ACQUIRED BRAIN INJURY RESEARCH
Currently a national strategy exists for stroke, spinal cord injury, cancer and cardiac care but nothing exists for traumatic brain injury. The value of a national strategy cannot be overstated. Over a million Canadians live with the effects of an acquired brain injury. The incidence and prevalence of brain injury outnumbers breast cancer, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDs – combined. Traumatic brain injuries are the number one killer of our children. Simply put brain injury is a major public health concern yet it does not receive the attention it should.
There is significant effort underway within the brain disorder community to partner to harness the collective energies of neuroscience researchers, consumer organizations, clinical experts and other stakeholders.
Brain Injury Canada supports this collective effort within the Neurological Health Charities Canada (NHCC), which includes 24 charities addressing the multitude of neurological conditions. A national Traumatic Brain Injury Research Strategy will leverage this broader activity and contribute to its success, and work conducted under NHCC can inform the Traumatic Brain Injury Research Strategy for Canada.
Basic research is essential in order to understand the mechanisms of brain injury and this can lead to improved early diagnosis approaches, therapeutics and more diversified care and rehabilitative strategies in the longer term.
Translational research that employs late stage animal models is approaching clinical application and is proving to be achievable in the shorter term.
A diverse range of injury prevention research is well underway and needs to continue.
The major areas of current ABI/TBI research in Canada are as follows:
- Cognitive, behavioural outcomes and rehabilitation
- Community Integration
- Trauma systems
- Biomechanics and neurophysiology
Advocating for Brain Injury Survivors and their Care Givers
Brain Injury Canada continues to work directly with provincial and federal levels of government, and many other partners, on a national ABI Care Strategy that would address the following priority areas:
- Integrated Case Management, Care & Support
- Caregiver Support
- Income Security
- Genetic Discrimination
- Public Education & Awareness
Also be sure to make your views known to your Provincial and Federal members of parliament.