Types of Brain Injury
Acquired Brain Injury
Acquired brain injury (ABI) refers to any type of brain damage that happens after birth. Causes of ABI include disease, blows/whiplash to the head, alcohol and drug use, or oxygen deprivation.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is classified under ‘Acquired Brain Injury ABI) because it occurs after birth. It is a non-congenital insult to the brain from an external mechanical force, possibly leading to permanent or temporary impairment of cognitive, physical, and psychosocial functions. A severe TBI is sometimes associated with a diminished or altered state of consciousness.
The definition of TBI has not been consistent and tends to vary according to specialties and circumstances. Often, the term brain injury is used synonymously with the term ‘head injury,’ which may not be associated with neurologic deficits.
‘Post-concussion syndrome’ refers to the lingering symptoms following a concussion or a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). Symptoms might be exacerbated for a number of reasons including general health, age, diet, recreational habits, stress and personality type.
The symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) often overlap making it difficult for clinicians to make a clear diagnosis.
Scientists are researching new biomarkers and imaging techniques to assist with the diagnosis of traumatic brain injury.
Although each experience of brain injury is unique, the commonalities in experience can be similar.
A brain injury can change both our inner-thinking and external worlds. Trauma is similar to a boulder hitting the surface of a lake – it sends out waves and ripples. Think of the boulder as the initial insult, and the ripples or waves as being the aftermath. The lives of our families and friends will also change in many ways.