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Newswise DALLAS February 28, 2014 UTSouthwestern Medical Center today launched the new Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair, a state-funded initiative to promote innovative research and education, with the goals of accelerating translation into better diagnosis and revolutionizing care for millions of people who suffer brain injuries each year.
The event brought together state government leaders, supporters of UTSouthwestern, and representatives from the National Football League (NFL) to celebrate this new program. Relying on UTSouthwesterns strengths in basic and translational research, the Institute will include scientists focused on improving the understanding of brain damage at the molecular and cellular level, as well as those seeking to identify new therapeutic opportunities, which could ultimately be delivered in clinical care settings.
This Institute reflects an effort unprecedented in its commitment to address the devastating effects of brain injury, said UTSouthwestern President Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky. The initiative involves the entire community, from patients and parents to scientists and caregivers.
The expansive scope from bench science to bedside treatment and an intense focus on novel therapeutic advances already being developed at UTSouthwestern will, we hope, lead to tremendous benefits for those with brain trauma. This includes thousands of military veterans, athletes, and accident victims in Texas and beyond who are dealing with this challenge, Dr. Podolsky added.
Each year in the U.S., severe brain injuries strike 1.7 million people, accounting for about 30 percent of all injury-related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most traumatic brain injuries about 75 percent are concussions or other forms of mild traumatic brain injury, with sports-related concussions affecting about 3.8 million people in the U.S. annually. The U.S. Department of Defense estimates that since 2000, more than 287,000 U.S. service members have sustained traumatic brain injuries either in training or in combat. In Texas alone, more than 144,000 people sustain traumatic brain injuries annually, and about 5,700 are permanently disabled, according to the Texas Brain Injury Alliance.
Partners in progress The new Institute, which is a component of the Harold and Annette Simmons Comprehensive Center for Research and Treatment in Brain and Neurological Disorders, is a collaborative initiative involving local and national organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, UT Dallas and its Center for BrainHealth, Childrens Medical Center, Dallas VA Medical Center, and Parkland Health & Hospital System, as well as Texas Health Resources and Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine.
The Institute received significant support from the Texas Legislature, which provided a $15 million allocation, the largest commitment of funds for a brain injury initiative in state history. Representatives Jim Pitts and Dan Branch who worked tirelessly to provide the critical state support spoke at the launch event.
The Institute also has ties to the NFL and the U.S. Department of Defense, which have a strong commitment to improve brain injury research and care. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is a featured speaker at a dinner for supporters of the Institute following the launch event. In earlier comments, Mr. Goodell said: UTSouthwesterns proven expertise is what makes it an ideal institution to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and research around concussion and other types of brain injury. Their vision in addressing this public health issue aligns with the NFLs work to provide resources that will lead to better education, prevention, and care for people of all ages affected by traumatic brain injury.
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UT Southwestern Launches Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair