Driving Progress: TBI Action Alliance Launches Multi-Pronged Initiative to Speed Development of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Solutions for Traumatic Brain Injury

What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

NEW YORKMarch 4, 2024 – The prevalence of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) rivals that of Alzheimer’s disease and affects everyone from children to older adults. Yet, TBI is still not recognized as a public health crisis. The TBI Action Alliance (TBIAA), a coalition focused on accelerating the development of diagnostics and therapeutics for TBI, today announced a multi-pronged policy and communications initiative to bring TBI to the forefront of the national public health agenda and advance new solutions for those affected. Under the initiative, TBIAA is spearheading three efforts this week in conjunction with Brain Injury Awareness Month to:

  • Raise Awareness for TBI: Today, TBIAA released Know the Facts about Traumatic Brain Injury, a resource detailing the prevalence of TBI, the associated healthcare costs and its impact on caregivers, children, veterans, and seniors. Click here for a link to Know the Facts about TBI and resources for sharing it.

  • Engage First Responders: On March 5, 2024, in Washington, D.C., TBIAA will co-sponsor a First Responder Town Hall Event featuring Chantelle Ferland-Beckham, Ph.D., Senior Director, External Affairs, Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Frank Larkin, Vice Chair, Board of Directors, Cohen Veterans Bioscience. The event will highlight the importance of first responders in diagnosing and treating brain trauma, learn from first responder experiences, and develop ambassadorship for awareness among the first responder community.

  • Support Reauthorization of the TBI Act: On March 6, 2024, as part of Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill, TBIAA will call for reauthorization of the TBI Act in partnership with BIAA, BIAUSA and NASHIA. This includes increased federal funding for state-level TBI grants to improve access to rehabilitation and community services for individuals living with TBI, as well as, funding to establish a National Concussion Surveillance System within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which will help to improve estimates of the number of individuals living with a TBI in the United States. Planned engagement includes:
    • advancing new conversations about TBI at the Brain Injury Awareness Fair
    • educating Congress about the costs and effects of TBI, as well as the barriers to the development of new solutions, through meetings with Congressional members, and
    • supporting awareness efforts as part of a Brain Injury Awareness Month reception hosted by the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, co-chaired by Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ) and Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE).

“Whether it’s a collision on the field or a fender-bender on the road, the risk of TBI is ever-present. It’s a silent epidemic that disrupts lives, burdens families and strains healthcare resources,” emphasized Magali Haas, MD, PhD, Leader, TBI Action Alliance.

According to published scientific papers, the CDC and others:

  • More than 70 million individuals worldwide experience a TBI each year.
  • 5.3 million Americans are living with a permanent TBI-related disability.
  • Every year, more than 3 million people experience a head injury that could lead to TBI.
  • 475,000 children ages 0-14 suffer a TBI each year.
  • The estimated overall U.S. healthcare cost related to TBI is more than $40 billion.
  • TBI affects people across every demographic. Members of the military, veterans, first responders, athletes, elderly individuals, children and construction workers are most affected.
  • TBIs are widely believed to be underdiagnosed.
  • Currently, there are no FDA-approved diagnostics or treatments specific to TBI.

“Unfortunately, options for patients outside of rehabilitative care are limited,” Dr. Haas said. “The time is now to embark on a new collaborative research model that accelerates the development of a new generation of diagnostics and integrative treatments. Let’s put TBI at the top of the policy and public health agendas.”

About TBI Action Alliance

The TBI Action Alliance is a passionate community dedicated to working together to expedite accurate diagnosis and treatments so that people living with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can achieve their best lives. As part of the National Precision Research Roadmap for TBI, we’re working together to speed the development of diagnostics and treatments that improve the lives of the more than 5.3 million people living with TBI-related symptoms, including millions of veterans, first responders, athletes, elderly and children, and to help protect all Americans at risk for TBI from falls, accidents or sports-related impacts. Find out more at TBIAction.org.

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