition can claim that the person is faking it or that they have a preexisting psychiatric condition, such as dementia, that has simply been exacerbated. When this happens, there are a couple of avenues that the patient can explore to strengthen their case.

Imaging is Always the First Step

There are many types of brain injuries and one of the best ways to prove that someone has suffered a traumatic brain injury is to support the claim with an imaging scan. Possibly the most detailed medical scan available is the MRI. A MRI is a magnet that examines the intrinsic structures of the brain to find even the smallest of defects. Brain bleeds, tumors, lacerations, and other lesions can appear on a MRI and help to explain the symptoms that the patient may be suffering from. Best of all, the MRI scan doesn’t use any radiation to produce an image, making it safe for patients to use as long as they don’t have any metal inside of their body.

What if the MRI is Clean?

Unfortunately, there are some cases where someone has suffered brain damage that even a MRI scan won’t detect. This doesn’t mean the patient hasn’t suffered any brain damage. Instead, it simply means that medical technology hasn’t caught up to the point where scans can identify these mild brain injuries. In some cases, particularly those who are suffering from a cervical sprain (whiplash), their injury may be located in some of the smallest organs in the human body.

The Pituitary Gland


The pituitary gland is a small organ located near the hypothalamus towards the base of the brain. The pituitary gland performs an important function in regulating the body’s hormones. It controls the adrenal glands, located on top of the kidneys, and receives commands from the hypothalamus. It helps to regulate the body’s weight, temperature, blood pressure, and even breathing. Furthermore, the pituitary gland also plays a key role in both boys and girls as they go through puberty. Often overlooked until recently, the location of the pituitary gland predisposes it to being damaged in even mild traumatic brain injuries and linear skull fractures.

What Happens to the Pituitary Gland in a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

For decades, endocrinologists have been pushing for people to focus on the pituitary gland in traumatic brain injuries and hypoxic brain injuries. Now, people are finally starting to pay attention. If someone has suffered damage to the pituitary gland in a traumatic brain injury, several conditions can develop. The patient may suffer adrenal insufficiency as a result of a loss of signals between the pituitary gland and the adrenal gland. Symptoms include weight loss, fatigue, hypotension, and vomiting. Adrenal insufficiency can be life-threatening if suffered acutely. Patients will also have trouble controlling their electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and chloride. Patients can even develop diabetes due to pituitary gland damage.

Contact an Experienced Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Traumatic Brain Injury lawyer. Because mild traumatic brain injuries can be challenging to prove without any imaging findings, it is important to hire an experienced attorney to navigate the legal difficulties. Anyone seeking to prove that they’ve suffered a mild traumatic brain injury should reach out to me at (916) 921-6400 for friendly, free advice. I can also be reached using my toll-free number at (800) 404-5400.

I am member of the California chapter of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We represent some of the top trial lawyers in the country and have won multiple million-dollar settlements for past clients.

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Image Attribution:

  1. Brain – By DBCLS 統合TV, via Wikimedia Commons Public Domain Images
  2. Pituitary Gland – By DBCLS 統合TV, via Wikimedia Commons Public Domain Images

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