Brain Injury Help Line: 1-800-242-0030


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Kristin Olliney and Isabella

"She’s come really far … but she has a long journey ahead of her, but we’ll take that together, too."

In 2010, Kristin Olliney and her daughter Isabella's lives were changed forever when Isabella came down with sudden acute encephalitis, which caused brain damage. Despite the number of challenges they face every day, Isabella and her mother face them head on and work on her rehabilitation every day.

Click here to read Kristin's & Isabella's and other stories.


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Brain Injury Facts

brainSigns and symptoms of Brain Injury may include:


-Memory problems

-Trouble problem solving

-Difficulty finding words

-Difficulty making decisions


-Inability to concentrate

-Personality changes

-Trouble organizing thoughts

-Easily confused

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is any injury to the brain, which occurs after birth and can be caused by:

  • Infectious diseases (encephalitis, meningitis)
  • Metabolic disorders which may be related to cardiovascular disease, nutritional deficiencies,
  • endocrine disorders or diminished oxygen (anoxia)
  • Brain tumors
  • Toxins, poisons, alcohol,and illicit drug abuse
  • Diseases and conditions affecting the blood supply to the brain (stroke)
  • Trauma to the brain, which is externally caused. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the leading cause of ABI, and the most common cause of TBI is falls (other external mechanisms include motor vehicles, sports injuries, firearms, and strikes by an object or person).

Consequences of ABI
Individuals who sustain an ABI often experience a variety of symptoms over time. Some of the common disorders and impairments associated with ABI include:

  • Motor Impairments: Paralysis, incoordination, involuntary movements or decreased movement.
  • Cognitive Disorders: Impairment of attentional capacity and performance on tests of logic, reasoning, memory, language, organization, learning, orientation and perception.
  • Changes in Psychological or Social Functioning: Depression, personality changes, impulsivity, aggression, diminished interest in sexual activity, social withdrawal, and difficulty regulating one's emotional responses.
  • Sensory Loss: Loss of touch, hearing, sense of smell and/or taste, as well as blindness or other visual impairments.

Other consequences of ABI may include seizures, chronic pain, sleep and headache disorders. One of the most common co-occurring disorders exhibited by
individuals who sustain ABI is substance abuse.

Brain Anatomy

brain anatomy

For more information and resources, contact the I&R Department at 1-800-242-0030 or 1-508-475-0032 or email