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

brainmriSigns and symptoms may include:

- Fatigue

- Memory problems

- Trouble problem solving

- Difficulty finding words

- Irritability

- Difficulty making decisions

- Inability to concentrate

- Personality changes

- Trouble organizing thoughts

- Easily confused

Types of Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the head caused by an external physical force. Most traumatic brain injuries are caused by accidents or assaults to the skull that are sufficiently hard to cause the brain to move within the skull or to cause the skull to break and directly injure the brain. TBI may produce a diminished or altered state of consciousness and an impairment of cognitive abilities or physical functioning. It may also result in the disturbance of behavioral or emotional functioning. The damage can be focal, confined to one area of the brain, or diffuse, involving more than one area of the brain.

Causes of TBI include:

- Domestic violence and assaults
- Falls
- Motor vehicle crashes
- Shaken baby syndrome
- Sports and recreational accidents

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services released a Special Emphasis Report on Traumatic Brain Injury in 2010 which holds the most recent statistics on traumatic brain injury in the Commonwealth. Click here to view this report.

An acquired or non-traumatic brain injury (ABI) refers to any type of brain damage occurring after birth that is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or the result of an external impact. Acquired brain injury takes place at the cellular level of the brain and may result in mild, moderate, or severe impairments in one or more areas, including cognition, physical functions, and psycho-social behavior.

Causes of ABI or non-traumatic brain injury include:

- Brain tumors, intracranial tumors, intracranial surgery
- Excessive drug and alcohol abuse
- Lack of oxygen caused by an airway obstruction, such as in near-drowning
- Seizure disorder
- Stroke or aneurysm

For more information and resources, contact the I&R Department:

1-800-242-0030 or 1-508-475-0032