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The purpose of this blog is to foster public discussion about injury and violence prevention and response and gain perspectives of those we serve.

The Brain: The Final Frontier of Science – CDC’s Efforts to Track and Prevent TBI Among Americans

Categories: Traumatic Brain Injury

Do you know someone who has sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI)?  Is this someone close to you?  Do you wonder why the injured person may sometimes act differently or not like themselves?  Some days they appear to feel fine – there are no signs of the injury.  Then, there are days when your loved one may be irritable, confused, forgetful, anxious, dizzy, tired, sensitive to light, or sad?  These are just a few of the after-effects that a loved one may experience as a result of a (TBI).  What is TBI?  A TBI is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or by a penetrating head injury.  A TBI does not just affect the injured person, but also has far reaching effects into that person’s life and into the lives of family members and communities.

TBI Pyramid

National TBI Estimates

From 2002 – 2006, an estimated average of 1.7 million people in the U.S. annually sustained a TBI; that’s more people than the populations of Dallas and Miami combined.  For all we have learned about the body through research and science, there is still so much we do not know about the brain.  The brain may be considered the final frontier of science, but we do have research of considerable value about prevention, as well as prompt evaluation and treatment.  We know the signs and symptoms of a TBI can range from mild to severe.  We know that after an injury, the brain needs complete cognitive (no reading, no watching t.v. or playing video games, no crosswords, etc.) and physical rest in the early stages of recovery.  We also know that returning to activity, whether work, school, sports or leisure too soon, or to activity that may put a person at risk of sustaining a repeat TBI, can lead to more serious and permanent health consequences.   

Traumatic Brain Injury-Related Death Rates by Age, United StatesA new CDC Injury Center report, Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations and Deaths 2002 – 2006, finds that nearly a third of all injury-related deaths in the United States involve TBI.  Not only do TBIs contribute to a substantial number of deaths, but they also cause permanent disability for many Americans.  The direct medical costs and indirect costs to society from TBI-related deaths and disabilities reached an estimated $60 billion in the United States in 2003 dollars.  The Injury Center recognizes TBI as an important public health issue and works to prevent TBI related injuries – from falls, motor vehicle crashes, assault, sports and recreational play – before they occur.  Our scientists and communications experts work across fields to share information about the causes of TBI and how to reach at-risk groups with the latest prevention and response tips and tools.

For more information about how to prevent TBI or for response and recovery tips, please read about our work in the following areas –

Wishing you a sunny and safe spring season.

Public Comments

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this blog is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

  1. April 23, 2010 at 1:26 am ET  -   Tweets that mention The Brain: The Final Frontier of Science

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Joe Martin. Joe Martin said: traumatic brain injury numbers are increasing 1.7 million people in the U.S. annually sustained a TBI… (

    Link to this comment

  2. May 5, 2010 at 4:38 am ET  -   Joe Martin

    I was working for FDNY from 1977-2005. In 1988 was assaulted by a 15 year old boy with a baseball bat after work. The incident started when my daughter was having an argument with another girl in front of my apartment. When I went to see what was going on, the young girl wanted to have a boy fight with me. The boy showed up and wanted to fight.

    I then went to the store with my 8 your old son, back then. The boy changed his mind and wanted to fight. I told him that I was not going to fight with him because it was finished. I was then coming back to my building with my son and some groceries when the boy showed up again in front of me yelling. He had another boy strike me in the back of my head with a baseball bat. I collapsed to the sidewalk hitting the front of my head. I touched my head and there was a lot of blood there. I did not know where my son and the groceries where. I do not know how I arrived back into my third floor apartment.

    I was then in a coma for two weeks and in the hospital for total of three months due to rehab. I then went to rehab at Burke Rehabilitation for out-patient care on physical, cognitive and speech therapy.

    I went back to work with FDNY from 1989-2005. I had/have no peripheral vision to my right eye, so I was restricted to driving an ambulance. I was on a call and had a seizure in the apartment. After which, I was not allowed back on the ambulance. I then worked in the office and taught how to work on the 911 system for NYPD/FDNY-EMS. I had a difficult problem trying to learn their computer system to take the information.

    I then went out for disability due to my TBI /seizure disorder/vision problem/short term memory problems. I decided to create a group on FB for other Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors. I am now helping other Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors with information about TBI. I believe that this is my second calling, to helping others again, in another way.

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    • AUTHOR COMMENT May 6, 2010 at 3:04 pm ET  -   Robin Ikeda, MD, MPH, CAPT, USPHS

      Dear Joe Martin:

      Thank you for your sharing your story with us. We appreciate your efforts to help other Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) survivors by providing pertinent health information on how to recover from TBI. CDC’s Injury Center has many educational materials for TBI Survivors on TBI and Concussion, free of charge that you can order from our website ( Please visit or contact CDC by email ( or toll-free at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) for additional materials and information as needed. Also, here a links to downloadable materials to share with others in your Facebook group:

      How to Feel Better after a Concussion:
      How to Get Help after a Concussion:

      We applaud your efforts to get involved to help keep people safe from TBI. We sincerely wish you all the best.

