Advanced Search
Current and Breaking News for Professionals, Consumers and Media



Click here to learn how to advertise on this site and for ad rates.

Research Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Feb 28, 2014 - 5:36:25 PM



UT Southwestern launches Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair

By Staff Editor
Feb 28, 2014 - 5:33:28 PM



Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Ezine
For Email Marketing you can trust


Email this article
 Printer friendly page

(HealthNewsDigest.com) - DALLAS - February 28, 2014 -  UT Southwestern Medical Center today launched the new Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair, a state-funded initiative to promote innovative research and education, with the goals of accelerating translation into better diagnosis and revolutionizing care for millions of people who suffer brain injuries each year.

The event brought together state government leaders, supporters of UT Southwestern, and representatives from the National Football League (NFL) to celebrate this new program. Relying on UT Southwestern's strengths in basic and translational research, the Institute will include scientists focused on improving the understanding of brain damage at the molecular and cellular level, as well as those seeking to identify new therapeutic opportunities, which could ultimately be delivered in clinical care settings.

"This Institute reflects an effort unprecedented in its commitment to address the devastating effects of brain injury," said UT Southwestern President Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky. "The initiative involves the entire community, from patients and parents to scientists and caregivers."

"The expansive scope - from bench science to bedside treatment - and an intense focus on novel therapeutic advances already being developed at UT Southwestern will, we hope, lead to tremendous benefits for those with brain trauma. This includes thousands of military veterans, athletes, and accident victims in Texas and beyond who are dealing with this challenge," Dr. Podolsky added.

Each year in the U.S., severe brain injuries strike 1.7 million people, accounting for about 30 percent of all injury-related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most traumatic brain injuries - about 75 percent - are concussions or other forms of mild traumatic brain injury, with sports-related concussions affecting about 3.8 million people in the U.S. annually. The U.S. Department of Defense estimates that since 2000, more than 287,000 U.S. service members have sustained traumatic brain njuries either in training or in combat. In Texas alone, more than 144,000 people sustain traumatic brain injuries annually, and about 5,700 are permanently disabled, according to the Texas Brain Injury Alliance.


Partners in progress

The new Institute, which is a component of the Harold and Annette Simmons Comprehensive Center for Research and Treatment in Brain and Neurological Disorders, is a collaborative initiative involving local and national organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, UT Dallas and its Center for BrainHealth, Children's Medical Center, Dallas VA Medical Center, and Parkland Health & Hospital System, as well as Texas Health Resources and Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine.

The Institute received significant support from the Texas Legislature, which provided a $15 million allocation, the largest commitment of funds for a brain injury initiative in state history. Representatives Jim Pitts and Dan Branch - who worked tirelessly to provide the critical state support - spoke at the launch event.

The Institute also has ties to the NFL and the U.S. Department of Defense, which have a strong commitment to improve brain injury research and care. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is a featured speaker at a dinner for supporters of the Institute following the launch event. In earlier comments, Mr. Goodell said: "UT Southwestern's proven expertise is what makes it an ideal institution to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and research around concussion and other types of brain injury. Their vision in addressing this public health issue aligns with the NFL's work to provide resources that will lead to better education, prevention, and care for people of all ages affected by traumatic brain injury."


UT Southwestern - A centerpiece for research and clinical care


With its strong reputation for basic neuroscience research, UT Southwestern is serving as the centerpiece for the Institute. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Southwestern's Neurological Surgery and Neurology and Neurotherapeutics departments among the top 20 in the nation. For decades, UT Southwestern researchers have improved the understanding of how the brain naturally repairs itself after an injury, including a traumatic impact, stroke, chronic conditions (such as Alzheimer's disease), or brain tumors.

"We're focused on everything from treating war veterans who are returning home and athletes trying to return to play, to maximizing the recovery of people suffering from brain injuries," said Dr. Hunt Batjer, Chairman of Neurological Surgery at UT Southwestern and co-chair of the NFL's Head, Neck, and Spine Committee.

The Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair at UT Southwestern will focus on three key areas, each of which is expected to have derivative implications for patient care:

  • Innovative basic science and clinical translation research,
  • State-of-the-art brain imaging, supported by UT Southwestern's Advanced Imaging Research Center, which also receives state support, and
  • Community education and prevention strategies.

"The depth of our expertise across the spectrum of pediatric and adult neurosciences will allow us to do things that other big centers don't even think about doing," said Dr. Mark Goldberg, Chairman of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern. "We will draw on the great strengths of UT Southwestern in applying scientific rigor and commitment to improve patient care, and to addressing the most challenging medical needs."

UT Southwestern will continue its cutting-edge research, including:

  • Developing drug compounds and medical devices with the potential to reverse brain damage,
  • Identifying new imaging and neuropathological biomarkers that predict neurological deterioration after an injury, and provide insights into the process of nervous system repair, and
  • Conducting longitudinal research that identifies factors that predispose individuals to long-term disability resulting from repeated impacts to the brain. UT Southwestern, in collaboration with UT Dallas, is working with former NFL players to diagnose and treat chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease.

Another key initiative will be creating a comprehensive concussion network. This network will serve as a model for delivering brain injury education and consultative care to coaches, school nurses, athletic trainers, and parents. UT Southwestern also will offer a related sports medicine program for children and adults, a spinal care program, state-of-the-art imaging capabilities, neuropsychological evaluations, rehabilitation services, and therapeutic interventions.

"This new Institute is truly groundbreaking," said Dr. Batjer. "We see it as a tremendous opportunity to get involved and help solve some of the challenges associated with a prevalent health issue."


###

About UT Southwestern Medical Center


UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution's faculty includes many distinguished members, including five who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985. Numbering more than 2,700, the faculty is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide medical care in 40 specialties to nearly 91,000 hospitalized patients and oversee more than 2 million outpatient visits a year.

###

For advertising and promotion on HealthNewsDigest.com, call Mike McCurdy: 877-634-9180 or [email protected] We have over 7,000 journalists as subscribers.

 



Top of Page

HealthNewsDigest.com

Research
Latest Headlines


+ Identify New and Beneficial Function of Endogenous Retroviruses in Immune Response
+ Researchers Hope Patent Can Pave Way to Future Treatments of Heart, Lung Disease
+ Why Cadavers Are Superior
+ New Class of Synthetic Molecules Mimics Antibodies
+ People Trust Typical-Looking Faces Most
+ Main Reason for Lifespan Variability Between Races Not Cause of Death
+ What Psychology Says About Materialism and the Holidays
+ As Controlled Substance Use Rises in Medicare, Prolific Prescribers Face More Scrutiny
+ Neurotransmitter Binding-site Function Revealed with Unprecedented Accuracy
+ Ask Mary Jo



Contact Us | Job Listings | Help | Site Map | About Us
Advertising Information | HND Press Release | Submit Information | Disclaimer

Site hosted by Sanchez Productions