What is Brain Injury?
Brain Injury is the “multiple disabilities arising from damage to the brain acquired after birth. It results in deterioration in cognitive, physical, emotional or independent functioning. It can be as a result of accidents, stroke, brain tumours, infection, poisoning, lack of oxygen, degenerative neurological disease etc.”The National Community Services Data Dictionary (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Canberra, 2012)
Common Causes of Brain Injury
Traumatic Brain Injury occurs as the result of some external force being applied to the brain.
Stroke usually occurs as the result of a haemorrhage or blockage to the blood vessels that supply blood to the various regions of the brain.
Tumours cause damage to the surrounding brain tissue and structures as they grow within the brain.
Bacterial or viral infections can lead to an inflammation of the brain covering (meningitis) or the brain tissue itself (encephalitis).
Alcohol acts as a toxin and the long term misuse of alcohol can cause damage to brain tissue.
Hypoxia/anoxia refers to the reduced or complete stopping of the flow of oxygen to the brain leading to tissue damage, and can be caused by failed hangings, near drowning, or overdoses.
Degenerative Neurological Diseases
Conditions including Huntingdon’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease are caused by abnormal changes to brain cells in particular regions of the brain.
Brain Injury is a “Hidden Disability”
The physical disabilities following brain injury can be quite easy to see, but disabilities that affect thinking, emotion and behavior can be far harder to recognize.
For this reason, brain injury is sometimes called a “hidden disability.”
Brain Injury Australia is committed to promoting increased awareness of brain injury within Australia.
Adapted with permission by Paul Bullen, Management Alternatives Pty Ltd
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