Your brain controls your ability to think, talk, move, and breathe. In addition to being responsible for your senses, emotions, memory, and personality, your brain allows every part of your body to function - even when you're sleeping.

Brain injuries are often described as either traumatic or acquired based on the cause of the injury.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an insult to the brain, not of a degenerative or congenital nature, which is caused by an external physical force that may produce a dimished or altered state of consciousness, and which results in an impairment of cognitive abilities or physical functioning. It can also result in the disturbance of behavioral or emotional functioning.

When you injure your brain, you injure an important part of the body.

A TBI can affect your ability to:

  • Think and solve problems,
  • Move your body and speak, or
  • Control your behavior, emotions, and reactions.

A TBI is not:

  • Hereditary. You can't inherit a TBI from your parents.
  • Degenerative. A TBI will not cause your brain to gradually deteriorate.
  • Congenital. You're not born with a TBI.

Acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury to the brain that is not hereditary, congenital or degenerative.

Acquired brain injuries are caused by some medical conditions, including strokes, encephalitis, aneurysms, anoxia (lack of oxygen during surgery, drug overdose, or near drowning), metabolic disorders, meningitis, or brain tumors.

Although the causes of brain injury differ, the effects of these injuries on a person's life are quite similar.