Government Takes Action on Traumatic Brain Injuries

During March, which is Brain Injury Awareness Month, two important events took place, as the U.S. government turned its attention to the issue of traumatic brain injuries.

On March 19, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held hearings to examine Federal, State and private efforts to prevent and treat traumatic brain injuries.

On March 21, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) introduced legislation that would increase federal resources for people with traumatic brain injuries, through the TBI Act of 2012. Congressman Pascrell said, “From overseas battlefields to small town ball fields, brain injuries can impact anyone at any time. The TBI Act of 2012 will sustain successful programs, provide better coordination of TBI research, and create a funding formula that will allow all 50 states to access state grants for TBI programs.”

About 1.7 million Americans suffer brain injuries each year. Traumatic brain injury survivor Jason Deierlein said, “Much like physical health, mental health is prone to diseases and mutations that we do not always have the luxury in dictating. There are some circumstances where the health of the brain suffers a disease that affects its development in an adverse way.”

The Brain Injury Association of American also holds events each March for Brain Awareness Month. Like all public health observances, these events, and the information they release, are intended to draw attention to the major health problem. According to BIAA, of the 1.7 million brain injuries taking place each year in the United States, about 475,000 affect children. Also, just over 3 million Americans live with long-term disabilities associated with traumatic brain injury.

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