Traumatic Brain Injury

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


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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Oct. 11, 2019  The Insanity Defense
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May 10, 2013  Mental Health Policy
Aug. 03, 2012  Treating ADHD
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Feb. 13, 2004  Youth Suicide
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Jun. 14, 1991  Teenage Suicide
Jul. 08, 1988  Biology Invades Psychology
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Aug. 20, 1982  Mental Health Care Reappraisal
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Apr. 21, 1971  Approaches to Death
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Feb. 19, 1969  Future of Psychiatry
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