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Traumatic Brain Injury

June 1, 2012 • Volume 22, Issue 20
Is an effective cure possible?
By Marcia Clemmitt

Introduction

The kinds of repetitive head injuries can lead to degenerative brain disease (Getty Images/New York Dragons/Mike Stobe)
Quarterback Aaron Garcia of the now-defunct New York Dragons rests after receiving a mild concussion in an Arena League game against the Philadelphia Soul on June 22, 2008. The kinds of repetitive head injuries received by athletes such as football players and boxers can lead to degenerative brain disease. (Getty Images/New York Dragons/Mike Stobe)

About 1.7 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year, about three-quarters of them mild TBIs, or concussions. Yet, while they affect so many people, TBIs received little medical-research funding until brain injuries from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — often caused by shock waves from explosions — began to mount in recent years. Nearly 20 percent of veterans deployed in those wars have returned with a TBI, often severe enough to require intense physical, psychological and emotional aid. Since 2007 Congress has poured millions of dollars into TBI research, but most patients still cannot pay for the expensive rehabilitative services that severe brain injuries require. Meanwhile, researchers have found that even a series of mild TBIs, such as those suffered by many football players, substantially raises the risk of severe dementia and depression.

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Dec. 05, 2014  Treating Schizophrenia
Sep. 12, 2014  Teen Suicide
May 10, 2013  Mental Health Policy
Aug. 03, 2012  Treating ADHD
Jun. 01, 2012  Traumatic Brain Injury
Jun. 26, 2009  Treating Depression
Feb. 13, 2004  Youth Suicide
Feb. 06, 2004  Mental Illness Medication Debate
Mar. 29, 2002  Mental Health Insurance
Feb. 08, 2002  Treating Anxiety
Jul. 16, 1999  Childhood Depression
Jun. 18, 1999  Boys' Emotional Needs
Sep. 12, 1997  Mental Health Policy
Aug. 19, 1994  Prozac
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Jun. 14, 1991  Teenage Suicide
Jul. 08, 1988  Biology Invades Psychology
Feb. 13, 1987  The Mentally Ill
Aug. 20, 1982  Mental Health Care Reappraisal
Jun. 12, 1981  Youth Suicide
Sep. 21, 1979  Mental Health Care
Sep. 15, 1978  Brain Research
Jul. 05, 1974  Psychomedicine
Aug. 08, 1973  Emotionally Disturbed Children
Dec. 27, 1972  Mental Depression
Mar. 24, 1972  Schizophrenia: Medical Enigma
Apr. 21, 1971  Approaches to Death
Mar. 03, 1971  Encounter Groups
Nov. 25, 1970  Psychological Counseling of Students
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Feb. 02, 1966  New Approaches to Mental Illness
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Sep. 25, 1963  Anatomy of Suicide
Nov. 20, 1957  Drugs and Mental Health
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