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What are the types of brain injury?

The brain is responsible for much more than just the physical body. It is also responsible for emotion, intelligence, personality and consciousness. Therefore, a brain injury can affect way more than just your head: It can permanently, fundamentally alter your human nature.

Brain injuries can vary widely in their nature and severity. Every case of injury is different. Still, there are a few common types of brain injury that you should know about. After all, understanding brain injuries is the first step in preventing them.

There are two categories of brain injuries—traumatic, and acquired.

Traumatic brain injury

In a traumatic brain injury, the brain is harmed by an external force to the head. This could include a car crash, a slip and fall or a workplace accident. Traumatic brain injuries are also divided into subcategories, such as:

  • Concussion

Concussions are caused by a direct trauma to the head. They are the most common forms of brain injury.

  • Contusion

A contusion, or localized bleeding inside the brain, must be surgically removed or may become fatal.

  • Diffuse axonal injuries

When the brain is forcefully shaken or rotated, the tissue can tear. This is known as a diffuse axonal injury.

  • Penetration injuries

If a sharp external object enters the brain, it causes what is known as a penetration injury. These injuries are rare but very dangerous.

Acquired brain injury

An acquired brain injury results from other conditions that then led to a brain injury, such as a stroke that then affects the brain. There are two subcategories of acquired brain injuries:

  • Anoxic

An anoxic brain injury occurs due to lack of oxygen to the brain. These injuries often cause brain damage and serious cognitive impairment.

  • Hypoxic

Hypoxic brain injuries are very similar to anoxic ones. In a hypoxic injury, however, oxygen is not cut off completely from the brain. These are usually less severe than anoxic injuries.

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