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Classifications of Brain Injury

How is brain injury classified?

Brain injury is classified in two ways: by SEVERITY and by TYPE.


Classification is done with several different tools including the widely used Glasgow Coma Scale.
The scale recognizes three levels of severity for Traumatic Brain Injury :


Mild Brain Injury

including Mild Concussion

Moderate Brain Injury

including Classic Concussion

Severe Brain Injury

Click here to go to the full description of Severity Classifications for Brain Injury.



Acquired Brain Injury

Acquired Brain Injury is a broad classification of brain injury which occurs at or after birth and is not hereditary, congenital or caused by a degenerative illness. Acquired Brain Injuries can be traumatic or non-traumatic. Click here to go to our page on Acquired Brain Injury.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury is defined as an alteration in brain function or other evidence of brain pathology caused by an external force. External forces may include being struck in the head by an object, the head striking an object, a foreign body penetrating the brain or undergoing acceleration / deceleration movement without direct external trauma to the brain. Click here to go to our page on Traumatic Brain Injury.

Non-Traumatic Brain Injury

Non-Traumatic Brain Injury does not involve external mechanical forces. Rather, these injuries are caused by infection, or by exposure to toxic agents such as carbon monoxide or lead. They may also be the result of events which limit or block the presence or proper utilization of oxygen in the brain. The terms anoxic or hypoxic describe brain injuries resulting from a loss of oxygen to the brain caused by events such as stroke, aneurism, cardiac arrest or seizures. Click here to go to our page on Non-Traumatic Brain Injury.


Please note: The information on this website is not meant to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should consult your health care provider regarding specific medical concerns or treatment.

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