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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Home

This guide provides resources on traumatic brain injury.

What is traumatic brain injury?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a form of an acquired brain injury. Acquired brain injuries are injuries to the brain, that are not hereditary, Black and white drawing of a braincongenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. An acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain that has occurred after birth. (Brain Injury Association of America).

TBI is a "physical injury to brain tissue that temporarily or permanently impairs brain function." TBIs can be mild to severe and can present as a complex and varied array of symptoms. (Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Health, 3rd ed.)

According to the CDC, TBI can result in short and long term problems that affect vision, attention, memory, perception, and more. TBI can also alter personality, create mood disorders, and increase aggressive behavior.

For the purposes of this guide, we will mostly be referring to traumatic brain injuries, as that type of acquired brain injury is most widely defined and discussed. However, we will list resources on acquired brain injuries when available.

Who is affected by traumatic brain injury?

According to the CDC:

  • In 2010, about 2.5 million emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, or deaths were associated with TBI in the United States.
  • Men have higher rates of TBI hospitalizations and emergency department visits and TBI related deaths than women
  • For those hospitalized with TBI, about 43% have a related disability one year later

Causes

TBI is caused by an external force that results in impaired brain functioning. This can occur from events such as:

  • Car crashes
  • Gunshot wounds to the head
  • Falls
  • Objects falling on the head
  • Violent assaults

Non-traumatic acquired brain injuries can be caused by:

  • stroke
  • bleeding in the brain
  • lack of oxygen to the brain
  • infections
  • brain tumors

(Powell River Brain Injury Society)

Subject Guide

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JJ Pionke

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