Brain damage may occur as a result of physical injury, disease or other medical conditions. Genetic and congenital conditions are those that exist even before a person is born. Examples include Parkinson’s Disease, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is brain damage that occurs after a person is born.
Examples of Acquired Brain Injury:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – This is a brain injury due to a sudden, violent blow to the head or body. TBIs frequently result from motor vehicle accidents, physical assaults, slip/trip and fall injuries, and explosions. TBIs include concussions, contusions (brain bruising) and hematomas (bleeding inside or near the brain).
- Anoxia/Hypoxia – These are brain injuries caused by a total or partial lack of oxygen flow to the brain. Brain cells begin to die when deprived of oxygen after four minutes. Permanent brain damage may occur in as little as five minutes.
- Stroke – This is brain damage due to a lack of oxygen as a result of decreased blood flow or an arterial rupture in the brain.
- Encephalopathy – This is abnormal brain functioning due to poisoning, liver disease or substance abuse.