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BIAA Adopts New TBI Definition

February 6, 2011

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is pleased to announce its adoption of a new definition of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Based on the proposal of the Demographics and Clinical Assessment Working Group of the International and Interagency Initiative toward Common Data Elements for Research on Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychological Health, BIAA has adopted the following definition:

TBI is defined as an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force.

The International and Interagency Initiative toward Common Data Elements for Research on Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychological Health is led by a variety of co-sponsoring federal agencies that facilitate scientific experts to participate in working groups developing recommendations for specific common data elements. The Clinical Assessment Working Group is comprised of both military and civilian TBI researchers from across the country, including Dr. Wayne Gordon of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, who also serves on BIAA’s board of directors.

A position statement released from the working group reported that “A clear concise definition of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is fundamental for reporting, comparison, and interpretation of studies on TBI. Changing epidemiology patterns, an increasing recognition of significance of mild TBI, and a better understanding of the subtler neurocognitive neuroaffective deficits that may result from these injuries, make this need even more critical.”

According to Dr. Gordon, “The new definition incorporates the emerging evidence that signs and symptoms of the injured brain may emerge over time.”

BIAA believes this updated definition will better capture the essence of the disease process and the many varying outcomes present in persons with TBI and will reflect more recent research conducted by experts across the country.

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