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New Curtin-led traumatic brain injury research secures $50 million

Media release

The Federal Government has awarded a Curtin University-led research mission $50 million over the next 10 years to help improve the lives of people with traumatic brain injuries of all severities, from concussion in sports to severe brain injuries from road accidents.

The research funding for the Mission for Traumatic Brain Injury initiative was announced yesterday by the Federal Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MHR, at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.

The research, led by Professor Melinda Fitzgerald from the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute at Curtin University and the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science, will support those impacted by traumatic brain injuries by offering patients and their families hope for the future.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry congratulated Professor Fitzgerald, adding the funding would help make a real difference to people living with the long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries.

“The Curtin University-led research will bring together a vast range of health professionals from major hospitals, universities and research institutes across the country to address the unmet needs that must be addressed to improve the lives of children and adults with traumatic brain injuries,” Professor Terry said.

“The funding from the Federal Government will greatly support research into this important area over the next 10 years and will have a significant impact on those who have been injured in sporting and severe road accidents.”

Professor Fitzgerald, the Mission Lead, said traumatic brain injuries dramatically impact the lives of the patient involved and the people around them, both mentally and financially.

“Only 10 to 25 per cent of people seek medical attention for the milder traumatic brain injuries like concussion, so these injuries are substantially under reported across the country. Current treatments available for mild and severe traumatic brain injury or concussion are not consistent across the nation and that can contribute to why outcomes for these patients are often so poor,” Professor Fitzgerald said.

“There is currently a lack of evidence to inform the public and health clinicians about the best way to treat people with traumatic brain injuries. Our research will help to identify the predictors of poor outcomes following a traumatic brain injury and then develop feasible initiatives that will help improve the lives of these patients.”

The Mission for Traumatic Brain Injury initiative will also adopt an open and free approach to research-informed education through the use of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).