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In the News Brain Injury Awareness Month – Part II

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Continued from Part I…


An acquired brain injury (ABI) is an “injury to the brain that is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. Essentially, this type of brain injury is one that has occurred after birth. The injury results in a change to the brain’s neuronal activity, which affects the physical integrity, metabolic activity, or functional ability of nerve cells in the brain.” 

traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as an “alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force. Traumatic impact injuries can be defined as closed (or non-penetrating) or open (penetrating).”

Often referred to as an acquired brain injury, a non-traumatic brain injury causes” damage to the brain by internal factors, such as a lack of oxygen, exposure to toxins, pressure from a tumor, etc.”

Examples of traumatic brain injuries include falls, assaults, motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, abusive head trauma, gunshot wounds, workplace injuries, child or domestic abuse, and military actions. 

Non-traumatic brain injuries include stroke, hemorrhage, blood clot, infectious disease, meningitis, seizure, electric shock, tumors, neurotoxic poisoning, lack of oxygen, drug overdose, and aneurysm. 

Just as no two people are exactly alike, no two brain injuries are exactly alike. For some, brain injury is the start of a lifelong disease process. Brain injury requires access to a full continuum of treatment and community-based supports provided by appropriately educated clinicians serving on an interdisciplinary treatment team.

The individual who sustains a brain injury and his or her family are the most important members of the treatment team. Their choices, goals, and backgrounds will be taken into consideration when it comes to the appropriate treatment.