What is a Brain Injury?
An Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is any type of damage to the brain acquired after birth and which is not hereditary, congenital, or degenerative. Causes of ABI include external forces applied to the head and or neck (traumatic brain injury), anoxic/hypoxic injury (cardiac arrest, carbon monoxide poisoning, airway obstruction, hemorrhage, drowning), intracranial surgery, infectious diseases, seizure disorders, toxic exposure (substance abuse, ingestion of lead, inhalation of volatile agents), aneurysms, and vascular obstruction (stroke).
Brain injury affects the whole person, including changes in the physical, emotional, and cognitive areas of the body. These changes can impact how a person reacts to his or her daily life, including school and work, and how s/he manages his or her finances. Relationships and a person’s well being are determined by how well he or she can manage these challenges. The road can seem long and insurmountable, especially without help.
Wording courtesy of TX BIA
- American Brain Tumor Association – For nearly 40 years, the ABTA has been providing comprehensive resources that support the complex needs of brain tumor patients and caregivers, as well as the critical funding of research in the pursuit of breakthroughs in brain tumor diagnosis, treatment and care.
- Brain Aneurysm Foundation – The mission of the Brain Aneurysm Foundation is to provide support networks and educational resources to raise public awareness regarding early detection and treatment of brain aneurysms.
- The Aneurysm and AVM Support Page – The purpose of this Aneurysm and AVM Support site is not to echo data from many other informative web pages, but to instead be a place for survivors, their families, and those who have lost loved ones to aneurysms to exchange experiences and pre- and post aneurysm diagnoses.
- Encephalitis Information Resource – This site provides comprehensive information and resources for those affected by encephalitis.
Epilepsy and Seizures
- National Epilepsy Foundation – The Epilepsy Foundation’s goal is to ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences. They also believe in preventing, controlling, and curing epilepsy through research, education, advocacy, and various services.
- Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado
- State Driving Laws – Here you can review the laws for driving with epilepsy in your state or compare laws between states if you are moving.
America’s Stroke Burden:
- Stroke kills almost 130,000 Americans each year—that’s 1 in every 18 deaths.
- On average, one American dies from stroke every 4 minutes.
- Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. About 610,000 of these are first or new strokes. One in four are recurrent strokes.
- Ischemic strokes happen when blood clots block the blood vessels to the brain. About 87% of all strokes are ischemic.
- Stroke costs the United States an estimated $54 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and missed days of work.
- Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability.
- American Stroke Association – This is a division of the American Heart Association that provides outreach, promotes research, and publishes a journal. The site includes facts and a guide for women.
- National Stroke Association – The National Stroke Association is a national voluntary health care organization focusing on stroke prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and research for stroke survivors/families.
- Rocky Mountain Stroke Center
- Acute Stroke Toolbox
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) – The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is the leading supporter of biomedical research on disorders of the brain and nervous system.
- Stroke Awareness for Everyone – Established in 1995, this organization provides information and support to stroke survivors and their families and friends. Caregivers can read a four-chapter handbook from the website.
- The Stroke Network – This is an online stroke support and information group designed to help everyone in the stroke family. Their stroke support group is available 24/7, and the purpose of their organization is to provide online support for adult stroke survivors and caregivers.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is defined as a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of such an injury may range from “mild,” i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe,” i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. A TBI can result in short or long-term problems with independent function.
How many people have TBI?
Of the approximate 1.7 million who sustain a TBI each year in the United States:
- 52,000 die
- 275,000 are hospitalized
- 1.36 million are treated and released from emergency departments
- The number of those who don’t seek care is unknown
- Colorado ranks 9th in the nation of fatalities due to a TBI and 13th in the nation of hospitalizations due to a TBI
- Almost 5,000 individuals are hospitalized and over 1,000 die due to a TBI in Colorado each year
- Males are twice as likely to sustain a TBI in Colorado as females
- The age groups with the highest risk of sustaining a TBI in Colorado are 15-24 and 65+
The number of people with TBI who are not seen in an emergency department or who receive no care is unknown.
What causes TBI?
The leading causes of TBI are:
- Falls (35.2%)
- Motor vehicle-traffic crashes (17.3%)
- Struck by/against (16.5%)
- Assaults (10%)
Blasts are a leading cause of TBI for active duty military personnel in war zones.
Who is at highest risk for TBI?
- Males are about 1.5 times as likely as females to sustain a TBI.
- The two age groups at highest risk for TBI are 0 to 4 year olds and 15 to 19 year olds.
- Certain military duties (e.g., paratrooper) increase the risk of sustaining a TBI.
- African Americans have the highest death rate from TBI.
What are the costs of TBI?
Direct medical costs and indirect costs such as lost productivity of TBI totaled an estimated $60 billion in the United States in 1995.
What are the long-term consequences of TBI?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 6 million Americans currently have a long-term or lifelong need for help to perform activities of daily living as a result of a TBI.
According to one study, about 40% of those hospitalized with a TBI had at least one unmet need for services one year after their injury. The most frequent unmet needs were:
- Improving memory and problem solving
- Managing stress and emotional upsets
- Controlling one’s temper
- Improving one’s job skills
TBI can cause a wide range of functional changes affecting thinking, language, learning, emotions, behavior, and/or sensation. It can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders that become more prevalent with age.
For more information or details about TBI statistics, please visit:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Nationwide TBI statistics.
- Shaken Baby Alliance – Here you can learn about the devastating effects of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
- Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Program – This program consists of a group of 17 programs across the United States that work to gather data on brain injury rehabilitation.