The brain is the human body’s most important organ. It controls vital functions such as speech, memory and limb movement. Brain injuries can occur due to various factors. Sudden onset of a brain injury may be caused by trauma, lack of oxygen supply to the brain or an infection. Insidious onset of brain injury may be caused by tumors, degenerative neurological diseases or prolonged substance or alcohol abuse.
Two of the most common brain injuries are traumatic brain injury (TBI) and acquired brain injury (ABI).
Difference Between TBI and ABI
Traumatic Brain Injury
A TBI occurs when an external force injures the brain, such as a jolt or blow to the head. However, TBI is not synonymous with a head injury, as one can sustain damage to the scalp, face or skull without injuring the brain. Assaults, falls, sports injuries, motorcycle or car crashes and collisions are a few of the many common causes of TBI.
Traumatic brain injuries range from mild concussions to severe or even permanent brain damage. Survivors of TBI can face lasting effects in their physical and mental abilities as well as impaired emotions and personality. There may also be a need for rehabilitation to recover and relearn skills.
How a TBI is treated depends on the severity of the injury. A range of tests such as a CT scan or an X-ray can help pinpoint the exact area of damage. Some cases may even require complex surgeries.
Recovery from a TBI takes time. It depends on various factors, such as the extent of the damage, the area where the damage has occurred, age and general health of the person, quality of treatment and the first aid received.
Acquired Brain Injury
As the name suggests, an ABI is an injury to the brain that has occurred after birth. It is not hereditary, induced by birth trauma, congenital or degenerative. ABI can be caused by diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or AIDS. Other causes include substance or alcohol abuse, physical injury, stroke and lack of oxygen to the brain.
The effects of an ABI will be different for each person, ranging from mild to severe. It affects a person’s sensory and physical abilities, increases mental and physical fatigue and may also slow down how fast they process information. Many people suffering from an ABI also experience behavior and personality changes.
ABI impacts all aspects of one’s life, as it often leads to social isolation. People who have suffered from an ABI need patience, compassion and understanding above all. Counseling is one of the most helpful ways for the patient and the patient’s family to battle an ABI.
A brain injury takes a toll on both the patient and the patient’s family. Reaching out to support groups and counselors can be useful as they help you navigate your way through the injury, provide professional support and enable patients to become a part of a social community.
If you or your loved one has recently sustained a brain injury, we invite you to join the TryMunity community. Contact the TryMunity community today and discover a supportive environment that has the answers to your most pressing brain injury questions.