Brain research and advocacy non-profit Cohen Veterans Bioscience (CVB), Stanford Brain Performance Center (SBPC), and the Brain Trauma Foundation (BTF), announced a collaboration aimed at transforming the treatment recommendations and guidelines for mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) (inclusive of concussion) and advancing the field more broadly toward a precision medicine approach. The new collaboration between CVB, SBPC, and BTF is an outcome of their partnership on the Brain Trauma Blueprint, a framework that enables stakeholder groups across government, academia, foundations, and industry to advance precision diagnostics and treatments for brain trauma through a coordinated effort.
The framework comprises a 12-step process to jointly identify unmet patient needs and associated research priorities, landscape the state of the science, identify research gaps and barriers, and provide recommendations for progress. In addition, the framework provides a call to action for funders and collaborators across the broader stakeholder community to engage in a transparent and coordinated network.
Bringing together expertise in data science, patient care, and guideline development, the three organizations aim to reframe the classification of mild TBI using an evidence-based patient categorization, with the ultimate goal of bringing forth new treatment strategies and guidelines.
“The Stanford Brain Performance Center and the Brain Trauma Foundation have advanced our understanding of best practices for traumatic brain injury. We are delighted to partner with them in this collaboration, providing an important opportunity to build on our complementary strengths,” said Magali Haas, PhD, MD, President and CEO at Cohen Veterans Bioscience. “They bring clinical excellence as we deliver expertise in data science and computational modeling. We expect this initiative to catalyze the adoption of best practice guidelines by taking into account the range of diverse patient subpopulations, breaking down the variability seen in mild TBI toward more tailored and personalized solutions.”
Advancing TBI Care Through Collaboration to Generate Mild TBI Recommendations and Guidelines
The goal of the collaboration between CVB, SBPC, and BTF is to generate recommendations and guidelines based on neurobiological subtypes of mild TBI. Several expert agreement statements and clinical practice guidelines have been published for TBI within the last five years, including ‘Concussion Guidelines Step 2: Evidence for Subtype Classification,’ authored by directors of the SBPC, among other experts, in 2019. The Step 2 Guidelines outlined evidence-based support for five common concussion subtypes and two associated conditions based on clinical data and reported on the prevalence of each subtype within the population of patients with acute mild TBI.
The new collaboration between BTF, CVB, and SBPC aims to build on the Step 2 Guidelines with the addition of biologically-driven evidence for subtype classification informed by independent analyses from existing large, deeply-phenotyped cohorts across different trauma types, including those resulting from military, sports, and accidents. The end result will be Step 3 Guideline that further refine mild TBI based on subtype classifications and provide recommendations.
The principal investigator is Jamshid Ghajar, MD, PhD, FACS, President Emeritus of BTF, Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University Medical School, and Director of the SBPC. Co-PIs of the project are Angela Lumba-Brown, MD, Associate Professor in Emergency Medicine, and Lee Lancashire, PhD, Chief Information Officer at Cohen Veterans Bioscience.
“A precision medicine approach to diagnostic and management strategies for mild TBI supports the heterogeneity and complexity of the individual patient, offering the opportunity to leverage advances in data science to provide unprecedented personalized care,” said Dr. Angela Lumba-Brown, co-director of the Stanford Brain Performance Center and Associate Vice Chair of Stanford Emergency Medicine.
“The Stanford Brain Performance Center is excited to collaborate with CVB to reveal the neurobiology of the mTBI subtypes using CVB’s data driven analytics expertise, leading to innovative diagnostics and targeted treatment opportunities,” said Dr. Ghajar.