More than half of the patients who come to the emergency departments at top-level trauma centers with a concussion may not be receiving the necessary follow-up medical care they need following their initial emergency department visit. This was a finding of a recent analysis done by researchers of the One Mind-supported TRACK-TBI study, which appeared in JAMA Network Open on May 25th, 2018.
The researchers analyzed data from 831 patients with a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) from the TRACK-TBI study between February 26, 2014, and August 25, 2016. Results found that fewer than half of the patients with a mTBI (concussion) reported receiving TBI educational materials at discharge or seeing a medical practitioner within three months of the injury.
These numbers are concerning given that the symptoms of TBI can be long-lasting and debilitating, and if undiagnosed, can lead to much more serious negative outcomes. An increasing amount of research has found that traumatic brain injuries are associated with an elevated risk of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, dementia and post-traumatic stress, and untreated TBIs are frequent in the homeless and incarcerated populations.
“This is a public health crisis that is being overlooked,” said Geoff Manley, MD, PhD, the co-author of the study and the contact principal investigator of TRACK-TBI. “If physicians did not follow up on patients in the emergency department with diabetes and heart disease, there would be accusations of malpractice. For too many patients, concussion is being treated as a minor injury,” he adds, per a recent media release from the University of California, San Francisco, where Manley is a professor of neurosurgery in the Department of Neurological Surgery and a member of the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences.
To read more about this study, please visit the News Center page of UCSF’s website.
One Mind is a financial supporter of the NIH-funded TRACK-TBI initiative. Our interest is to help accelerate the outcomes of this research, which will ultimately enable the initiative’s researchers to more effectively match patients into TBI clinical treatment trials designed to provide precise targets for new therapies and devices.
Please help One Mind support the TRACK-TBI initiative and the millions of people who live with the disabilities caused by TBI by making a donation to One Mind today.
To learn more about our support of the TRACK-TBI initiative, please visit the TRACK-TBI page on the One Mind website.