Supporting those with brain injury in Northamptonshire
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The Facts About Brain Injury

Acquired Brain Injury

  • An acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury caused to the brain since birth. Possible causes include stroke, haemorrhage and infection.
  • There are estimated to be over 450,000 people in England living with severe disability as a result of a stroke.
  • An estimated 13,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour each year in the UK.
  • It is estimated that across the UK there are about 500,000 people (aged 16 to 74) living with long term disabilities as a result of a brain injury

Traumatic Brain Injury

  • A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury caused when the head receives a severe jolt or blow, for example a fall accident or assault
  • Each year an estimated 1.4 million people attend accident and emergency departments in the UK following a head injury. Of these around 135.000 people are then admitted to hospital as a result of a traumatic brain injury
  • Men are 2 to 3 times more likely to have a traumatic brain injury than women. This increases to 5 times more likely in the 15 to 29 year age range.

Levels of Brain Injury

  • 70-90% of all treated brain injuries are classed as 'mild'. Mild brain injury is usually differentiated from moderate and severe brain injury by the absence of an extensive period of unconsciousness.
  • The severity of the initial injury is not however an accurate indicator of long-term problems and even mild injuries can result in lasting impairments.
  • Epilepsy occurs in around 5% of people with brain injury. This is about 10 times more common than in the population as a whole.
  • An injury to an area of the brain caused by trauma or bleeding can result in nerve cells becoming irritated and over-active. This causes an area of of the brain or the whole brain to be upset.

The Symptoms of Brain Injury

Physical and sensory problems

  • Persistent headaches
  • Feelings of dizziness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Visual disturbances
  • Easily upset by loud noises

Behavioural and mood changes

  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Feeling frustrated or impatient
  • Impulsivity and self-control problems
  • Feeling depressed, tearful or anxious

Cognitive problems

  • Difficulties with attention
  • Difficulties with concentration
  • Memory problems
  • Issues with problem-solving
  • Taking longer to think

Sleep disturbances

  • Altered sleep patterns
  • Fatigue