A brain injury can either be classed as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by either a closed head injury or open head injury, following a road traffic accident, falls or assaults. An acquired brain injury (ABI) can be caused by an aneurysm, haemorrhage, tumour, encephalitis, hydrocephalus, hypoxic/anoxic, toxic/chemical or a stroke.
Traumatic brain injury
A traumatic brain injury is caused by a trauma to the head causing either an open or closed head injury. This can be resulting from a trip or fall, accidents at home or work, road traffic accidents or from an assault. Resulting symptoms can include difficulties with speech and language, physical disability, cognition problems, memory loss, lack of concentration, emotional and mental instability.
Acquired brain injury
An acquired brain injury covers all types of brain injury that have occurred since birth. These can include aneurysm, hydrocephalus, brain tumour, haemorrhage, encephalitis or stroke. The resulting symptoms of an acquired brain injury can be very similar to those of a traumatic brain injury.
Rehabilitation following brain injury
Depending on the type and severity of the brain injury there are several methods of rehabilitation. It is important to access professionals as soon as possible following the injury for the best outcomes to be achieved, these may include occupational therapists, speech and language, and physio- therapists. The most visible progress happens within the first 6 months, but that is not to say further rehabilitation will cease after that point, progress will be slower but can carry on for years following the injury.
When brain cells have been destroyed they cannot re-generate, but new pathways can be encouraged by rehabilitation and activity.
Rehabilitation helps the brain injury survivor and their family to cope with possible longer term problems.