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Joanne Susi

"It's the difference between surviving and thriving...and I'm thriving here."Joanne Susi was BIA-MA's keynote speaker at the 35th Annual Brain Injury Conference. On March 16, 2011, Joanne Susi's life was transformed. After three long years in a nursing home, she moved into the community as a result of the ABI Waiver Program. Read Joanne's story

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About Brain Injury

Signs and symptoms of Brain Injury may include:

brain

-Fatigue -Memory problems
-Trouble problem solving -Difficulty finding words
-Difficulty making decisions -Irritability
-Inability to concentrate -Personality changes
-Trouble organizing thoughts -Easily confused

Acquired Brain Injury:
ABI

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)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) - Externally caused 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.

TBI FactsTBI Facts

According to the CDC, of the 2.5 million who sustain a TBI each year in the United States: 50,000 die; 280,000 are hospitalized; and 2.2 million are treated and released from an emergency department. The number of people with TBI who are not seen in an emergency department or who receive no care is unknown. Learn more - CDC Brain Injury Facts

What causes TBI?

The leading causes of TBI are:

  • Falls – 40.5%
  • Struck by/against – 15.5%
  • Motor vehicle – 14.3%
  • Assaults – 10.7%
  • Unknown – 19%

Who is at highest risk for TBI?

  • Males are about 1.5 times as likely as females to sustain a TBI.
  • The two age groups at highest risk for TBI are 0 to 4 year olds and 15 to 19 year olds.

What are the long-term consequences of TBI?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 5.3 million Americans currently have a long-term or lifelong need for help to perform activities of daily living as a result of a TBI.

According to one study, about 40% of those hospitalized with a TBI had at least one unmet need for services one year after their injury. The most frequent unmet needs were:

Brain Anatomy

brain anatomy

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For more information contact BIA-MA at 508-475-0032 or email info@biama.org.