About 1 million people in the United States suffer from traumatic brain injury each year. Of these cases, between 50,000 to 100,000 patients will experience permanent, severe impairment.
Due to the prevalence and severity of traumatic brain injury, the National Centers for Disease Control (CDC) funds a variety of research programs that do anything from gathering data to actively educating the public about TBI.
Here is a closer look at some of the goals and efforts of various CDC-funded TBI research.
TBI Research: Estimating TBI Deaths
One of the CDC’s primary research programs involves the collection and analysis of TBI-related statistics and information to estimate the annual number of TBI deaths and hospital visits (including emergency room visits). These findings are then sorted and reported by age, gender and ethnic origin.
With its first report published in 2004, this study was the first of its kind to analyze TBI statistics with regard to socioeconomic and demographic details. It continues to offer essential information on the incidence and prevalence of traumatic brain injury for a number of U.S. sub-populations.
Reporting to Congress About TBI
Another research effort of the CDC involves researching and developing reports for Congress about the incidence and prevalence of mild traumatic brain injury. Through this research, the Mild TBI Work Group has published educational information and a series of prevention recommendations.
Ongoing research in this vein studies the effectiveness of various preventative measures, hoping to aide in the prevention of TBI.
Traumatic Brain Injury Education
While this program was initially started in an effort to educate American doctors about TBI, other health care professionals around the world are now benefiting from the information provided through this research.
The information distributed in both English and Spanish includes pamphlets, books and CDs with straightforward, easy-to-understand information about the causes, symptoms and treatments for TBI.
Other Research on Traumatic Brain Injury
Along with these and numerous other research programs for traumatic brain injury, the CDC also funds research through other foundations and scientific organizations. Other TBI research projects are currently studying:
- children with traumatic brain injury, specifically children’s psychological, emotional and physical development after TBI
- methods of preventing sports-related concussions
- ways of evaluating the long-term complications of mild TBI
Through current and future research, the medical community is seeking to find better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat traumatic brain injury.