Is Neurostorming a Sign of Recovery?

Is Neurostorming a Sign of Recovery?

A severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes tremendous stress on the body. The body can no longer regulate itself after such a serious injury. The various nervous systems –central nervous system, autonomic nervous system, sympathetic nervous system, and parasympathetic nervous system –are in flux. These systems may react by neurostorming.  

While terrifying for the layperson to watch, neurostorming can indicate some level of recovery.  That is especially true for younger TBI victims, whose brains have more plasticity than those of older patients and are more likely to rewire successfully. Still, neurostorming may also indicate a poor outcome. It all comes down to the individual patient.  

While the victim suffered a traumatic brain injury, family members go through their own form of trauma as they deal with the changes in their loved one’s life.  An experienced Los Angeles traumatic brain injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law will hold the party responsible for the TBI accountable and fight so that the victim can receive the compensation needed for their enormous medical expenses and care. Our dedicated attorneys have recovered more than $350 million for injured clients.  


Neurostorming is formally known as paroxysmal sympathetic hyperactivity. Over the years, it has also been referred to by other terms, including acute midbrain disorder and autonomic dysfunction syndrome. However, paroxysmal sympathetic hyperactivity is the most accurate description. A paroxysm refers to a sudden onset or worsening, while sympathetic addresses the central nervous system’s fight or flight response. Hyperactive describes the state of the sympathetic nervous system when this event occurs.  

TBI patients who neurostorm are usually in a coma or vegetative state. The activity generally begins within several hours of the accident but may continue for a long period – even weeks or months. The length of each episode varies from a few minutes to several hours. As time passes, episodes tend to occur less frequently but last longer. Up to one-third of TBIs patients in comas may experience neurostorming, so it is common in these situations.  

Neurostorming signs 

A traumatic brain injury attorney knows that viewing a neurostorming loved one is a frightening experience. Signs of neurostorming include: 

  • Arching of the neck and spine 
  • Agitation 
  • Arm and leg muscle rigidity 
  • Dilated pupils 
  • Elevated heart rate 
  • Fever exceeding 101 degrees 
  • Heavy sweating 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Rapid breathing 
  • Toes pointing downward 

Tachycardia, or rapid heart rate, is almost always present during neurostorming. That also holds true for fever, high blood pressure and fast respiration. Other symptoms may appear in approximately half of patients.  

Neurostorming can cause additional patient issues. For instance, high blood pressure can result in stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular issues, or impair kidney function.  

Neurostorming causes  

While the TBI itself causes most neurostorming, there are certain triggers that result in the condition when it was not already present post-TBI. These include: 

  • Distended bladder  
  • Medication changes 
  • Turning the body 
  • Various stimuli, such as hospital alarms 

Contact a Los Angeles traumatic brain injury lawyer 

Those suffering a severe TBI face a long, hard road to recovery, and the odds of complete recovery are against them. Their lives, and that of their families, are changed permanently. If your loved one’s TBI resulted from another party’s negligence or recklessness, contact the compassionate Los Angeles accident lawyers at Ellis Injury Law. Schedule a free consultation by calling or texting 24/7 or filling out our online form.  

After discussing your case, we will advise you of your options. Because we work on a contingency basis, you pay no fee unless you receive compensation.