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What is ABI?
Acquired brain injury (ABI) refers to any type of brain damage that occurs after birth. It can include damage sustained by infection, disease, lack of oxygen or a blow to the head.
Two thirds of all people with an ABI who have their activity limited or restricted are over the age of 45. One third of those are over the age of 65. The largest age group is between 40 and 49 and, at all ages except for those aged 80 and over, rates for males are higher than for females.
How brain injury occurs?
Brain injury can occur through:
Sudden onset – caused by trauma, infection, lack of oxygen (for example, during near drowning or suicide attempts), strokes or drug use episodes
insidious onset – from prolonged alcohol or substance abuse, tumours or degenerative neurological diseases.
Causes of acquired brain injury (ABI):
Acquired brain injury is any damage to the brain that happens after birth. The specific symptoms or losses of functioning depend on which brain areas are affected.
Some of the causes include:
Alcohol or drugs – which can poison the brain
disease – such as AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease
lack of oxygen – called anoxic brain injury (for example, injury caused by a near drowning)
physical injury – such as an impact (or blow) to the head, which may occur in vehicle or sporting accidents, fights or falls
stroke – when a blood vessel inside the brain breaks or is blocked, destroying the local brain tissue.
How ABI affects a person?
The long-term effects of brain injury are difficult to predict. They will be different for each person and can range from mild to profound.
It is common for many people with ABI to experience increased fatigue (mental and physical) and some slowing down in how fast they can process information, plan and solve problems. They may experience changes to their behaviour and personality, physical and sensory abilities, or thinking and learning.

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