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Understanding the Various Types of Brain Injury

Brain LogoA traumatic brain injury affects an estimated 1.7 million people each year. This statistic means that a brain injury occurs every 18 seconds in the United States. This staggering number offers an important conclusion: the need for brain injury research, prevention precautions, and support is imperative. The Texas Brain Injury Alliance, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is part of a network of Brain Injury Alliances across the nation working to network multiple entities and resources, promoting rehabilitation, prevention research, and advocacy of brain injury. In an effort to further educate in regard to brain injuries, the following snapshot of information will help one understand the various types of brain injuries.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
As stated above, traumatic brain injuries affect almost 2 million people each year. TBIs are brain injuries resulting from an external force causing an alteration in brain function or other evidence of a change in brain pathology.

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
Acquired brain injury is a more general term which includes external force as a cause, but also covers any injury occurring after birth that is not hereditary, congenital, or degenerative.

Brain Tumor
Brain tumors occur when a group, or mass, of abnormal cells begin to grow in the brain. These cells can cause serious damage to the area surrounding it by killing brain cells, causing inflammation, and increasing pressure. The cause of brain tumors is unknown.

Cerebral Aneurysm
Brain aneurysms can be congenital or can be developed later in life. There are many types of cerebral aneurysms which affect people very differently. However, all aneurysms are caused by weakened areas in the blood vessels around the brain, which causes the vessel to bulge.

Encephalitis
Encephalitis means “inflammation of the brain.” This type of brain injury is most often caused by an infection. It is considered a rare condition that usually occurs most frequently in the first year of life.

Epilepsy and Seizures
Epilepsy is a seizure disorder caused by permanently disturbed brain activity that causes the brain to send out abnormal signals. This seizure disorder can be caused by a stroke, an infection, or congenital brain injuries.

Stroke
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off. The brain needs blood in order to receive oxygen, so when the brain does not receive blood, it can be permanently damaged.

Brain injuries affect the whole person, not just the brain. They also affect not only the victim, but his or her friends, family members, and colleagues. The Texas Brain Injury Alliance is here to help connect Texas brain injury survivors, their families and their friends, and other professionals to each other. Our goal is to educate the public and help prevent future injuries.

For more information on brain injuries, or to speak with one of our team members about connecting to a support group, contact the Texas Brain Injury Alliance offices by calling 800-392-0040.