Addressing Traumatic Brain InjuryDuring this year’s Brain Awareness Week (March 12-18), we wish to shed light on traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI is a growing concern worldwide, particularly among young athletes, the elderly and members of the military. Among civilians TBI is principally caused by automobile accidents, falls, and violence, and it is a major cause of death and disability.
In fact, thousands of Canadians sustain a TBI each year. These brain injuries are classified as mild, moderate or severe, with “mild” TBI, or concussion, accounting for the majority of the cases. Even with a mild TBI, the consequences can be very serious. Headaches, difficulty thinking, memory problems, attention deficits, mood swings and frustration are among the most common clinical signs following brain injury, and some TBI sufferers require special care for the rest of their lives.
Neuroscientists are working hard to improve both the diagnosis and the treatment for brain injuries. At the same time, it is important to remember that this type of injury is highly preventable. For example, wearing a helmet while cycling or snowboarding is a simple step you can take to protect your brain.
There is much more to learn about this complex public health concern. CIHR is committed to supporting health research exploring how we can prevent, detect and treat all forms of damage to the brain including TBI.
Dr. Anthony Phillips
CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA)