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Parasagittal MRI of the head in a patient with benign familial macrocephaly before brain injury.

An acquired brain injury (ABI) is damage to the brain acquired after birth. It usually affects cognitive, physical, emotional, social or independent functioning and can result from traumatic brain injury (i.e. accidents, falls, assaults, etc.) and nontraumatic brain injury (i.e. stroke, brain tumours, infection, poisoning, hypoxia, ischemia, encephalopathy or substance abuse). Most definitions of ABI exclude neurodegenerative disorders. Acquired brain injury is not to be confused with intellectual disability. People with a brain injury may have difficulty controlling, coordinating and communicating their thoughts and actions but they usually retain their intellectual abilities. Brain injury has dramatically varied effects and no two people can expect the same outcome or resulting difficulties. The brain controls every part of human life: physical, intellectual, behavioral, social and emotional. When the brain is damaged, some part of a person's life will be adversely affected. Even a mild injury can sometimes result in a serious disability that will interfere with a person’s daily functioning and personal activities for the rest of their life. While the outcome of a given injury depends largely upon the nature and severity of the injury itself, appropriate treatment plays a vital role in determining the level of recovery.

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