Millions Could Benefit From New TBI Studies

Cambridge And Antwerp-based Researchers To Conduct Studies Into TBI


Scientists from the University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke's Hospital and University Hospital Antwerp will lead new studies into the causes of and treatments for traumatic brain injury (TBI).

More than 60 hospitals and 38 scientific institutes will take part in the project over the next six-and-a-half years.

The research will cost £25 million in total and the initiative has received substantial funding from the
European Union (EU).

Professor David Menon of the University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke's Hospital said there are still too many gaps in our understanding of serious brain injuries and this project could have a positive impact on millions of people around the world.

"Exploring variations in clinical pathways and management of individual patients will allow us to identify best practice overall and enable us to match patients to treatments," he remarked.

Data from more than 5,000 patients from across Europe will be analysed by researchers, giving scientists a better idea of how problematic TBIs are in this part of the world.

The University of Cambridge said serious brain injuries are the biggest cause of death among young adults and they are a growing concern in low and middle-income countries. It stated that somebody dies every ten minutes in India as a result of a TBI and this figure is expected to treble by 2020.

Professor Andrew Maas of the University Hospital Antwerp will be in charge of this Europe-wide research project and he thanked the EU for its support.

"We can do a lot, but not enough, so this grant will enable collaboration on a huge scale to gather enough evidence to make a real difference to victims of TBI and their families," he commented.

Another major scheme that has been backed by the EU is the 'Human Brain Project', which has been launched in Switzerland.

Costing around £1 billion, the research programme will last for ten years and is aimed at improving our understanding of how the brain functions.

Expert Opinion
Through our work, we see numerous cases which highlight the huge consequences that serious brain injuries have, often meaning victims need long-term care and support to get the best from life.

“Any initiative aimed at tackling and developing new treatments for such devastating injuries is of course hugely welcome and it is very positive to see two projects examining this area launched in recent weeks.

“Treatment for brain injury victims is improving all the time and learning more about the brain will only lead to further improvements.”
Stephen Nye, Partner