About Brain Injury

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) refers to any form of brain injury that has occurred since birth. This includes Traumatic Brain injury (TBI).  which is a result of a severe blow or jolt to the head and is commonly caused by road traffic incidents, falls and assaults. 

Acquired Brain Injury from 

  • Stroke and other vascular disorders

  • Brain tumour

  • Meningitis

  • Encephalitis

  • Hydrocephalus

  • Hypoxia/anoxia

  • Heart attacks

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning,

  • Secondary complications of traumatic brain injury or complications during surgery (such as respiratory depression or embolism)

  • Brain abscess

  • Metabolic disorders (e.g. liver and kidney diseases and diabetic coma)

  • Other forms of poisoning

Brain Injury effects each person in a different way. Even subtle problems can completely change the lives of someone with a brain injury and their family. 


Challenges and problems can be broken down into the following areas 


Cognitive effects of brain injury
The cognitive effects of a brain injury affect the way a person thinks, learns and remembers. Different mental abilities are located in different parts of the brain, so a head injury can damage some, but not necessarily all, skills such as understanding, concentration, solving problems and using language. Some common effects can include.

 

  • Memory Problems

  • Reduced attention and concentration

  • Reduced speed of processing information

  • Impaired insight and empathy 

  • Impaired understanding of Language 

  • Difficulty recognising faces or objects. 


Emotional and behavioural effects of brain injury
Everyone who has had a head injury can be left with some changes in emotional reaction and behaviour. These are more difficult to see than the more obvious problems such as those which affect movement and speech, for example, but can be the most difficult for the individual concerned and their family to deal with.Some common emotional problems can include:

 

  • Anxiety and Depression

  • Mood Swings

  • Apathy and Loss of Motivation

  • Anger and irritability 

  • Impulsivity and dis inhibition 

  • Personality changes

Physical effects of brain injury
Most people make an excellent physical recovery after a brain injury, which can mean there are few, or no, outwards signs that an injury has occurred. However here are some common physical problems 

 

  • Weakness or Paralysis

  • Sensory Impairment

  • Epilepsy 

  • Movement and Co-ordination

  • Fatigue

  • Sexual Problems

  • Speech Difficulties 

Hormonal imbalances and pituitary dysfunction after brain injury
Brain injury may occasionally cause damage to the hypothalamus and/or pituitary gland. This can result in 
Hormonal Imbalances 


 

ST Mary and St Peters Community Project, Springwell Rd, Sunderland, SR3 4DY, Charity Number 1140910

Affiliated to Headway - the brain injury association - a registered charity

Tel 0191 5227113

Email Kim.Hunter@headwaywearside.org.uk

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