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Brain Injury

Causes of Brain Injury

Each year, an estimated 1.5 to 2 million Americans sustain a TBI.

Your brain has the consistency of gelatin. It's cushioned from everyday jolts and bumps by the cerebrospinal fluid in which it floats inside your skull. A violent blow to your head can cause your brain to slide forcefully against the inner wall of your skull. Even the sudden stop of a car crash can bounce your brain against your skull. This can result in bleeding in or around your brain and the tearing of nerve fibers.

Crashes, violence and falls

According to the National Institutes of Health, half of all traumatic brain injuries are caused by collisions involving cars, motorcycles and bicycles. About 20 percent are caused by violence, such as gunshot wounds or incidents of child abuse. Traumatic brain injury can occur in infants and small children who have been shaken violently. Among older people, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries.

Explosive blasts

Explosive blasts are a common cause of traumatic brain injury in military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. In most of these cases, the skull remains intact and the damage is believed to be caused by a pressure wave of the explosion's concussive force passing through the brain.

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