Thursday, June 1, 2017

Brain Injury Awareness Month

The brain, an organ of soft tissue, is responsible for the function of the central nervous system. When the brain is injured, however, the nervous system does not function as it normally should. 

Approximately 160,000 Canadians suffer from brain injuries every year, and there are over 1 million Canadians currently living with the effects of a brain injury. While brain injuries can affect anyone at any age, at least 30% of all brain injuries are seen in youth – usually sustained as a result of sports or other recreational activities.

Different types of injuries can happen to the brain. Brain damage can be caused by several factors including physical force, birth trauma, or insufficient blood supply. The severity of a brain injury is dependent on the underlying cause of the injury sustained and/or the amount of force to the head. Brain injuries can affect certain or all areas of the brain, and can result in severe impairments in your cognitive, speech, language and behavioural functioning.

There are many different types of brain injuries. Concussions, often seen in sports, are the most common type of brain injury. A concussion occurs as a result of trauma to the brain due to impact. An individual with a concussion may briefly lose consciousness. They can also result in headaches and a general feeling of brain fogginess. It can take several months to years for a concussion to fully heal. A contusion, another form of brain injury, is characterized as bleeding on the brain, and can also be the result of impact to the head. Similarly, Diffuse Axonal Brain Injuries can also have the same result. DABI’s are commonly seen as a result of car accidents. Other brain injuries such as a Closed Brain Injury (CBI) or Open Penetrating Brain Injury are considered to be traumatic brain injuries, and can result in disability.

If you suspect you may have a brain injury or are experiencing any symptoms associated with a concussion, Vancouver physician Dr. Ali Ghahary urges patients to seek immediate medical attention. 

Early detection is key, as the majority of brain injuries can be treated if they are diagnosed soon enough.

You can find out more information on brain injuries at

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