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Reducing the traumatic brain injury burden

Traumatic brain injury is a growing global health problem with great unmet needs, which has been substantially underfunded compared to other neurological diseases.

Globally, traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects about 50 million people and causes a million deaths each year, affecting one in every two people over their lifetime. Annually, it is responsible for 1.5 million hospital admissions and 56,000 deaths in the 28 member states of The European Union. TBI is the leading cause of mortality in young adults, and is a major cause of disability across all ages. Survivors are often left with a substantial burden of physical, psychiatric, emotional and cognitive disabilities, which disrupts the lives of individuals and families.

The worldwide care and consequence of TBI cost $400-500bn (~€327-409bn) annually, which means that about $1 in every $200 of annual global output is spent on the costs or consequences of TBI.

There is an urgent need to better understand, prevent and treat this disease.

Traumatic brain injury – the need for action

CENTER-TBI is a large European project that aims to improve the care for patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

It forms part of the larger global initiative InTBIR: International Initiative for Traumatic Brain Injury Research with projects currently ongoing in Europe, the US and Canada.

CENTER-TBI brings the newest technologies and many of the world’s leading TBI experts together in a much-needed effort to tackle the silent epidemic of TBI. International and multidisciplinary collaboration are key elements to the project in which past dogmas will be left behind and innovative approaches undertaken. As co-ordinators of CENTER-TBI we are proud to lead this generationally unique project.

We anticipate that CENTER-TBI will revolutionise our view of leading TBI to more effective and efficient therapy, improved health care at both individual and population-based levels, and better outcomes at lower costs.

We are grateful to our patients for allowing us the opportunity to advance the care for future patients, and wish all participants and investigators success in their efforts.


CENTER-TBI aims to:

  • Develop precision medicine approaches by improving the characterisation and classification of TBI;
  • Utilise comparative effectiveness research (CER);
  • Identify the most effective clinical care, providing high quality evidence in support of treatment recommendations and guidelines;
  • Collect high quality clinical and epidemiological data with repositories for neuro-imaging, DNA, and serum from patients with TBI;
  • Refine and improve outcome assessment and develop health utility indices for TBI;
  • Develop multidimensional approaches to characterisation and prediction of TBI; and
  • Define patient profiles which predict efficacy of specific interventions (precision medicine).
  • To develop performance indicators for quality assurance and quality improvement in TBI care;
  • To validate the common data elements (CDEs) for broader use in international settings, and to develop a user-friendly web-based data entry instrument and case report form builder;
  • To develop an open source database compatible with FITBIR;
  • To intensify networking activities and international collaborations in TBI;
  • To disseminate study results and management recommendations for TBI to healthcare professionals, policymakers and consumers, aiming to improve health care for TBI at individual and population levels; and
  • To develop a “knowledge commons” for TBI, integrating CENTER-TBI outputs into systematic reviews.

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