What is acquired brain injury?
As a general overview, acquired brain injury, or ABI, refers to any injury or damage to the brain that occurs after birth.
This injury or damage can greatly - and permanently - affect the way a person thinks, feels and behaves.
The outcomes and effects of ABI are different for each person and often depend on the cause, nature and severity of the injury. Some effects of brain injury are only experienced in the short term, but many permanently impact on the person’s ability to lead an independent life.
Definition of Brain Injury
‘Acquired brain injury (ABI) is injury to the brain which results in deterioration in cognitive, physical, emotional or independent functioning. ABI can occur as a result of trauma, hypoxia [where a person has less than the normal level of oxygen in the body], infection, tumour, substance abuse, degenerative neurological diseases or stroke. These impairments to cognitive abilities or physical functioning may be either temporary or permanent and cause partial or total disability or psychosocial maladjustment.’
(National Policy on Services for People with Acquired Brain Injury, 1994).