1.1 An Acquired Brain Injury is any sudden damage to the brain received during a person’s lifetime and not as a result of birth trauma. Acquired brain injury is referred to as the hidden disability because its long term problems are often in the areas of thinking and behaviour and are not as easy to see and recognise as many physical disabilities. 1.2 •A traumatic injury such as a road traffic accident, a fall, an assault or a sporting injury
•Viral infection e.g. meningitis, encephalitis or septicaemia
•Lack of oxygen to the brain e.g. as a result of a heart attack (anoxia/hypoxia)
* Cognitive effects * Communicational problems * Emotional and behaviour problems * Hormonal imbalances * Physical effects
2.2 Physical- Most people make an excellent physical recovery after a brain injury, which can mean there are few, or no, outwards signs that an injury has occurred. There are often physical problems present that are not always so apparent, but can have a real impact on daily life.
Functional -relates to the individual’s ability to carry out day to day tasks, ie dressing, washing, and cooking. It does not solely mean the physical ability but also can mean concentration, motivation for doing tasks.
Cognitive- The cognitive effects of a brain injury affect the way a person thinks, learns and remembers. Different mental abilities are located in different parts of the brain, so a head injury can damage some, but not necessarily all, skills such as speed of thought, memory, understanding, and concentration, solving problems and using language.
Behavioural- Everyone who has had a head injury can be left with some changes in emotional reaction and behaviour. These are more difficult to see than the more obvious problems such as those which affect movement and speech, for example, but can be the most difficult for the individual