      Link to this comment

  3. May 10, 2010 at 11:59 am ET  -   maria canady

    Please email me any information or news letters regarding TBI. I’m a TBI case manager trying to understand and become educated with persons that have Traumatic Brain Injuries. Thank you. MC

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    • AUTHOR COMMENT May 13, 2010 at 11:33 am ET  -   Robin Ikeda, MD, MPH, CAPT, USPHS

      Thank you for your inquiry. CDC’s research and programs work to prevent TBI and help people better recognize, respond, and recover if a TBI occurs.

      Here are a few helpful links to explore to help you to understand and educate others may have a TBI:

      CDC’s TBI Homepage: Here you will find links to the latest data and statistics for TBI and tools to help you.
      CDC’s Concussion Homepage: Here you will find information on concussion in sports, clinical management, steps to help feel better, and information on where to get help.
      TBI Publications: You can use our online ordering system to order TBI materials, free of charge.

      We wish you the best in your efforts to respond to TBI in your community.

      Link to this comment

  4. June 9, 2010 at 11:08 pm ET  -   Dan

    Thanks so much for this information. The follwing website contains a lot of information on traumatic brain injury and plenty of related NINDS publications and information:

    There is also a book written by Dr. Glen Johnson, a clinical neuropsychologist called “TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY SURVIVAL GUIDE. Here is a quote “Nearly all of the survivors of a traumatic head injury and their families with whom I have worked have had one complaint: There is nothing written that explains head injury in clear, easy to understand language. Most say the available material is too medical or too difficult to read. The goal of this online book is to better prepare the head injured person and family for the long road ahead.”

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  5. June 25, 2010 at 4:41 pm ET  -   InSaneTizer

    When does ones memory come back? Is a diagnosis of ‘moderately severe’ concussion count as a TBI? If a TBI is so ‘critical’ why wasn’t I given more info in the ER, such as not reading after the injury? And for what length of time are we to ‘rest’ our brains?

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    • July 1, 2010 at 12:14 pm ET  -   directorsview

      Thank you for your comment.

      All concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). For clinical diagnosis purposes, concussions are considered mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBIs) because they are usually not life-threatening.

      However, their effects can be serious. Many people experience a range of symptoms including difficulty remembering or/and thinking for various lengths of time after a concussion. Most people with a concussion recover quickly and fully. Follow up or talk to your doctor right away if symptoms persist.

      For emergency department clinicians and health practitioners, diagnosing MTBIs can be challenging. MTBI symptoms are similar to those of other medical conditions and the onset and/or recognition of symptoms often occur after the injury occurs.

      To improve better overall MTBI diagnosis, treatment , and management, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American college of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) created new materials. Heads Up to Clinicians: Clinical Diagnosis and Management for Mild TBI for Adults. Based on the 2008 Clinical Policy for adult patients with MTBI this initiative includes:

      For Clinicians:
      Updated Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Guideline for Adults Fact Sheet and Pocket Card

      For Patients:
      Patient discharge fact sheet and Wallet card

      Emergency departments throughout the U.S. received these clinical guideline materials to help with MTBI diagnosis and management last month. Also, these materials will help patients and caregivers to understand the facts about concussion and/or MTBI through information on what to expect and a detailed list of post concussive symptoms one may experience after sustaining a MTBI.

      There are many ways that you can minimize the risk of a concussion and other injuries such as by wearing a seat belt and preventing falls in the home. To learn more about concussion symptoms and how to feel better, please visit

      Additional CDC resources that may be of help to you include:
      Heads Up to Clinicians: Clinical Diagnosis and Management Web site

      Heads Up to Clinicians: Clinical Diagnosis and Management patient discharge sheet

      Again, thank you for your comment and I wish you the best of health.

      Link to this comment

  6. June 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm ET  -   uninsured

    2006 mild TBI from a car accident. Have problems spelling and meaning of words. No doctor told me not to read or watch tv, not that I remember doing any of that. My big concern is I’ve had a muscle spasm since 06′ (among other things) no doctor told me why but from what I have read I was wondering if the basil ganglia was injured. One neurosurgeon did give a script for botox just calling it spasticity, but all the money was used up passing me around to different doctors now I have a rib hump. Possibly scoliosis.

    I appreciate Lifetime, CDC and Army Wives. Thank you

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  7. July 2, 2010 at 7:59 am ET  -   Carrie Burt

    I am a 11 month survivor of a TBI. I am a 27 year old female that suffered a TBI in a car accident. On August 14, 2009 I had a car accident that completely changed my life. Besides the Severe TBI that I suffered, I also had six broken ribs, a broken scapula, a lacerated liver and spleen. I was not found for over 13 hours. I was only given a twenty percent chance to live after I had crawled out of the car and made my way through the briars to try to get to the road, which I never got too. I was put into a coma for 3 days to help heal my brain, liver, and spleen. I was in the in patient rehabilitation for six weeks, all in all I was in the hospital from August 15, 2009 thru October 11, 2009. I had to learn how to do everything all over again. Unfortunately I did not have any heath insurance but I have my life so I am willing to pay these bills for the rest of my life. Luckily, I have been able to go back to work and am planning on going back to school for occupational therapy. I have my undergraduate degree in Art History, so I will be going to a community college to get my pre requisites done. The problem I am running into is that there is not a lot of funding for brain injury victims. If there is any information out there, it would greatly be appreciated.

