The Facts About Brain Injury
Acquired Brain Injury
- An acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain, which is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. 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 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
- Feeling frustrated or impatient
- Impulsivity and self-control problems
- Feeling depressed, tearful or anxious
- Difficulties with attention
- Difficulties with concentration
- Memory problems
- Issues with problem-solving
- Taking longer to think
- Altered sleep patterns