Brain Injury Awareness

Brain Injury Awareness Month - March 2014
Causes of Acquired Brain Injury

Causes of acquired brain injury can include, but are not limited to:

  • Stroke
  • Brain tumor
  • Encephalitis
  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Traumatic brain injury

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

The leading causes of brain injury are:

  • Falls
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Being struck or striking a hard object
  • Assaults
  • Blasts (a leading cause of traumatic brain injury for active duty military personnel in war zones)

What types of TBI are there?
Any injury to the head may cause traumatic brain injury (TBI). There are two major types of TBI:

Penetrating Injuries: In these injuries, a foreign object (e.g., a bullet) enters the brain and causes damage to specific brain parts. This focal, or localized, damage occurs along the route the object has traveled in the brain. Symptoms vary depending on the part of the brain that is damaged.

Closed Head Injuries: Closed head injuries result from a blow to the head as occurs, for example, in a car accident when the head strikes the windshield or dashboard. These injuries cause two types of brain damage:

Primary brain damage, which is damage that is complete at the time of impact, may include:

  • skull fracture: breaking of the bony skull
  • contusions/bruises: often occur right under the location of impact or at points where the force of the blow has driven the brain against the bony ridges inside the skull
  • hematomas/blood clots: occur between the skull and the brain or inside the brain itself
  • lacerations: tearing of the frontal (front) and temporal (on the side) lobes or blood vessels of the brain (the force of the blow causes the brain to rotate across the hard ridges of the skull, causing the tears)
  • nerve damage (diffuse axonal injury): arises from a cutting, or shearing, force from the blow that damages nerve cells in the brain’s connecting nerve fibers

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