Acquired Brain Injury

Signs and Symptoms

Acquired Brain Injuries are caused by damage to the brain due to an injury or illness. They can be a result of accidents, stroke, tumours, infection, lack of oxygen or degenerative neurological disease. ABIs result in deterioration of the person’s cognitive, physical, emotional or independent functioning.

Brain injuries are often called the ‘hidden disability’ because there may be no physical signs of injury. The long term effects of brain injuries vary depending on the severity,  nature and location of the damage.


Generally, brain injury effects can be categorised as;

Behavioural - Damage to areas of the brain that regulate emotions and impulses such as anger, self-centeredness and
social capacity.

Cognitive - Include attention, memory, concentration
problems, difficulty with motivation or decision making.

Mental - Impact a person’s mental state. This can cause experiences such as depression, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions and panic attacks.

Physical - Wide ranging and include sleep issues, fatigue, headaches, dizziness and hearing problems.

Affect on Daily Life at Work

» May be prone to irritability due to behavioural effects of injury
» May have issues with concentration and managing multiple tasks at once
» May experience memory loss, affecting their ability to complete tasks
» May experience fatigue or other physical symptoms that affect concentration

600,00 Australians have an ABI, 66% of these are acquired under the age of 25

Brain Injury Australia


Workplace Support

» Develop an understanding of the condition, symptoms, anymedication and its effects

» Maintain close communication with your employee

» Flexible working environments including hours, breaks andwork loads where practical

» Provide ongoing personal support through an assignedmentor or buddy

» Develop a work plan with your employee, defining their role,responsibilities and necessary adjustments

» Keep work areas free from distraction and if needed, incorporate tools to assist, such as assistive technology, prompt cards or calendars

For additional resources and support, visit Brain Injury Australia