What Is a Brain Injury?

At its most basic level, a brain injury is a change in how the brain functions due to an external event (like a car accident)  or due to an internal medical event (often times a stroke).

As you can tell, this definition is pretty broad.  This is because a brain injury can take so many different forms.  Some of the more common causes of brain injuries are motor vehicle accidents, falls, assaults, strokes and aneurysms.  With the increasing number of soldiers and veterans returning from war, explosions have become a more common cause of brain injury.

The symptoms of a brain injury also vary widely.  After all, the brain controls all of our bodily functions so an injury to the brain can affect everything about us.  A brain injury can affect a wide range of skills from walking and talking to swallowing and learning.  Some people have changes in hormone levels and blood pressure due to their injury.  A brain injury can even change mood and personality.

Most people are familiar with brain injuries, just under different names.  For instance, terms like “concussion”, “knocked out”, “knocked woozy” and “had my bell rung” are all just synonyms for “brain injury.”  After all, if a boxer is “knocked out” then he is unconscious – clearly this is a brain injury issue.

Brain injuries can be temporary or permanent.  Many people experience a return of all or most of their skills after a mild brain injury.  Those with more severe brain injuries often experience life-long difficulties.  Having a brain injuries is different from being born with a disability.  Though the symptoms of the two may sometimes look similar, the resulting life experiences are completely different.

Brain injury experiences come in all shapes and sizes.  They are unique like fingerprints, with every brain injury charting its own distinct course in each brain injury survivor’s life.

Learn about brain injury treatment services at the Transitional Learning Center: http://tlcrehab.org/

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