What is acquired brain injury?
Acquired brain injury, often abbreviated as ABI, is the affectation of damage suffered by the brain at a time in a person’s life, as opposed to a genetic or congenital disorder or damage that occurred in utero.
Acquired brain damage can have temporary or permanent consequences in a person, causing alterations in cognitive, physical, emotional and behavioral functioning.
Acquired brain damage is usually divided into two types, each with a number of different related causes. The two types are:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI).
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is any type of sudden physical damage to the brain. It can be produced by a variety of causes, such as a closed head injury, which is when the head impacts forcefully with an object. It could be due to a fall, sports injuries, violent assaults or, most commonly, a car accident.
Another type of head injury is called penetrating head injury, which is caused when an object pierces the skull and damages the brain, as with a gunshot wound.
Non-traumatic brain injury
A non-traumatic brain injury is caused by disease or substance abuse. For example, conditions such as stroke, brain tumors, oxygen deprivation, brain hemorrhage, encephalitis, poisoning, alcohol or drug abuse. To name a few probabilities.
Acquired brain damage can lead to a number of detrimental consequences for a person.
What can an acquired brain injury lead to?
An acquired brain injury can cause a number of detrimental consequences for a person, depending on the location of the injury in the brain and the severity of the injury.
Examples of the types of effects that an acquired brain injury can cause include physical changes such as problems walking, standing still, being able to sit up. Cognitive changes such as problems with vision or hearing, decision making, comprehension, being easily distracted, loss of judgment and confusion.
Emotional changes such as depression, anxiety, problems with anger management, sadness and frustration may also occur. The person may also suffer from chronic pain, such as multiple headaches.
How is acquired brain damage managed?
There is no single comprehensive way to treat acquired brain damage. Treatment depends on the injury, the symptoms and also the age of the patient, as pediatric acquired brain injury can be treated very differently.
The patient will have to undergo a multidisciplinary and tailored rehabilitation program to try to improve any functionality lost due to the injury. Several specialists will be needed, depending on the extent of the symptoms, these specialists may include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, psychologists and pain specialists.
Since children’s brains are still developing, the approach to pediatric acquired brain injuries may differ from that of adults. Because the brain is still developing, some of the injuries may not appear until later in the child’s life as the brain continues to develop.