Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain Injury (TBI) can happen in many ways. The most common causes are vehicle crashes, gunshots, and falls. Nine out of 10 people die from gunshot wounds to the head. The age groups at highest risk for TBI are the elderly and young adults. Along with a traumatic brain injury, people can also get spinal cord injuries, another type of traumatic injury that can result from auto accidents, falls, and firearms.

There is no cure for TBI, so the best approach is to prevent it from happening in the first place. If you have questions about TBI, then you should know more about the TBI symptoms. If you know the TBI symptoms, then when you notice any of them you could seek medical attention immediately. It may even save your life.

Mechanisms of Injury

There are many mechanisms in traumatic brain injury, but the most common are:

  • Closed-head injury
  • Infections
  • Open-head injury
  • Deceleration injury
  • Stroke
  • Chemical or toxic
  • Lack of oxygen
  • Tumors

Closed Head Injury

Closed head injury results from a slip and fall, auto accident, sports concussion injuries, etc. In this type of injury, there is no penetration to the skull.


The brain and the membranes surrounding it are prone to infections if the special blood-brain protective system is broken. Viruses or bacteria cause serious and life-threatening diseases of the brain, including encephalitis and meninges meningitis.

Open Head Injury

Open head injury results from bullet wounds, or penetration of the skull, etc. Effects can be just as severe as in closed brain injuries.

Deceleration Injury

The skull is hard and inflexible while the brain is soft with the consistency of gelatin. The brain is encased inside the skull. When the skull moves through space, acceleration and the rapid discontinuation of movement when the skull meets a stationary object, deceleration causes the brain to move inside the skull. The brain moves at a different rate than the skull because it is soft. Different parts of the brain move at different speeds because of their relative lightness or heaviness. The different rates of movement of the skull and the brain when the head gets struck cause brain injury, because of nerve shearing, contusion and brain swelling.


If blood flow is blocked because of a cerebral vascular accident or stroke, cell death in the area deprived of blood usually results. Bleeding in or over the brain hemorrhage or hematoma because of a tear in an artery or vein, loss of blood flow, and injury to the brain tissue by the blood will also result in brain damage.

Chemical or Toxic

Chemical or toxic injury occurs when harmful chemicals damage the neurons. Chemicals and toxins can include carbon monoxide poisoning, solvents, insecticides, lead poisoning, etc.

Hypoxia or Lack of Oxygen

If the blood flow is depleted of oxygen, then irreversible brain injury can occur from anoxia, no oxygen, or hypoxia, reduced oxygen. It may take only a few minutes for this to occur. This condition may be caused by heart attacks, respiratory failure, drops in blood pressure and a low-oxygen environment. This type of brain injury can result in severe cognitive and memory deficits.


Tumors caused by cancer can grow on or over the brain. Tumors can cause brain injury by invading the spaces of the brain and causing direct damage.  Damage can also result from pressure effects around an enlarged tumor. Surgical procedures to remove the tumor may also contribute to brain injury.

Another type of cause is diffuse axonal shearing, or nerve shearing, which is when the brain slams back and forth inside the skull. The slamming alternately compresses and stretches the brain because of its gelatinous consistency. The long, fragile axons of the neurons’ single nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord compress and stretch. If the force is strong enough, axons can be stretched until they are torn. This is called axonal shearing.  When this happens, the neuron dies. After a severe brain injury, there is massive axonal shearing and neuron death.

If you get a TBI, it is crucial to ask compensation for your huge loss. You can do it yourself or you can hire a great lawyer from Krasney Law. Since lawyers know how to proceed with these kinds of cases, they will be able to get the best compensation out of your case.

Category Health

Skye Marshall

Ivy Skye Marshall: Ivy, a social justice reporter, covers human rights issues, social movements, and stories of community resilience.