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About Brain Injury

Brain Injury Overview

An acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury to the brain that is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. Essentially, this type of brain injury is one that has occurred after birth. The injury results in a change to the brain’s neuronal activity, which affects the physical integrity, metabolic activity, or functional ability of nerve cells in the brain.

There are two types of acquired brain injury: traumatic and non-traumatic.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force. Traumatic impact injuries can be defined as closed (or non-penetrating) or open (penetrating).

Often referred to as an acquired brain injury, a non-traumatic brain injury causes damage to the brain by internal factors, such as a lack of oxygen, exposure to toxins, pressure from a tumor, etc.

Traumatic Brain Injury Causes Non-Traumatic Brain Injury Causes
  • Falls
  • Assaults
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Sports/Recreation Injuries
  • Abusive Head Trauma (Shaken Baby Syndrome)
  • Gunshot Wounds
  • Workplace Injuries
  • Child Abuse
  • Domestic Violence
  • Military Actions (Blast Injury)
  • Stroke (Hemorrhage, Blood Clot)
  • Infectious Disease (Meningitis, Encephalitis)
  • Seizure
  • Electric Shock
  • Tumors
  • Toxic Exposure
  • Metabolic Disorders
  • Neurotoxic Poisoning (Carbon Monoxide, Lead Exposure)
  • Lack of Oxygen (Drowning, Choking, Hypoxic/Anoxic Injury)
  • Drug Overdose

Speak to a Brain Injury Expert

Caring professionals at the National Brain Injury Information Center (NBIIC) are ready to answer your questions.

Dial 1-800-444-6443

The Brain Injury Association of America is still committed to serving the brain injury community,

Our work didn’t stop. Our mission didn’t change.

We need your help.