More than five million people in the United States live with the lingering effects of brain injury. About 1.7 million people sustain new brain injuries each year.
Brain injury, also called acquired brain injury, is any damage to the brain affecting a person physically, emotionally or behaviorally. Brain injuries can happen at birth, or later, from an illness or a trauma, and are called either traumatic or non-traumatic, depending on the specific cause.
|Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)||Nontraumatic Brain Injury (NTBI)|
|Do not always include an open head wound, skull fracture, or a loss of consciousness||Involves no external force or action|
|Motor vehicle accidents||Stroke/CVA (leading cause)|
|Falls||Lack of oxygen (hypoxia/anoxia)|
|Violence or gunshot wounds||Tumors|
|Military attack or bomb blasts||Brain infection or inflammation|
|Other illness such as cancer|
Level of Severity used to Describe both TBI and NTBI:
- Mild, moderate or severe
- Level is primarily determined by the length of loss of consciousness, as well as length of post-traumatic amnesia (state of confusion)
- Does not describe the expected outcomes in the patient's life
|Headache||Difficulty forming sentences or choosing words||Personality changes|
|Vision problems||Trouble communicating needs||Difficulty with Mood|
|Seizures||Difficulty with reasoning and logic||Acting inappropriately|
|Changes in sensory perception||Memory impairment|
|Trouble speaking||Poor concentration|
|Trouble swallowing||Limited attention span|
|Changes in sleep||Not oriented tp person, place, time, or situation|
|Lack of bladder and/or bowel control||Difficulty with perceptual skills|
|Changes in sexual function|
|Trouble moving the body|
To adapt to these changes, it will help you and your loved one if you understand what to expect, find ways to work through challenges, and use supportive resources included on this website.