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About brain injury

Effects of Brain Injury - The effects of a brain injury can be wide ranging, and depend on a number of factors such as the type, location and severity of injury. Every person's injury is unique, so they will experience any number of the symptoms, which can range from mild to severe.

Key facts

1 million Minimum estimate of people in the UK living with long-term effects of brain injury (1)

558 UK residents per 100,000 sustaining a brain injury

Every 90 seconds Someone is admitted to hospital in the UK with acquired brain injury

353,059 UK admissions to hospital with acquired brain injury in 2011-12 661

169,673 UK admissions to hospital with a non-superficial head injury in 2011-12 33.5% Increase in UK head injury admissions in the last decade 10,000 - 20,000

Number of severe traumatic brain injuries per year in the UK 2x More likely for men to sustain a traumatic brain injury than women 15-24 year old males and over 80 year olds

The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on UK roads has increased 11% in the past three years. (Department for Transport) Cyclist casualty and KSI rates per 100,000 people are highest for 12-15 year olds. For this age group, 1 in every 5 casualties in a road accident is a pedal cyclist. (Department for Transport) 22% of all UK cycling casualties are under 16. The figure for child casualties in all forms of road traffic accident is only 10%. (Department for Transport)

It is estimated that 90,000 on-road and 100,000 off-road cycling accidents occur every year in the UK, of which 53% (100,000) involve children under 16.

Types of brain injury

Diagram of the Brain
The effects of brain injury can be divided into four categories:

1. Cognitive effects of brain injury
The cognitive effects of a brain injury affect the way a person thinks, learns and remembers. Different mental abilities are located in different parts of the brain, so a head injury can damage some, but not necessarily all, skills such as speed of thought, memory, understanding, concentration, solving problems and using language.

2. Emotional and behavioural effects of brain injury
Everyone who has had a head injury can be left with some changes in emotional reaction and behaviour. These are more difficult to see than the more obvious problems such as those which affect movement and speech, for example, but can be the most difficult for the individual concerned and their family to deal with.

3. Physical effects of brain injury
Most people make an excellent physical recovery after a brain injury, which can mean there are few, or no, outwards signs that an injury has occurred.

4. Hormonal imbalances and pituitary dysfunction after brain injury
Brain injury may occasionally cause damage to the hypothalamus and/or pituitary gland.

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