Why do we need to study the long-term effects of brain injury?
Although there’s been a great deal of interest and concern about repeated traumatic brain injuries, the long-term effects of single traumatic brain injury is a significant problem as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are 5.3 million Americans living with long-term disability related to traumatic brain injury. That’s a large number. That’s almost equal to the number of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease. And yet we’re not really studying this and we really don’t understand the nature of those disabilities.
It’s the automobile accident, it’s the fall out of a tree, it’s the single TBI as well that should be of concern and can have lasting effects. And that is another area in which there are many gaps in our knowledge.
Dr. Perl is a Professor of Pathology at USUHS and Director of the CNRM's Brain Tissue Repository, where he has established a state-of-the-art neuropathology laboratory dedicated to research on the acute and long-term effects of traumatic brain injury among military personnel.