An estimated 2 million cases of traumatic brain injury TBI

occur in the United States every year, with around 500,000 sufficiently serious to require hospitalization. Additionally, a large number of cases of mild TBI remain unreported or undiagnosed each year. Therefore, TBI, with its estimated incidence of 100 per 100,000 persons, occurs more often than many of the better known diseases affecting the central nervous system tissue (e.g., Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis). Epidemiologically, TBI is most often associated with motor vehicle, bicycle, or pedestrian-vehicle accidents followed by falls and violence- and sports-related incidents, occuring primarily in people 15-24 years of age. Estimates for the lifetime cost of care for a severely injured person range from $600,000 to $1,875,000 and add up to a yearly cost of $9-10 billion for rehabilitation for new cases in the Unites States alone. Although the development of neurochemical, histopathological, and molecular techniques to study human TBI has enabled researchers to begin to elucidate the pathologic sequelae following TBI, no neuroprotective therapy is currently available and TBI remains one of the leading causes of disability and death of young adults in industrialized countries.

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