How staggering? Consider these numbers:
• Each year in the U.S., 3.4 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury, or TBI.
• TBI is one of the leading causes of death and disability in America. Each year, 53,000 Americans die due to TBI.
• Eight teenagers die every day in the U.S. from TBI.
• There are 5 million Americans living with TBI-related disabilities; direct and indirect costs of TBI in the U.S. is $76 billion per year.
The non-profit I work for — One Mind for Research — is led by retired U.S. Army General Peter Chiarelli, former commander of the multi-national corps in Iraq. He has seen first hand how TBI has affected America’s soldiers. And he is now helping to lead the fight to find ways to battle and prevent TBI.
One Mind for Research’s mission is to fund groundbreaking research and accelerate development of better diagnostics, better treatments, and ultimately, preventions and cures for a wide range of mental illnesses and brain injuries. One of our most important goals is to help science make advances in understanding, treating and, ultimately, preventing and curing TBI.
While TBI affects millions of people worldwide, it is a silent epidemic — its symptoms are frequently invisible, thus difficult to diagnose and treat. But while symptoms aren’t always easy to notice, TBI leads to motor, cognitive, and social impairments that interfere with an individual’s ability to be productive.
One Mind’s initial research project is called the “Gemini Program,” which will include 3,000 to 5,000 patients with traumatic brain injury and, in some cases, post traumatic stress. The patients will participate in a multi-year longitudinal study that will help researchers learn more about these devastating conditions.
Want to learn more about the fight against TBI? I am speaking this coming Tuesday evening — Feb. 18 — in Portland as part of the Brain Awareness Season lecture series sponsored by the OHSU Brain Institute. Gen. Chiarelli has prepared a video presentation that will also be shown at the lecture.
I hope you can join me. We need more people to understand TBI — and to join us in the fight against it.
Chief Financial Officer
One Mind for Research