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Brain Injury

A brain injury can challenge every aspect of your life – walking, talking, thinking and feeling – and the losses can be severe and permanent. It can mean losing both the life you once lived and the person you once were.

We all think ‘it will never happen to me’, but every year around 350,000 people are admitted to hospital with an acquired brain injury. [1]

That’s one every 90 seconds.

It is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the UK, and its impact is continuing to grow as many brain injury survivors feel abandoned when they leave hospital due to the lack of rehab therapies available and not knowing where to turn to for help.

Types of Brain Injury

Acquired brain injury can have a number of different causes. Some of the most common types of brain injury include: [2]
  • Traumatic brain injury (for instance road traffic collisions, falls or assaults)
  • Minor head injury and concussion (loss of consciousness of less than 15 minutes)
  • Aneurysm (also known as a cerebral aneurysm)
  • Brain haemorrhage (also known as a haemorrhagic stroke)
  • Brain tumour
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Encephalitis
  • Hypoxic/anoxic brain injury (caused a reduction or loss of oxygen to the brain)
  • Meningitis
  • Stroke
Males are 1.5 times more likely than females to be admitted for head injury. However, female head injury admissions have risen 23% since 2005-6. [3]

Effects of Brain Injury

The effects of a brain injury can be wide ranging, varied in severity and may include some or all of the issues below: [4]
  • Physical effects such as fatigue, impaired mobility, weakness/paralysis and speech problems
  • Cognitive effects such as memory problems, impaired reasoning and reducing problem solving ability
  • Emotional and behavioural effects such as personality changes, depression, anxiety and anger
The more severe the brain injury, the more pronounced the long-term effects are likely to be. Survivors of more severe brain injury are likely to have complex long-term problems affecting their personality, their relationships and their ability to lead an independent life. Even with good rehabilitation, support and help in the community, survivors and their families are likely to face uncertain and challenging futures. The Living with brain injury section contains a wide range of practical advice, incorporating the experiences and views of survivors and carers.


[1] [2] [3], [4] – House of Commons, Acquired brain injury, debate pack. Number CDP 2019/0111, 8 May 2019)

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