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Research to Focus on Long-Term Challenges of TBI Patients

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Posted: 10/15/2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are among those from 16 centers around the country awarded a grant to study the life-long effects of traumatic brain injury. A major cause of death and disability, it’s estimated that 1.7 million Americans receive medical care each year for traumatic brain injuries as the result of falls, motor vehicle crashes, violence, athletics and military action.

The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research is funding the research for the next five years at Ohio State with a $2.2 million grant.

Ohio State has been a national hub for TBI research for the past 15 years. For this longitudinal study, consenting TBI patients are periodically contacted to gauge progress of their continuing recovery. Ohio State is the largest contributor in the country to the TBI Model Systems National Dataset with enrollment of 900 of the 11,000 study participants.

John Corrigan, a researcher and director of the division of rehabilitation psychology within Ohio State’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, said the ongoing research is important on many levels.

“Traumatic brain injuries impact the lives of people of all ages and the recovery period can be lengthy,” said Corrigan, who also is the principal investigator of the Ohio Regional TBI Model system. “Other medical and behavioral conditions sometimes set in after the initial recovery and they can place a strain on relationships and the patient’s overall quality of life. In addition, the complications often associated with long-term recovery of TBIs can result in unanticipated financial burdens for patients,” he added.

“The more we know about the ongoing challenges faced by people with TBI the better our knowledge is for providing successful treatments and programs that enable each individual to maximize their recovery and live productive lives,” said Corrigan. 

Traumatic brain injuries occur when a violent shaking or blow to the head disrupts the normal functioning of the brain.        

In addition to Corrigan, Jennifer Bogner is director of research for the Ohio Regional TBI Model and Drs. W. Jerry Mysiw and Joe Rosenthal are co-medical directors.

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Contact: David Crawford, Wexner Medical Center Public Affairs and Media Relations, 614-293-3737, or crawford.1@osu.edu