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Study to identify best rehabilitation therapies for patients with traumatic brain injuries
Date:12/15/2008

e methodology has been used successfully to improve treatment for stroke.

Traumatic brain injury occurs when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, as in a fall or car crash, or when an object, such as a bullet, pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can be mild, moderate, or severe, and vary depending on the extent and location of the brain damage. For patients with moderate or severe injuries, symptoms range from headaches and lethargy to convulsions, loss of coordination, confusion, cognitive deficits, and behavior and mood changes.

Research to date has done little to help identify the best treatments for the range of symptoms. Randomized clinical trials of rehabilitation therapies, for example, typically evaluate only specific treatments for a select group of patients. Results are not general enough to apply to the whole population of traumatic brain injury patients.

By isolating individual components of therapy as applied to patients with different degrees of traumatic brain injuries, the researchers expect to be able to prescribe best practices for rehabilitation, raising the standard of treatment in facilities all across the country.

"From the extraordinary wealth of data we'll collect in this five-year analysis, we will be able to offer clinicians the information that can help them evaluate their current treatment practices and select therapies that are most likely to help their patients," Young said. "This is medicine at its best: treatment based on the results of years of clinical practice."


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Contact: Sharon Butler
sharon_butler@rush.edu
312-942-7816
Rush University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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