Traumatic brain injury ‘six times’ more widespread than previously thought

A new study has found that up to 60 million people worldwide may sustain a traumatic brain injury every year. The British Medical Journal has reported that this figure – which is close to the entire population of the UK – is around six times the previous estimate.
 
Statistics on a computer screen
Image is for illustrative purposes only
  So why were previous estimates so much lower? Earlier projections have tended to focus on acute injuries, where medical attention was sought.  But new research has built a growing body of evidence pointing to the long-term clinical effects of so-called ‘mild’ injuries.  Traumatic injuries are those caused by an impact to the head (as opposed to those caused by an illness such as meningitis).  The Brain Injury Outcomes New Zealand in the Community (BIONIC) study looked at 172,000 people in urban and rural parts of one area in New Zealand during 2010-11.  It followed participants through different strands of their lives, including school, sports groups and their engagement with healthcare staff.   Rob Wood of The Children’s Trust said: “We welcome this new research because it confirms that so-called ‘mild’ and ‘moderate’ brain injuries can have a huge impact on people. “Our focus is on children, and we hope this research will help the wider community better understand the way a brain injury can affect almost every aspect of a child’s life.” To read the British Medical Journal story, click here.  
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