U teams up with HCMC and Abbott to study traumatic brain injury

There are an estimated 2.2 million emergency department visits every year for traumatic brain injuries (TBI), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And with every visit, quick evaluation and treatment are critical. 

That’s why University of Minnesota researchers are teaming up with Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) and Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis to launch a comprehensive study aimed at better identifying the range of brain injuries among patients. It will become the largest single-center prospective study on concussion and TBI in the nation.

Researchers plan to screen 9,000 trauma patients and enroll at least 1,000 of them as part of the study. Patients will be followed for up to one year. Investigators will use multiple evaluation tools — including eye tracking, blood-based biomarkers, imaging, and cognitive measures — to develop a new standard approach to classifying brain injuries, including concussions, and providing the information needed to guide treatment decisions.

“We know that there are different types of brain damage that can occur after trauma, whether it’s a mild concussion or a severe injury,” says neurosurgeon Uzma Samadani, M.D., Ph.D., Rockswold Kaplan Endowed Chair for TBI Research at HCMC, associate professor at the University, and one of the study’s lead investigators. “Our goal with this study is to combine multiple assessment techniques to quickly assess the severity of brain injuries and enable clinicians to provide appropriate treatments.”  

Published on April 5, 2016