Okonkwo Part of New Major TBI Study

David OkonkwoPittsburgh, October 22, 2013 -- David Okonkwo, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and clinical director of the university's Brain Trauma Research Program, is one of a number of investigators from 20 institutions across the country taking part in a $18.8 million, five-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) study on traumatic brain injury.

The aim of the study, coordinated by the University of California San Francisco, is to improve the diagnosis and treatment of injuries to the head that investigators say are often misdiagnosed, inadequately understood or undertreated.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that two percent of the U.S. population now lives with TBI-caused disabilities, costing $77 billion in care annually. Investigators estimate at least 1.7 million people seek medical attention for TBI every year and that TBI is a contributing factor in a third of all injury-related deaths.

The study is part of one of the largest international research collaborations ever coordinated by funding agencies. U.S. researchers are participating in the International Traumatic Brain Injury (InTBIR) Initiative, a collaborative effort of the European Commission (EC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

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University of Pittsburgh lands leading role in international brain injury study
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
October 22, 2013