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Sunday, March 27, 2011
NFL player's suicide opens discussion on Traumatic Brain Injury
Here's an excellent article from the San Francisco Chronicle:
Every year, 1.7 million Americans seek medical care for a traumatic brain injury, and countless more never do. Unfortunately, for decades traumatic brain injury has been a silent epidemic, exacting a confusing and heavy burden on patients, their caregivers, employers, families and friends.
That changed when U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., survived a gunshot wound to the head and NFL star Dave Duerson committed suicide so his brain could be donated to researchers to assess the consequences of traumatic brain injuries incurred on the gridiron.
The silent epidemic suddenly roared.The tremendous burden of this disease was revealed, not only for severely injured patients like Giffords and Duerson, but also for athletes, victims of car accidents and children on the playground. Yet traumatic brain injury remains one of the greatest unmet needs in medicine and public health. Why?
Funding for traumatic brain injury by the National Institutes of Health this year is an estimated $85 million out of its $32 billion budget, or less than 0.3 percent -- compared to the $60 billion combined costs of traumatic brain injury in the year 2000 (the last figures to date) for acute care and indirect expenses for lost productivity. Put in context, the amount of dollars-per-patientKeep reading.
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