Brain injuries fall under two categories: traumatic brain injuries and acquired brain injuries. While traumatic and acquired brain injuries occur differently, both may impact the way a person thinks, feels, acts, and moves, and can also affect body functions and sensory perception.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury is a result of a direct blow to the head. The force is large enough to break through the skull and damage the soft brain, or to cause the brain to move within the skull.

Types of injuries that cause the skull to break and hurt the brain include:

  • car crashes
  • falls
  • sports
  • firearms
  • physical violence

Types of injuries that cause the brain to be moved back and forth within the skull include those that cause a rapid acceleration or deceleration of the head, including motor vehicle accidents and Shaken Baby Syndrome. In these cases, the movement within the skull causes nerve fibers in the brain to separate and damage to brain tissue.

Acquired Brain Injury

An acquired brain injury is one that has occurred after birth, and is not hereditary, congenital, or degenerative. Acquired brain injuries occur on a cellular level, which means that instead of a particular area in the brain being affected, cells throughout the entire brain are affected.

Common causes of acquired brain injury include:

  • airway obstruction
  • near drowning
  • choking
  • injuries in which the chest has been crushed
  • electrical shock
  • lightening strike
  • trauma to the head or neck
  • blood loss
  • artery impingement
  • shock
  • heart attack
  • stroke,
  • arteriovenous malformation
  • aneurysm
  • intracranial surgery
  • vascular disruption
  • infections diseases
  • intracranial tumors
  • metabolic disorders
  • meningitis
  • some venereal diseases
  • insect-carried diseases
  • AIDS
  • hypo or hyperglycemia
  • hepatic encephalopathy
  • uremic encephalopathy
  • seizure disorders
  • toxic exposures to chemical and gases