The challenge of traumatic brain injury

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) affects an estimated 10 million people worldwide every year and survivors can experience a variety of effects that last a lifetime.  Apart from the short term effects on cognition, epidemiology suggests that having suffered a TBI, the chance of developing dementia in later life increase from 2 to 4 times.

Whilst we are using one label to describe a brain injury - TBI - the fact is that the condition is very variable in both it's presentation and its effects and consequences.  It is actually very difficult to even link the specific nature of a person's brain injury to an expected outcome. This variability is a challenge for health care systems that try to link patient assessment outcomes to a treatment regime with a reasonable expectation of reaching a particular outcome.  A more personalised approach is being sought.

Whilst personalised medicine is a rational approach - in other words varying the specific approach to the precise assessment of an individual - this too is challenging.

We simply dont know enough about what treatments work best for whom and under what circumstances.

An ongoing study aims to provide the evidence on which to base best practice treatment. With funding of £25 million from the European Union, more than 60 hospitals and 38 scientific institutes are participating in the Collaborative European NeuroTrauma Effectiveness Research in TBI (CENTER-TBI) project. In total, data will be collected for 20,000–30,000 patients, including extremely detailed data for over 5,000 patients. - See more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/features/head-first-reshaping-how-traumatic-brain-injury-is-treated