Basic Information About Brain Injury

What Causes Brain Injury?

An Acquired Brain Injury is an injury to the brain that occurred after birth and may have been caused by a traumatic or non-traumatic event.

Causes of traumatic brain injury are caused by an external force such as:

  • a motor vehicle accident
  • a blow to the head; gunshot wound
  • a sports injury; concussion
  • a fall from a bike or ladder
  • physical assault

Causes of non-traumatic brain injury are internal injuries which can be the result of occurrences such as:

  • loss of oxygen to the brain
  • stroke
  • meningitis; infection
  • brain tumour

We Understand Brain Injury

Those with brain injury can appear to have no visible side effects.  This is why they can often be misdiagnosed or misunderstood by others.  

The effects of brain injury can range from mild to moderate to severe.  Some of the physical side effects someone with brain injury may experience include extreme physical and mental fatigue and persistent headaches.

Other areas where the person with brain injury will most commonly experience change can include:


  • memory issues
  • difficulty understanding abstract concepts
  • difficulty making decisions



  • changes in hearing, vision, sense of touch/taste/smell
  • greater sensitivity to pain
  • sensitivity to light


Aged woman having headache. Holding her head
  • difficulty processing information
  • difficulty with expressing thoughts
  • difficulty understanding others


  • personality changes
  • depression/anxiety
  • flattened or heightened emotions 
  • aggression
  • social inappropriateness

Family Guides

BrainTrust Canada has developed two guidebooks to assist family members and loved ones through the challenging phases of rehabilitation.

These guides are intended to be a general resource for families.  Specific protocols may vary depending on the location and nature of the injury.

Family Guide

Critical Phase of Brain Injury

FamGuide - Critical

This guide has been designed to give you some information to assist you through the critical phase of your loved one’s recovery.

Family Guide

Rehabilitation Phase of Brain Injury

FamGuide - Rehab

This guide covers many of the issues that surface for injured persons and their families while recovering from brain injury.


Here are some of our favourite links on brain injury and brain injury prevention.


pushormitchell.com - an archive of articles written about brain injury by Paul Mitchell, Q.C.

preventable.ca - information from a nation-wide, multi-partner organization designed to raise awareness, transform attitudes, and ultimately change behaviour

brainline.org - preventing, treating, and living with traumatic brain injury

brainstreams.ca - brain injury information and resources in B.C.

tbi.org - public awareness and knowledge of acquired/traumatic brain injury

stopconcussions.com - an educational portal that players, parents, coaches, and officials can visit to seek information regarding concussions

neuroskills.com - traumatic brain injury rehabilitation and resources

injuryresearch.bc.ca - supports the integration of prevention practice into the daily lives of British Columbians


Concussion Hits Home -  An awareness campaign about the impact of domestic violence and acquired brain injury (concussion), produced by the Ontario Brain Injury Association.

Ahead of the Game|Dr. Paul van Donkelaar and Karen Mason|TEDxKelowna - A women’s shelter executive director and a neuroscientist team up to explore how expanding concussion research to examine the intersection of traumatic brain injury and intimate partner violence has the potential to change, policy, procedure, and lives.  (For more information or support related to intimate partner violence or this project, connect with the Kelowna Women's Shelter.)



Need to know more? We're here for you.

We have programs and services for people affected by brain injury.