Mind Map ‘Concussion’

Concussion may cause severe long-term sequelae.

The idea to learn more about this topic came up when Michael Wilde created a community on Google+ named ‘Concussion’. On a first look it seemed to be an unusual but quite interesting idea to build this community and so I joined it without any special knowledge. My idea was to get involved by using my mind mapping tool iThoughts on the iPad with it’s web research functionalities.

Here are some facts about this kind of injury, and, as this blog is about the usage of Apple’s iOS devices, the creation of an appropriate mind map visualizing the main topics.

Our brain is what makes us a human being. So everyone gets frightened if the head receives an injury. Medics talk about TBI which means Traumatic Brain Injury and it’s seen as a highly complex matter.

So if you want to visualize some information about TBI using a mind map you quickly are confronted with lots of topics and extensive content.

The map rapidly turns into a bulky knowledge base.
It looks similar to a swollen 2D-Brain.

It would be easy to add some more MB to the map. The criterion to extend knowledge should be the qualification of the audience.

In contrast to written text mind maps need much more space. If all the topics are being expanded even a large computer screen is worth than useless. So if it comes to share comprehensive information it’s inevitable to use a mind mapping tool with which topics can be expanded on demand while other topics stay collapsed. If there is no tool available the map has to be split into different images or PDFs showing single topics like in presentations with Apple’s Keynote or Microsoft’s Powerpoint.

I’m no doctor so I cannot retrieve relevant facts about TBI from my brain. On an iPad with its one-window-display it can be a troublesome work to collect text and links by switching between two apps, the browser and the mind mapping tool.

Craig Scott -the developer of iThoughts- was aware of these problems when developing his powerful app. Here is a brief description of the auxiliary functions. Added by a special iOS gesture with which app switching is much more easier than on an iPhone you can focus on a topic without being distracted by multiple windows and an uncountable number of controls like on a Windows PC.

  • 1 bookmarklet for iThoughts
    A bookmarklet is a small piece of program code installed in a browser as a bookmark to get access to special functionalities.

    Here is a description how to install the bookmarklet which forwards the actual web address to the app iThoughts and (re)opens the app.

    iThoughts, Bookmarklet installation


  • 2 using the integrated browser of iThoughts
    to search the web and insert links into the mind map by just tapping on the upper taskbar


  • 3 copy and paste of outlined information
    effectively collects and transfers the marked information into the map and generates a new topic for each item


  • 4 4-Finger-Swipe-Upwards gesture
    for displaying the iPad’s to reopen any previously opened app

Using these functionalities makes it easy to create extensive and powerful mind maps summarizing all the relevant information about a topic.

Some stats about TBI …

Source Braintrauma.org

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adults from ages 1 to 44.

Brain injuries are most often caused by falls on the playground or in the home, motor vehicle crashes, or sports injuries.

Every year, approximately 52,000 deaths occur from traumatic brain injury.

An estimated 1.5 million head injuries occur every year in the United States emergency rooms. a

An estimated 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports-related TBIs occur each year.

At least 5.3 million Americans, 2% of the U.S. population, currently live with disabilities resulting from TBI.

Moderate and severe head injury (respectively) is associated with a 2.3 and 4.5 times increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Males are about two to three times more likely to sustain a TBI than females are.

TBI hospitalization rates have increased from 79% per 100,000 in 2002 to 87.9% per 100,000 in 2003.

Exposures to blasts are a leading cause of TBI among active duty military personnel in war zones.

Veterans’ advocates believe that between 10 and 20% of Iraq veterans, or 150,000 and 300,000 service members have some level of TBI.

30% of soldiers admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center have been diagnosed as having had a TBI.

This information completed with some more topics like ‘First Aid’, ‘Effects’, ‘Prevention’ etc. already clarifies that a mind map with expanded topics cannot be displayed on an iPad or a computer screen without frequent moving in all directions as well as zooming in and out to show the details (see the image below showing the expanded map).

However, I tried to create a map containing understandable information even for people who are not involved in this topic. That means, most of the topics are explained by textual descriptions to avoid frequent use of links to websites where information is usually too extensive to make adequate use of it. It’s an easier approach to the subject when having the most relevant information on just one screen.

The map …

Here is the result of the creation process.
Without some makeover it took me about 2 hours to find relevant information and create the map.

Overview …


Some parts of the map …

Download …

These file formats have been created by iThoughts HD for the iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited.

Downloads from Box net …


ITMZ (native format of iThoughts)

MMAP (Mindjet)

XMIND (Xmind)

Additional information …

iThoughts provides a Search functionality as well as the possibility to split large maps by selected topics.


Sharing the map …

iThoughts offers a lot of file formats which makes sharing easy.
Available file formats are: