The Senate has approved legislation that would expand research efforts and provide assistance for individuals who suffer from traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Passed unanimously, the bill reauthorizes the Traumatic Brain Injury Actwhich was introduced in 2000 as part of the Childrens Health Actand would make grants for state traumatic-brain-injury surveillance systems or registries to determine TBI prevalence, ensure the uniformity of reporting, link individuals with TBI to services, and connect those individuals with academic institutions for research purposes, according to a summary of the bill.
Of the 1.4 million people in the U.S. who sustain TBI annually, 50,000 die and 235,000 are hospitalized, while about 5.3 million Americans currently have a long-term or lifelong need for help to perform activities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
The bill would require the CDC to collaborate with the National Institutes of Health on a study to determine the incidence and prevalence of TBI, and the two groups also would work with the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments to identify the best methods of coordinating prevalence data. And it would establish a Government Accountability Office study to determine the extent to which soldiers who have acquired a traumatic brain injury are being reintegrated into their communities. The bill will now move to the House of Representatives for consideration. -- by Jessica Zigmond
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