NIH Creates Database About Better Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury.

Brain Injury (journal)

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Bethesda, Maryland
Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The National Institutes of Health announced the of a central database on traumatic brain injuries. The Federal Interagency Traumatic Brain Injury Research (FITBIR) database will be designed to accelerate comparative effectiveness of research on brain injury treatment and diagnosis. It will also serve as a central repository for new data and link to current databases in order to allow valid comparison of results across studies.

About 1.7 million people in the United States incur traumatic brain injuries each year these are due to mainly auto accidents and falls. This is in addition to US service members serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world who face unique risks of traumatic brain injury during routine military operations, enemy fire and for example improvised explosive devices. According to the DoD, in the past 12 years,  >  200,000 Service members deployed oversees have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. This adds to the urgent need for preventive methods and treatments. It has been estimated that the total costs of traumatic brain injury in the United States which includes medical care, lost wages and other expenses exceeds $60 billion.

Treatments remain limited despite improvements in surgical technique and rehabilitation techniques for people with brain injuries. Cases of traumatic brain injury are variable and involve different causes and locations within the brain. This variability makes it difficult for clinicians to both treat patients, predict long-term outcomes and investigate new therapies. The FITBIR database is designed to address these challenges and collect uniform and high-quality data on traumatic brain injury. The database is expected to aid in the development of a system to classify different types of traumatic brain injury, more targeted studies to determine which treatments are effective and for whom and under what conditions. enhanced diagnostic criteria for concussions and milder injuries, predictive markers to identify those at risk of developing conditions that have been linked to traumatic brain injury, such as Alzheimer’s disease, clearer understanding of the effects of age, sex, and other medical conditions on injury and recovery, improved evidence-based guidelines for patient care, from the time of injury through rehabilitation. Reusing the database structure is expected to save 35-50 per cent of the project costs and significantly reduce the time to achieve meaningful results.

NINDS (www.ninds.nih.gov) is the nation’s leading funder of research on the brain and nervous system. The NINDS has a mission ito reduce the burden of neurological disease. This is a burden borne by every age group and by every segment of society both in the USA and all over the world.

Already being used in leading U.S. and foreign hospitals the HandTutor and its sister wearable braces including the ArmTutor, LegTutor and 3DTutor. These motion feedback devices are leading the way in the treatment for traumatic brain injury victims. The Tutor system provides motor, sensory and cognitive exercise practice using augmented feedback. The exercises are challenging and motivating and allow for repetitive training that is tailored to the patient’s performance. The Tutor system allows the physical and occupational therapist to customize the most suitable rehabilitation program to the patient’s ability. The system is being used by children as well as adults and has been shown to be effective in the home . The system can be supported by telerehabilitation.

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