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Aquired Brain Injury, (ABI) 

Acquired brain injury (ABI) refers to brain damage occurring after birth from causes such as trauma, (TBI), illness, infection, lack of oxygen, (hypoxia),stroke, or toxic exposure. ABIs lead to a spectrum of physical, cognitive, and emotional impairments, classified into traumatic and non-traumatic types. 

ABI is a Disease, Not an Event

Currently, The World Health Organization defines acquired brain injury (ABI) as an event  and not the disease that it is, often spanning the lifetime of the affected individual. This, unfortunately, leads to a lack of diagnosis and rehabilitation with long-term consequences, including an increased risk of late-onset neurodegenerative conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Systemic Challenges

Inconsistent diagnosis

Lack of consistent neuroradiology and blood biomarkers to make a diagnosis


Inconsistent treatment

Little if any aftercare to rehabilitate patients

Lack of education

Patients and healthcare professionals are inadequately educated on the aftercare and long-term consequences of an ABI

Lack of access to treatment

Deficiencies in access to rehabilitation and insufficient follow-up in patients with “mild” TBI


Long-term social consequences

Loss of job, bankruptcy, family disruption, incarceration, homelessness, lost to the system

Unmet Needs, Lived Experience

Lived experience helps us understand the needs of our community uniquely. For those who had little or no professional support following an injury to the brain, there is often little likelihood of people being accepted into rehabilitation programs at a later date. People are left to struggle alone, which results in suboptimal rehabilitation outcomes—inadequate or inappropriate treatment results in chronic detrimental effects on people's recoveries. Without the proper treatment, quality of life is reduced, adverse personal events destroy lives, and the cost to society is magnified. 

Brain Injury is Common

​Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability in young adults.


Traumatic brain injuries affect 63 million people globally.


Every 9 seconds, someone in the US sustains a brain injury.

Everyday, 176 Americans die from complications related to a traumatic brain injury.


Worldwide, 131 traumatic brain injuries occur per minute.

  • One in three people will have a brain injury, and less than half will be diagnosed. 

  • Less than 15% of people with an acquired brain injury receive the support and cognitive rehabilitation they need to lead productive lives post-injury. ​

  • Brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide.

  • Sufferers of brain injuries can experience memory problems, loss of cognitive functioning, loss of independence, and more.

The Long-Term Consequences

87% of US inmates have a history of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

TBI is the leading cause of seizure disorders.

TBI prevalence in the homeless population is 53%.

Life expectancy is nine years shorter after a moderate to severe TBI.

Depression affects over 50% of people with a TBI.

People with a mild TBI are three times more likely to suffer from depression than non-injuries, and it persists for decades.

Social isolation is present in over 70% of brain injury survivors.


TBI of any severity is associated with a 63%–96% increased risk of all-cause dementia.

TBI more than doubles the risk of suicide and is over four times higher with more severe injuries.


At Brain Network, we believe everyone deserves a second chance at life.

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