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House Committee Launching Investigation Into Concussions

24-Dec-2015

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is applauding Tuesday’s announcement from the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the committee will launch a broad investigation into concussions.

The announcement came just days before the release of the Sony Pictures’ film “Concussion,” starring Will Smith as forensic pathologist Bennett Omalu, M.D., who first identified the condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 2002 in the brains of former professional football players.

The film has brought concussion into the national conversation, but a recent Harris Poll revealed that a majority of people in the U.S. do not understand the injury. Of those surveyed, 87 percent did not know what a concussion is, and 68 percent did not know that a person can sustain a concussion without receiving a blow to the head. Fewer than 50 percent of those polled knew all the signs and symptoms indicating that someone has sustained a concussion.

“Concussions can happen anywhere – home, school, work, playing field – and they can happen to anyone – adults, teens, children, and babies,” said Susan H. Connors, President and CEO of BIAA. “We hope this investigation by the Energy and Commerce Committee will lead to research to help us understand why some people who sustain concussions recover spontaneously while others – about 15 percent of those who experience a concussion – require medical treatment, including rehabilitation.”

“We often hear about concussions in the context of service members and athletes, but this problem goes well beyond the battlefield and the gridiron,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) in the announcement. “ It’s a matter of public health as these injuries are prevalent in all ages and across the population.”

To help people better understand concussions, BIAA has authored Brain Injury: Dispelling Myths and Misunderstandings about Concussion. The 16-page brochure discusses signs and symptoms of concussion, when to seek medical attention, how to aid and speed recovery, long-term effects, research, and prevention. BIAA also provides information about concussion information on the organization’s website at www.biausa.org.

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The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is the country’s oldest and largest nationwide brain injury advocacy organization. Our mission is to advance brain injury prevention, research, treatment, and education, and to improve the quality of life for all individuals impacted by brain injury. Through advocacy, we bring help, hope, and healing to millions of individuals living with brain injury, their families and the professionals who serve them.

 


 
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