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Federal traumatic brain injury data base under development

The National Institutes of Health, in partnership with the Department of Defense, is building a central database focused on traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that officials say will aid in better prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

The Federal Interagency Traumatic Brain Injury Research (FITBIR) database, funded at $10 million over four years, is designed to accelerate comparative effectiveness research on brain injury treatment and diagnosis. It will serve as a central repository for new data, link to current databases and allow valid comparison of results across studies.

The key is to take the enormous amount of available data and transform it into an easily usable format that can be readily accessed.

The database will collect uniform and high-quality data on traumatic brain injury, including brain imaging scans and neurological test results. This date can be then used to compare intervention results across a broad range of studies, providing innovative and unique insights that are not possible from a single study.

The database is expected to aid in the development of:

•A system to classify different types of traumatic brain injury

•More targeted studies to determine which treatments are effective and for whom and under what conditions (comparative effectiveness research)

•Enhanced diagnostic criteria for concussions and milder injuries

•Predictive markers to identify those at risk of developing conditions that have been linked to traumatic brain injury, such as Alzheimer’s disease

•Clearer understanding of the effects of age, sex and other medical conditions on injury and recovery

•Improved evidence-based guidelines for patient care, from the time of injury through rehabilitation



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