ABOUT ACQUIRED BRAIN INJURY (ABI)
The World Health Organization defines Acquired Brain Injury as an injury to the brain which is not hereditary, congenital or degenerative.
Some of the causes of brain injury include a blow to the head, whiplash injuries, seizure disorders, tumors or anoxic/hypoxic events (cardiopulmonary arrest, carbon monoxide poisoning, airway obstruction) infectious diseases and toxic exposure (substance abuse). (BCBIA Headline, Vol 13, # 2, 1997)
160,000 Canadians sustain brain injuries each year. Incidence (and reporting rates) are rising.
Over a million Canadians live with the effects of an acquired brain injury.
About 50% of all acquired brain injuries in Canada come from falls and motor vehicle accidents.
Think First reports that thirty per cent of all traumatic brain injuries are sustained by children and youth, many of them while participating in sports and recreational activities.
The incidence and prevalence of brain injury outnumbers breast cancer, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDs – combined.
A concussion is a mild type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body which causes the brain to move back and forth in your skull. Without attention, diagnosis and treatment, the damage to your brain does not have the opportunity to recover, and can easily worsen.
A concussion often changes the way your brain normally works and has a multitude of impacts on the rest of your body. The symptoms include:
• Loss of consciousness.
• Balance problems or dizziness.
• Double or fuzzy vision.
• Sensitivity to light or noise.
• Feeling sluggish, foggy or groggy.
• Feeling unusually irritable.
• Concentration or memory problems
• Slowed reaction time.
You can visit the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation to download: