About Brain Injuries
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain caused by a trauma to the head (head injury). There are many possible causes, including road traffic accidents, assaults, falls and accidents at home or at work.
Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) covers all situations in which brain injury has occurred since birth, and includes traumatic brain injury as well as tumour, stroke, brain haemorrhage and encephalitis, to name a few. The effects are often very similar to those of traumatic brain injury.
Effects of brain injury
Different symptoms of a brain injury include cognitive, emotional, behavioural or physical changes.
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 brain injury can damage some, but not necessarily all, skills such as speed of thought, memory, understanding, concentration, solving problems and using language.
Everyone who has had a brain injury can be left with some changes in emotional reaction andbehaviour. 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.
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. There are often physical problems present that are not always so apparent, but can have a real impact on daily life.
Rehabilitation can help people to regain some of the skills that may have been affected by their brain injury, and to compensate for any skills that have been lost.
Living with brain injury
The effects of a brain injury are broad, and can affect many different aspects of day-to-day life.
Brain injury doesn't just affect individuals; it can transform the lives of entire families. Depending upon the severity of your relative's injury and its effects, you may have to make considerable changes to the way you live, such as becoming a part-time or full-time carer.
Many difficult stages have to be passed through from the initial shock of the news of an injury, to eventual acceptance that things may now be very different from how they used to be - for both the individual concerned and the whole family.
Some would say that families are the real victims and often suffer more than the brain-injured person because they are more likely to have accurate insight into the problem. No family is ever prepared and ready for a brain injury; most families already have a full agenda of problems to cope with before clearing the decks to cope with the problems of brain injury. Research into the effects of severe brain injury on the other family members gives some indication of the extent of their difficulties.