Date posted: 25th July 2016

In this blog, CPIMS explains what an acquired brain injury (ABI) is, how they can be caused, what the symptoms can be and how our case management services can assist in the brain injury recovery process.

Traumatic Brain Injury

How are Acquired Brain Injuries caused?

When defining an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) we are referring to “an injury caused to the brain since birth”. (Headway, 2016) This is a very broad definition and can be subdivided into traumatic and non-traumatic Acquired Brain Injuries.

Traumatic brain injuries would include road traffic collisions, assaults and falls. Non traumatic brain injury would include stroke, tumour, encephalitis and brain haemorrhage.

Acquired brain injuries make up a significant proportion of hospital admissions per annum and there were 348,934 UK admissions to hospital with acquired brain injury in 2013-14. That is 566 admissions per 100,000 of the population. (Headway 2016).

The effects of Acquired Brain Injury

In trying to understand the effects of a brain injury on a person it is important to ask, “What does the brain do?”. The answer is of course “Everything”. There is nothing that we sense, perceive, judge, do, think, recall, learn, feel, imagine or create that is not done by the brain. (Eames, P.G. 2001).

The Acquired Brain Injury can result in complex impairments across a number of domains – physical, sensory, cognitive, behavioural and emotional.  The sequela of ABI can be extremely varied and complex and will differ from person to person dependent on the type, location and severity of the injury.

Examples of the effects of ABI across the domains include:

  • Physical – weakness or paralysis, poor balance and coordination, fatigue, headaches, epilepsy, incontinence, difficulties with speech, hormonal imbalances.
  • Sensory – changes to vision, hearing, sense and taste
  • Cognitive – Problems with memory, reduced motivation, reduced speed of information processing, lack of insight, impaired reasoning, impaired judgement, reduced concentration and attention, aphasia.
  • Behavioural and Emotional – personality changes, emotional lability, depression, anxiety, frustration and anger, disinhibition, impulsivity.

(Headway 2016)

Acquired Brain Injury recovery

Recovery from an ABI takes place over a number of months and years following the initial injury and with timely and appropriate rehabilitation improvements in function can be facilitated many years post injury (King & Tyerman 2008).

Many people with ABI require specialist rehabilitation in the community to promote recovery and to facilitate the management of any residual difficulties they might have in order to make positive adjustments to living with the sequela of ABI.

The rehabilitation team will involve a range of professionals dependent on the person’s needs and can include Doctors, Nurses, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist Social Worker, Neuropsychologist, Psychiatrist and Case Manager.

How CPIMS can help

CPIMS case managers have specialist training and a wide understanding of working with individuals with ABI and their families. Our case managers are proficient at collaborating and formulating multidisciplinary rehabilitation programmes through a partnership approach with statutory services and allied healthcare professionals.

Our experienced case managers  formulate a person centred and cohesive rehabilitation programme in order to fully meet the needs of the Client and their family.

If you or a loved one have any queries about case management or rehabilitation services from CPIMS, please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 0844 371 0616 or alternatively email us at


  • Eames, P.G. (2001) Distinguishing the neuropsychiatric, psychiatric and psychological consequences of acquired brain injury. In R. L. Wood & T.M. McMillan (Eds), Neurobehavioural Disability and Social Handicap Following Traumatic Brain Injury ( 29 -45). Psychology Press.
  • Headway (2016), Factsheet: Effects of Brain Injury.
  • Headway (2016), Types of Brain Injury.
  • Headway (2016), Statistic’s.
  • King, N.S., & Tyerman, A. (2008) Introduction to Traumatic Brain Injury. In A. Tyerman & N.S. King (Eds), Psychological Approaches to Rehabilitation after Traumatic Brain Injury. (1-14). BPS Blackwell.
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