Brain injuries usually happen as the result of some kind of intense trauma. This can occur from a single event or from a series of events over the long term. Some of the common events that cause brain injuries include vehicular accidents, violent assaults, and impacts during sporting events. There is also another kind of brain injury that can happen as a result of oxygen deprivation, toxic substances, or some kind of illness, and some of these are relatively common as well.
Most brain injuries happen because something strikes the head, or the head slams against something. Sometimes these injuries will actually break open the skull, and sometimes the brain will simply move around inside the skull, impacting the sides and causing damage. The latter kind of injury often happens when the body is moving and has its momentum stopped suddenly, and this can often occur in a car accident.
Violence is one of the more common reasons for brain injury. Some of the most severe brain damage happens when people suffer bullet wounds in their heads. These kinds of injuries are very often fatal, and even when people survive them, they are frequently severely disabled. Something less intense, like a fistfight, for example, can also cause brain injuries. This kind of blunt-force trauma can injure someone in a single incident, or it can have a cumulative effect over time, and this often happens to athletes like boxers or football players.
When someone suffocates or chokes on something, the brain is deprived of oxygen. This leads to cellular damage in the tissue of the brain, and it is considered another kind of brain injury. Diseases and poisons can also damage the tissue in the same way.
The symptoms of brain injury are often quite varied because different parts of the brain govern different aspects of human behavior and body functions. Sometimes the effects of brain injuries can be relatively subtle, and it may be difficult to tell that anything is wrong. At other times, people may suffer severe losses of basic cognitive ability, or they may lose important motor functions. In some cases of extremely severe brain injuries, people may permanently lose most of their higher brain functions while still retaining enough function to keep their other organs functioning.
Brain injuries may heal to some extent, but experts say that it is not usually realistic to expect a full recovery. Brain cells are often irreplaceable, and this means that sometimes basic brain functions may be lost forever. In many cases, the brain is able to make use of other cells for some of the basic purposes of damaged cells, and this is how most of the healing occurs.