Traumatic Brain Injury Resources and Information
About Brain Injuries
The Brain Injury Association of New Jersey states that:
The Brain Controls Everything
The brain controls everything we say, do, think, and feel. It controls the very functions that keep us alive: breathing, circulation, digestion, hormones, and the immune system. It is through the brain that we experience emotion and express ourselves.
A brain injury refers to an injury in which an insult to
the brain causes damage to the brain. Because of the fact
that each injury does damage to a different part of the
brain, each brain injury is unique.
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has developed the following definitions:
Traumatic brain injuries occur during everyday activities, including falls, motor vehicle crashes, assaults, and sports injuries, including concussions.
Acquired brain injuries are caused by some medical conditions, including strokes, encephalitis, aneurysms, anoxia (lack of oxygen during surgery, drug overdose, or near drowning), metabolic disorders, meningitis, or brain tumors.
Although the causes of brain injury differ, the effects of these injuries on a person’s life are quite similar.
Whatever the cause, a brain injury can, according to the Brain Injury Association of America, result in “an impairment of cognitive abilities or physical functioning. It can also result in the disturbance of behavioral or emotional functioning.” Cognitive consequences can include memory loss, slowed ability to process information, trouble concentrating, organizational problems, poor judgment and difficulty initiating activities. Physical consequences can include seizures, muscle spasticity, fatigue, headaches and balance problems. Emotional/behavioral consequences can include depression, mood swings, anxiety, impulsivity and agitation.
Brain injury affects not only the individual, but also the family, close friends, coworkers and other social networks of the individual. Roles and relationships change; the financial ramifications may be extensive.
Brain injury is called the “silent epidemic” because public recognition of brain injury is extremely low despite the staggering number of people who are injured each year.
The effects of brain injury are often invisible to an unknowing observer. Likewise, the visible effects of brain injury—such as physical impairment, behavioral issues, and even cognitive deficits—are often not properly attributed to brain injury.
According to the New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services’ Center for Health Statistics (2004):
Of the 1.4 million TBI victims
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