Causes of Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can be caused in a variety of ways, including the following:

  • Penetration of the brain by a high-velocity projectile, such as nail gun or a bullet, or a low-velocity projectile, such as a knife.
  • The head is struck or there is  rapid acceleration or deceleration of the head, such as in cases of sports injuries, child abuse, construction site accidents and auto, motorbike and bicycle accidents.
  • Toxins—approximately 1,000 substances, including insecticides, solvents and lead, have a possible neurotoxic effect.
  • The blood flow is depleted of oxygen. In cases of anoxia there is no oxygen; hypoxia is when there is a reduced amount of oxygen. Either of these conditions may take only a few minutes to occur, and can be caused by heart attacks, respiratory failure, drops in blood pressure, a low oxygen environment, medical negligence. The result can be severe cognitive and memory deficits.
  • Tumors caused by cancer can grow on or over the brain, and can cause damage by  invading the spaces of the brain. Damage can also result from pressure around an enlarged tumor or from surgical procedures to remove the tumor.
  • The brain and surrounding membranes are very prone to infections if the special blood-brain protective system is breached. Viruses and bacteria can cause serious and life-threatening diseases of the brain—encephalitis and meningitis.
  • In the case of strokes, if blood flow is blocked, cell death in the area deprived of blood will result. If there is bleeding in or over the brain (hemorrhage or hematoma) because of a tear in an artery or vein, loss of blood flow and injury to the brain tissue by the blood will also result in brain damage.


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