Old Case Could Shed New Light on Traumatic Brain Injuries


Railroad work remains a dangerous occupation, but it is not so hazardous as it was in 1848 when a gruesome accident caused one of the most famous traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases … a case that has received renewed attention and may help further our understanding of the side-effects of TBIs.

On Sept. 13, 1848, 25-year-old railroad construction supervisor Phineas Gage survived an explosion that launched an iron rod through his left cheek, upward through his brain and out through the top of his head. Following the occupational injury, Gage underwent an extreme change in personality, and neuroscientists at the time and since have studied Gage’s case for links between brain structure and behavior.

Although Gage’s brain tissue is long gone, his skull remains, and researchers at UCLA recently produced a detailed connectome—a map of the brain’s neural wiring—that depicts how Gage’s brain architecture may have been damaged and altered by the accident. While the mapping cannot accurately determine the extent of Gage’s brain damage, researchers hope it may offer new clues about the relationships between brain injuries and their resulting neurological changes.

TBIs are life-altering and sometimes fatal injuries that are often the result of the jarring impact of:

If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another, an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help you recover the financial compensation you need for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Please contact PersonalInjury.com for a free case evaluation and to locate a personal injury lawyer near you.