I will soon be on my way back to the states and before I left, I wanted to share just a few notes about the 6th World Congress on Brain Injury.
The opening ceremonies of the Congress were concluded with keynote speaker Dr. Graham Teasdale, one of the world’s most pre-eminent neurosurgeons and researchers on traumatic brain injury. Dr. Teasdale and his colleagues in Glasgow, Scotland developed the Glasgow Coma Scale, which is used universally today to access acute traumatic brain injury. In 2000, Dr. Teasdale published an article in the British Medical Journal which was a study of people with mild moderate and severe brain injury one year post trauma. The results demonstrated that persons with so called mild TBI had the same incidence of continuing disability as those with moderate and to some extent severe brain injury.
Later in the week, Dr. Teasdale presented his follow-up work of these patients now 5-7 years post trauma, which demonstrated that even after 5 years many with mild TBI still had ongoing disabilities and impairments. His research also showed that symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress were good prognosticators of poor recovery, suggesting that rehabilitation should focus more on the emotional side of the problem.
I had to opportunity to speak with Dr. Teasdale, who said he was close to completing his paper and hopes to submit for publication in the near future.
I was also fortunate to listen to a presentation given by Erin Bigler, Ph.D. from Utah. Dr. Bigler’s cutting edge research into the field of magnetic resonance imaging is truly remarkable. Dr. Bigler showed that the technology today is able to objectively demonstrate brain injury from even minor blows to the head.
All in all the 6th World Congress on Brain Injury was a great success. I cannot wait for our next conference in Miami.