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  8. July 3, 2010 at 1:00 am ET  -   Kara Hoban

    Wow!!! to the girl goin back to school you amaze me and woo hoo to you!!!
    I am a 31 year old almost 9 month survivor. I could not imagine going back to school right now.I am impressed
    joe has been very helpful. i follow brain injury survivors on facebook. it is a wealth of information.
    my life will never be the same after tbi but it is comforting to know there are others out there that go through the same stuff.

    Link to this comment

    • AUTHOR COMMENT July 15, 2010 at 8:37 am ET  -   Robin Ikeda, MD, MPH, CAPT, USPHS

      We wish you well during your recovery from your TBI. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

      Link to this comment

  9. July 7, 2010 at 2:54 am ET  -   InSaneTizer

    Thank you for all that information and the links. Headed to read them now. I was relieved to read concussions are not significant TBI.. so to speak. Several weeks later, my memory of the ordeal is still gone, but it took 2 weeks for the symptoms to go away. Your response is appreciated. Blessings to others who have shared their stories.

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  10. July 17, 2010 at 5:02 am ET  -   John Abernathy

    Joe Martin,
    Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story. It is great to see someone treating your injury as a calling and not letting it hold you back. My son was jumped by someone who hit him on the head as well. He has seizures and is not allowed to drive (that’s huge for a 17 year old). He has changed what he is passionate about as well. Instead of wasting his life away he has become my partner in a family web business. He has more drive in life to succeed at what he wants than another 10 seventeen year olds combined. He uses his trauma injury as a source of strength.
    -John at TheHearingFix

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  11. September 1, 2010 at 8:45 am ET  -   Jeromos

    We are all in the hands of God, but people need to prepare for the years when they get aged and the brain is a serious matter I suppose. Even without an injury you may suffer from diseases that effect the elderly people. Having mental issues is almost out of control for most people – it is not like going to a dentist to have a bad tooth removed. It differs from many medical conditions. Early diagnosis should help in my opinion but basically there is nothing much we can do about the injured brain.

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  12. November 10, 2010 at 3:25 am ET  -   Joe Martin

    I have created two web sites for information on Traumatic Brain Injury. The first one is @ Facebook
    which I started almost a year ago.

    The second web site is
    which I started about a month ago.

    They are both geared to inform people about recent news regarding Traumatic Brain Injury. I have had this desire to help others even though there was very little information about Traumatic Brain Injury back in 1988 when I was assaulted.

    Link to this comment

  13. December 12, 2011 at 3:16 pm ET  -   Deborah

    My nephew was just diagnosed (MRI) with a “small brain bleed” and has to be on “brain rest” for 3 weeks. No school, TV, reading or video games. He can only do a few minutes of schoolwork each day. His mom has to ask him specific questions daily to monitor his memory. He fell and hit his head hard above his left eye. He lost consciousness very temporarily and headaches are his main complaint. Can you tell from this information what specific type of head injury he has?

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  14. January 22, 2012 at 4:51 pm ET  -   Kitchen Benchtops

    Thank you for sharing your story and it’s so impressive. In addition… there is still so much we do not know about the brain. Have a good day!

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  15. February 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm ET  -   Ron Gilhooley

    really incredibly well crafted post, glad i found it!

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  16. May 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm ET  -   kratom

    Great Blog! Thanks so much for sharing it! Keep up the great work! Finally! Someone out there who can still post great content – Great work! I hope you don’t mind if I use some of it for a college term paper I’m working on.

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  17. May 27, 2012 at 1:49 am ET  -   Carry Showe

    The particular posts is truly great : Deborah. Congrats, regards

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  18. May 27, 2012 at 6:48 pm ET  -   UEI ACE

    What a goodblog ! It’s rare these days to find someone who can write great content. Would you mind if I copy some of your content for my school project ? Thank you again for this post! I’ll be keeping my eyes open for more of your articles .

    Link to this comment

  19. June 10, 2012 at 5:06 am ET  -   dududukkkkkkk

    Excellent post at CDC – Blogs – CDC Injury Center: Director's View Blog – The Brain: The Final Frontier of Science – CDC’s Efforts to Track and Prevent TBI Among Americans. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Very helpful info specifically the last part :) I care for such information a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

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  20. June 11, 2012 at 12:21 am ET  -   dryer vent cleaning red oak

    Hi! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the superb work!

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  21. October 31, 2012 at 3:51 am ET  -   gemstone beads

    I really believe that these social networks will have a huge impact on what we can accomplish as groups, it’ll help us be very organized and communicate.

    Link to this comment

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