For Individuals/Families


An acquired brain injury (ABI) is damage to the brain caused by either:

  • A medical problem or disease, such as the brain not getting enough oxygen (also known as anoxia), a tumour, brain aneurysm, infection, or a stroke (with diffuse cognitive deficits). This is also known as a non-traumatic brain injury.


  • A traumatic injury, such as a car crash, fall, assault (including intimate partner violence) or sports-related injury. Learn about traumatic brain injury in other languages [hyperlink other languages].

An ABI happens after birth and is not related to:

  • a congenital disorder or developmental disability, such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, autism, spina bifida with hydrocephalus, or
  • a process that gradually damages the brain, such as dementia, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease.

Source: Toronto ABI Network

Videos about ABI:

What is a concussion? A mild brain injury following trauma is sometimes called a concussion.

  • Concussions happen when the brain is injured due to a hit to the head, neck, face or somewhere else on the body.
  • Some people experience a brief loss of consciousness (less than 30 minutes). Others may stay conscious, but feel dazed, in a fog or confused.
  • A concussion can have both short- and long-term effects. It may or may not show up on a diagnostic imaging test, such as a CT scan.
  • Only a medical professional (like a doctor or nurse practitioner) can diagnose a concussion.

Source: Concussions Ontario

Video: Canadian Concussion Centre: Concussion – An Invisible Brain Injury with Consequences