Hidden disability

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) as defined by the United Kingdom Acquired Brian Injury Forum (UKABIF)

“A non-degenerative injury to the brain that has occurred since birth. It can be caused by external physical force or by metabolic derangement. The term ‘Acquired Brain Injury’ includes traumatic brain injury, such as open or closed head injury, and non-traumatic brain injuries such as those caused by strokes and other vascular accidents, hypoxia, toxic substances taken into the body through inhalation or ingestion, and any invasive surgery or treatments for tumours. Currently the term does not include brain injuries that are congenital or produced by birth trauma.” 

Your loved one’s brain injury may have been caused by a trauma to the head; something as simple as a domestic fall or a bang to the head, to major trauma such as a road collision or assault. Or it may have been caused by non-traumatic injuries such as a tumour, infection or a stroke.

The person may look the same, but is behaving differently, or they may have physical disabilities.

The effects of an acquired brain injury can vary widely. They could have any number of symptoms, from issues with balance, headaches and dizziness to cognitive, memory, emotional and behavioural challenges.

Where can I find more information?

Within our Carer Information Centre, you will find a broad range of supporting literature; from a guide on the effects of brain injury through to specific support materials depending on your relationship to the injured person.

For a more specific look at the type of acquired brain injury, visit our general information library; a useful resource for both carers and those with a brain injury.

Who can I speak to?

If you contact our Support Line, our team will be able to provide you with direct emotional and practical support.

There is no fee for accessing support through our support line. A team member is usually available to speak to between 8.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday (except for public holidays).

To contact the Headway Essex Support Line, please call 01206 845945 or email us


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