Causes of ABI

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is any type of sudden injury that causes temporary or permanent damage to the brain. ABI can be divided into two categories:

Traumatic: resulting from an external force applied to the head/brain (e.g., damage that is associated with some kind of trauma to the head, such as a concussion, a fall, or a motor vehicle collision is known as a traumatic brain injury.)

Non-Traumatic: resulting from an internal source that inflicts injury to the brain (e.g., anoxia [near drowning], toxicity, infection, or cerebral vascular accident [stroke]).

The following chart provides examples of the most common causes of ABI.

Blow to the head – Motor vehicle accidents
– Assault with an object
– Shaken baby syndrome
Falling or tumbling – Falling off a bicycle, tree, climbing equipment or furniture
– Sports Injuries
Anoxic injuries (Lack of oxygen to the brain) – Near drowning
– Suffocation
– Choking
Vascular injuries
(Disruption in blood supply to the brain)
– Stroke (blocked blood vessel in the brain)
– Aneurysm (broken blood vessel in the brain)
Inhalation of ingestion of toxic substances – Sniffing glue, paint, or carbon monoxide
– Drug use
Infectious diseases – Meningitis
– Encephalitis
All information on this page is copied from Educating Educators About ABI Resource Book
Produced by: Brock University & the Ontario Brain Injury Association
Funded by: Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation