About Brain Injury


Brain injury is defined as any injury happening to the brain, which causes brain damage.

Brain Injury is further categorised as mild, moderate and severe and described by the location of the damage.

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is defined as brain damage caused by an event happening after birth.

For a more comprehensive list of brain injury terms, please refer to Headway UK Common Brain Injury terms page. 


The causes of ABI are normally split into two groups:

  • Traumatic ABI- a result of physical trauma to the head and brain:
    • Motor Vehicle accidents
    • Accidents at work or home
    • Sports Activities
    • Falls
    • Physical Assault
  • Non Traumatic ABI - damage to the brain caused by internal or external sources:
    • Brain Tumour
    • Stroke
    • Seizures
    • Infection - eg Meningitis
    • Aneurysm/Haemorrhage
    • Oxygen deprivation
    • Exposure to certain poisons


It is estimated that one million people in the UK are admitted to hospital each year as a result of head injury. Men are 3 times more likely to suffer a brain injury than women. This risk is greatest between ages 15 and 29 and starts to increase again for men and women over the age of 65. 50% of traumatic brain injury is caused by road traffic accidents.

Headway's overall mission is to to promote understanding of all aspects of brain injury and to provide information, support and services to people with a brain injury, their families and carers.

For further information, please go to Headway’s national site at: