Tragically, almost 5 million people in the United States are evaluated in emergency departments for traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Over the past few decades, awareness of the magnitude and consequences of TBI has increased, particularly among athletes and military service members. Despite new recommendations for screening and management, barriers and challenges remain, including unanswered questions about the most effective preventive, acute, rehabilitative, and long-term care for those experiencing TBI.
A new consensus study report released February 2, 2022 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is examining how progress can be advanced in TBI care. Titled Traumatic Brain Injury: A Roadmap for Accelerating Progress, the report was prepared by the Academies’ Committee on Accelerating Progress in Traumatic Brain Injury Research and Care.
The newly appointed Vice Chancellor for Research at UC San Diego, Corinne Peek-Asa, is a member of the Committee that produced the report. Peek-Asa is distinguished for her work in injury prevention and policy science, including being a founding principal investigator of the NIH-funded International Trauma Training Program.
“Traumatic Brain Injury is a complex medical event that places a tremendous health and financial burden on individuals, families, and communities,” she said. “Our report identifies a number of achievable goals that bring agencies together to address this burden. My role was to contribute to recommendations related to TBI data and research, both of which are critical for progress.”
As an expert in this field, Peek-Asa has important thoughts on the urgent need for the report. “Because of the lack of prioritization and investment for TBI care in our country, the state of treatment for traumatic brain injury is far behind that for other conditions with a high health burden, such as cancer and heart disease,” she said. “This report shows that now is the time for us to invest in reducing the burden of traumatic brain injury commensurate to the large size of this national health challenge.”