The Impact of Brain Damage: Understanding the Consequence of Trauma to the Brain

What is Brain Injury?

Brain injury includes a number of conditions and disorders that result in impairment to the brain and its functions.

The term brain injury refers to any kind of brain disorder or neurological disruption which is sustained rather than developmental conditions.

Brain is a complex organ that’s while any damage cause the severe effect on the functioning of the brain.

The long term effects of brain injury are different for each person but can be addressed with proper management and support.

Effects will vary based on the type of condition, the nature and location of the injury, and a variety of other contributing factors. For example, while degenerative disorders typically impact the body’s ability to control movement, other brain injuries may have an impact on cognition, personality and behavior.

Understanding how different effects specifically impact a person allows for appropriate management strategies and support to be put in place.


Brain injuries can have significant effects on behavior, impacting impulse control and self awareness.

These effects stem from damage to areas of the brain that regulate emotions and impulses and include anger, impulsive behaviour, self-centeredness, impaired awareness and even violence.

Changes in a person’s personality and social skills can be confronting and where possible, families should work with the rehabilitation team or specialists to respond consistently to challenging behavior.

Domestic violence

Challenging and disruptive behaviors after a brain injury can sometimes lead to domestic violence within a family.

Impaired Awareness

Lack of self-awareness is a common outcome for people who sustain brain injuries with frontal lobe damage. Their inability to self-monitor and self-correct behavior can lead to challenging behaviors.


The ability to view the world from someone else’s point of view is a complex cognitive skill that occurs in the frontal lobes of the brain.

Impulsive behavior

Injury to the frontal lobes after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can affect the area of the brain that normally controls our impulses.


Anger is a very common emotional response after a brain injury and can be directly related to impairments caused by the injury and difficulties with self-regulation.


The cognitive effects of brain injury include attention and concentration problems, memory problems and difficulty with motivation and making decisions. 

  • Problem with organizing – acquired brain injury will initially find some difficulties with prioritizing, sequencing, organizing and starting and completing tasks
  • Motivation and initiation (Adynamia) Some brain injuries can result in a loss of motivation and difficulty in getting started with activities.
  • Decision-making and Brain Injury – Decision-making ranges from minor decisions, such as what to have for dinner, to major life-changing ones, such as changing careers.
  • Perseveration (Repetition) – Perseveration is repetitive and continuous behavior, speech or thought that occurs due to changes in cognitive skills such as memory, attention, and mental flexibility.
  • Memory Problems and Tips – Short-term memory loss is very common after a brain injury – thankfully there are plenty of coping strategies available.
  • Attention and concentration problems – A brain injury can affect attention or concentration abilities, leading to problems with work, study and everyday living.


The physical effects of brain injury are wide ranging but can include fatigue, sleep issues, headaches, dizziness and hearing problems. 

Communication Disorders After a Brain Injury

A brain injury can affect a person’s ability to communicate by impairing their hearing, speech and cognitive processing.

Sexual changes

Acquired brain injury (ABI) can have a number of consequences for an individual’s sexual functioning.

Hearing Impairment After a Brain Injury

A brain injury can result in a variety of hearing difficulties due to damage caused to both mechanical and neurological processes.

Balance problems and dizziness

Dizziness and balance problems are common after a brain injury. This can result in problems with movement even when there is no loss of function in the limbs themselves.


Headaches are a common and often persistent problem after acquiring a brain injury.  Headaches can arise after damage to different structures both inside and outside the head.

Sleep Issues

Lack of sleep has a negative effect on our ability to think, mood, energy levels and appetite. The average person needs around eight hours sleep a night or will suffer from decreased concentration, energy and many other problems

Managing fatigue

Fatigue is a common and highly disabling symptom experienced by people with a brain injury.


Brain injury can have an impact on a person’s psychological state, with many factors contributing to experiences such as clinical depression and panic attacks. 

Developing Mental Illness after a Brain Injury

Brain injury is a known risk factor for developing a mental illness, while some people with brain injury will have a pre-existing mental illness. Either way, dealing with both can cause additional stress for the person and their family after a brain injury.

Stress, Anxiety and Brain Injury

While stress is part of everyday life and a natural reaction when major change occurs, its impact can be much greater following brain injury.

Brain injury and suicide risks

People with an acquired brain injury may be at risk of suicide at some stage of their recovery process. It is very important for family members and friends to recognize the danger signs, know how to help and who to turn to for advice or referral.

Panic Attacks

Panic attacks occur when the body reacts as if it is in grave danger in a situation where there is no imminent threat.

Understanding the Nervous System

The nervous system is a complex system including the brain, spinal cord and nerves. It interprets and responds to information received through the senses.

Understanding the Brain

The brain controls and coordinates everything we do – our movements, feelings, thoughts, and bodily functions.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *