Traumatic and nontraumatic brain injury

Alessandro Giustini, Caterina Pistarini, Camilla Pisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The neurological consequences of an acquired brain injury (ABI), of traumatic or nontraumatic origin, are caused by an alteration of neuronal activity that compromises physical integrity or function of one or more areas of the brain. Impairments resulting from an ABI often affect cognitive function, as well as language, memory, attention, and information processing faculties, leading to partial or total disability that is likely to prevent people's functional and psychosocial recovery even in the long term. This situation has harmful clinical, social, and economic effects. Social costs caused by a patient's death or acquired disability are extremely high, and costs to healthcare systems rank among the top three in Europe. One of the main considerations when dealing with traumatic or nontraumatic brain injury is the complexity of the rehabilitation process. Many variables must be taken into account because of the great variety of clinical features that may occur, involving damage etiology, severity level, and health complications. Great advancements have been achieved over the past 10-15 years in the treatment of ABI, but new basic and clinical research must be encouraged and financially supported. Many challenging issues still occur when evaluating patients with ABI due to the lack of appropriate assessment measures and reliable prognostic indexes that could support clinical observation. Furthermore, researcher authors need to create a network of rehabilitation services that responds to the needs - medical, emotional, and social - of all brain-injured patients and their families, from initial hospitalization to reintegration into the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-409
Number of pages9
JournalHandbook of Clinical Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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