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Traumatic brain injury: future assessment tools and treatment prospects

Authors Flanagan SR, Cantor JB, Ashman TA

Published 10 October 2008 Volume 2008:4(5) Pages 877—892

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S1985


Steven R Flanagan1, Joshua B Cantor2, Teresa A Ashman2

1New York University School of Medicine, The Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation, New York, NY, USA; 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA

Abstract: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is widespread and leads to death and disability in millions of individuals around the world each year. Overall incidence and prevalence of TBI are likely to increase in absolute terms in the future. Tackling the problem of treating TBI successfully will require improvements in the understanding of normal cerebral anatomy, physiology, and function throughout the lifespan, as well as the pathological and recuperative responses that result from trauma. New treatment approaches and combinations will need to be targeted to the heterogeneous needs of TBI populations. This article explores and evaluates the research evidence in areas that will likely lead to a reduction in TBI-related morbidity and improved outcomes. These include emerging assessment instruments and techniques in areas of structural/chemical and functional neuroimaging and neuropsychology, advances in the realms of cell-based therapies and genetics, promising cognitive rehabilitation techniques including cognitive remediation and the use of electronic technologies including assistive devices and virtual reality, and the emerging field of complementary and alternative medicine.

Keywords: traumatic brain injury, assessments, treatments

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