About Brain Injury
The brain controls everything we do, say, think and feel. It controls the very
functioning that keeps us alive: breathing, digestion, hormones and the immune system.
Because the consistency of the adult brain tissue is like Jell-O and the
consistency of a child's brain tissue is like pudding, the brain is very
vulnerable to injury. The brain floats in a liquid called cerebro-spinal fluid
and is encased by the skull, which has very rough areas on the inside surface that have the potential to damage the brain.
When the brain is injured, a person's abilities and bodily functions may
change. In general, the more serious the injury, the more significant and
permanent changes are likely to be. Some changes caused by brain injury may be subtle but have a major impact on the way a person lives his or her life.
There are two types of brain injury: traumatic brain injury and acquired
brain injury. Both types of injury can damage specific areas of the brain or
cause a diffuse injury, which affects cells throughout the entire brain.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). TBI is caused by a blow or jolt to the
head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the
brain. A rapid acceleration or deceleration of the head, which can force the
brain to move back and forth inside the skull, can also cause TBI. The stress from these rapid movements pull apart nerve fibers and cause damage to the brain tissue.
Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). ABI is an injury to the brain that has
occurred after birth and is not hereditary, congenital or degenerative. ABI
takes place at the cellular level within the brain; most symptoms of ABIs are
very similar to those of TBIs.
Alabama Head Injury Foundation specifically supports those with traumatic brain injury. For more information, and to identify local resources in Alabama, you please visit http://www.braininjurysupport.org.