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Traumatic Brain Injury: UCSF Neurosurgeon Calls For More Research, Improved Treatment Standard
Date:3/20/2009

ed."

The current classification system, known as the Glasgow Coma Scale (GSC), divides a patient's TBI into the extremely broad categories of mild, moderate and severe, and fails to take into account the specifics of each patient's condition, Manley said.

What is needed is a new classification system and an overall standardization of treatment and research efforts, he said.

"If we can start to standardize, we can really change the field," Manley said. "Only by standardizing can we make things more efficient, streamlined and economical."

Manley and other TBI experts from nearly 50 agencies and institutions will be tackling these issues at a consensus conference in Silver Spring, MD, on March 23-24. The conference is co-sponsored by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Manley said he hopes the conference will produce real results that can be immediately applied to TBI clinical trials, including one scheduled to take place at UCSF later this year -- the ProTECT trial -- that will study the use of progesterone in the treatment of acute brain injury.

Increasing Awareness
In the long term, he said, overhauling the way TBI is currently studied and treated could prevent tragedies like the one that befell Richardson.

Manley called Richardson's condition "totally treatable" and said if she had received prompt medical attention and surgery, she likely would have survived.

"It's truly a matter of awareness," he said. "Everybody believes cancer or heart disease could happen to them, but nobody really believes they're going to walk across the street and someone is going to run them over. For whatever reason, people don't want to believe they are going to sustain a head injury despite the fact that TBI remains one of the leading
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