Acquired brain injury (ABI) can be caused by a traumatic injury such as an accident or surgery, or a non-traumatic injury such as a stroke or brain tumour. Impairments can be permanent or temporary and can be physical, emotional, behavioural, cognitive or a combination of these. Individuals with ABI can generally undertake most kinds of work activity, providing that suitable support and adjustments are in place.
Symptoms and severity of ABI vary widely depending on which area of the brain has been damaged, but can include:
The effects of ABI can be life changing and may result in people also experiencing depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from the accident/ trauma or other mental health conditions.
Over 700,000 Australians have a brain injury. Three in every four of these people are ages 65 or under. As many as two out of every three acquired their brain injury before the age of 25.