Flanders, NJ ( seenation ) April 2, 2012 - March is Brain Injury Awareness month and each year United States Congressmen Bill Pascrell, Jr. and Todd Platts, co-chairs of the Congressional Task Force on Brain Injury, sponsor a special day-long event to promote public awareness among legislators and stakeholders about the important health care concerns associated with brain injury.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1.7 million people sustain some form of brain injury each year. We also know that emergency department visits for concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury, in sports has increased by approximately 200% over the past ten years. In addition, our military members having served in Iraq and Afghanistan are at risk for blast injuries and the resulting brain trauma associated with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
This year, the International Brain Research Foundation (IBRF) is again proud to be one of those organizations invited to exhibit and educate our governmental representatives. IBRF has been at the forefront of creating innovative protocols and treatments for brain injury. For example, the Department of Defense has awarded IBRF a $6.4 million grant for a research project targeted to the most severe form of brain injuries: severe disorders of consciousness.
Philip A. DeFina, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Executive Officer of IBRF, explains, "We are pleased to be a part of this exciting annual event. It gives IBRF the unique opportunity to speak face to face with legislators to let them know how prevalent brain injury is and how our current treatments are too limited. We all need to commit more resources to find effective, safe treatments to save brain function especially when the injury occurs, whether on the battlefield or football field."
Dr. DeFina is proud to announce that IBRF is developing an additional partnership with the United States Army Medical Department to address the needs of our military members. Dr. DeFina adds, "Partnering with the US Army will represent a merging of the best military and private sector minds, skills, and resources." Dr. DeFina is scheduled to give a lecture on Mild TBI and Sudden Death Syndrome at this event.
The Annual Brain Injury Fair was held on Wednesday, March 21 in Washington, D.C and was open to the public. The event began with exhibits in the Rayburn Building Atrium of our Capital, followed by speaker presentations.