Almost everything we do, say and think is controlled by our brain, so when our brain is injured, it has the potential to affect every aspect of life.
The brain itself is a complex organ. Its many parts deal with different aspects of what we think, feel and do – so injury to specific areas can cause many different problems to arise. The brain and the rest of our body communicate back and forth through the nervous system and its pathways.
Causes of Brain Injury
A stroke is an interruption of blood supply to part of the brain. If arteries become blocked, bleed or break, then the brain tissue is damaged, causing brain injury.
Alcohol is a poison, or neurotoxin, that can cause injury to the brain. This is known as Alcohol Related Brain Injury (ARBI). Other drugs - which fall into the category of stimulants, depressants or hallucinogens - can also lead to impairments.
There are a number of degenerative conditions that lead to brain injury. Dementia is a category of brain diseases that result in memory loss and deterioration of speech, motor skills and cognitive functioning as it progresses.
Repeated, mild ABIs, such as concussions experienced by professional sports people like boxers and footballers, can be related to a neurodegenerative condition known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
Ageing is a risk factor for acquiring a brain injury, particularly over the age of 65. As we get older, our chance of developing dementia rises. So too does the likelihood of falls that result in brain injury. We might not be able to stop either from happening, but there are ways to reduce the risk and manage symptoms.
Concussion is the most common form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), affecting around 42 million people worldwide each year. It is the result of a physical blow or sudden jolt that forces the brain to move within the skull.