The Philosophy and Expertise Behind the NICoE

Many experts collaborated on the plan for the National Intrepid Center of Excellence with the goal of creating an objective measure to better characterize brain injury, and then treat it.

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So, when NICoE was conceived, there was a whole group of folks that got together and said "If you had a center of excellence for traumatic brain injury, what would you envision and what would you want to equip it with?" So, I was one of those folks that they brought in at the initial concept stage. We also had people—experts—from NIH, people from Hopkins, people from all over the DC area plus outside consultants from UCLA and other places. So, there was a fair number of expertise that went into designing this building and saying what equipment should be here to look at traumatic brain injury. Our goal is to have an objective measure of traumatic brain injury. Currently, traumatic brain injury is categorized based upon your findings at the time of the injury— the Glasgow coma scale, which is a scale that measures your cognitive deficits at the time of injury— whether you've lost consciousness and whether you have posttraumatic amnesia. All of those are somewhat subjective measures, and what we're trying to do is develop some objective measures to better categorize traumatic brain injury by an objective scale. And, I and a lot of my clinical colleagues are looking towards neuroimaging as providing those objective measures.
Posted on BrainLine September 28, 2012.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough, Brian King, and Jared Schaubert, BrainLine.