The Center for Information Technology at the National Institutes of Health will build a joint NIH and U.S. Defense Department database on traumatic brain injuries.
NIH, Defense Department team for brain-injury database
The center will create the Federal Interagency Traumatic Brain Injury Research database with $10 million in funding over four years to provide uniform data for comparing intervention results across a broad range of studies, Matthew McAuliffe, co-director of the database, said in an NIH news release. Such insights are not possible from a single study.
"There are many traumatic-brain-injury studies whose value to scientific research and clinical care could be greatly enhanced by transforming the data into a common, easily available format," said Dr. Walter Koroshetz, deputy director of NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), in the release.
The database could affect the roughly 1.7 million Americans who sustain traumatic brain injuries each year, as well as the more than 200,000 members of the military who have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury following combat since 2003.
Developing objective diagnostics and treatments for TBI has "proven especially challenging for the medical community," said Col. Dallas Hack, director of the U.S. Army Combat Casualty Research Program and joint chair for the Defense Health Program.
Treatments remain limited for people with brain injuries, in part because TBI cases are highly variable, with different causes, locations within the brain and different kinds of damage to brain tissue, according to the release. Such variability makes it difficult for clinicians to treat patients, predict long-term outcomes and investigate new therapies.
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