Thalamus Injury

Dysfunctions Caused by Thalamus Injury

A thalamus injury refers to an area that is directly above your brain stem but below your cortex.  The thalamus receives visual, auditory and somatosensory signals from various areas of your brain.  It then routes these signals to a specific area in the cortex to be further processed.  Essentially, the thalamus is a central area for sensory information to travel to before arriving at the cortex so any level of injury can be very traumatic.

An unfortunate thalamus injury can produce significant sensory perception distortions which is what is typically seen in autism and cerebral palsy.  Problems that are associated with these types of injuries depend directly on the area affected.  For example, if visual receiving and processing areas become injured then visual field dysfunction will result.  On the other hand, if there is an injury to touch perception, acute pain syndrome will often be seen.


Cerebrovascular accidents, commonly referred to as stroke can cause thalamic syndrome which creates an aching or burning sensation on one half of the affected individual's body.  This is often accompanied with an abrupt mood swing.

Closed-Head Injury

A thalamus injury can occur after suffering a closed-head injury.  When this happens, the individual experiences an all over sense of numbness which advances to episodes of random pain.  It is also common for individuals to experience periodic or continuous freezing, burning or crushing sensations, aphasia, outbursts of anger or fear, frontal lobe dysfunction or abusive behavior.

Distortions a Thalamus Injury can Cause

It is important to understand that individuals who suffer a thalamus injury will often behave in an unexpected way. They will do and say things that would be considered not in their nature prior to the injury.  They will often become aggressive or extreme and act in an unacceptable way however, quite often they cannot be held responsible for their actions.  The person that they have become is generally completely out of their control and may not realize exactly what they are doing or understand right from wrong.