Nontraumatic Brain Injury

Nontraumatic Brain Injury

When most people think of brain injuries, they usually associate them with some sort of physical impact such as a car accident or an injury sustained in military combat. However, what they don’t realize is there is another class of brain injuries known as Nontraumatic Brain Injury. A Nontraumatic Brain Injury can be the result of an illness, oxygen deprivation, metabolic disorders, aneurysms, cardiac arrest, near-drowning experience, etc. In short, it includes injuries to the brain that are not caused by an external physical force to the head. Other nonviolent circumstances like tumors and lead poisoning can also damage the brain.

Even though the effects of a Nontraumatic Brain Injury are comparable to those affiliated with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), there are some dramatic differences. Previously mentioned and most important, they do not feature any outer blow to the head. It also has a direct impact on cells throughout the brain. Since it attacks the cellular structure, a Nontraumatic Brain Injury has the ability to spread to all areas of the brain as opposed to TBI, which only affects concentrated areas.

The most common instances of Nontraumatic Brain Injury include:

  • Anoxic injury – brain receives inadequate levels of oxygen, usually following cardiac arrest when there is minimal to no blood reaching the brain.
  • Toxic or metabolic injury – occurs after coming into contact with unsafe substances (e.g., lead) or the detrimental accumulation of chemicals manufactured within the body (e.g., kidney failure).
  • Encephalitis – caused by an infection of the brain.
  • Virus – most popular agent of Nontraumatic Brain Injury.
  • Brain tumors and methods used to treat them – chemotherapy and radiation can lead to diffuse brain damage.
  • Meningitis
  • Stroke
  • Drug abuse
  • Hydrocephalus

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