Questionnaire Reveals Brain Trauma

Web-based screening tool detects brain trauma

(RxWiki News) A new screening tool has been developed to help diagnose traumatic brain injury and is already being used on veterans returning from war in the Middle East.

Soldiers returning from war in Afghanistan and Iraq have been the subjects of a new web-based screening tool for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The condition often goes undiagnosed and can lead to serious long-term cognitive, behavioral and physical effects.

Work on the screening tool began 20 years ago in schools, where TBI was found to be prevalent but often never diagnosed due to most injuries being the result of abuse or assault. Dr. Wayne Gordon, PhD, of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, sought to create a tool that could be used anonymously as a result.

He created the Brain Injury Screen Questionnaire, an online tool that allows people to answer a series of questions about any head trauma they have experienced and specific symptoms they may be having. They are then given a report and those at risk are told to receive further professional evaluation.

Dr. Gordon hopes that the tool will be used more often by veterans' organizations to provide early diagnosis and treatment. Traumatic brain injury was found in 41 percent of the patients undergoing treatment at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Across the country, an estimated seven percent of people have diagnosed TBI. Dr. Gordon hopes to expand his surveys and research beyond the veteran population and is currently using the questionnaire to analyze TBI in Texas prisons and its possible relation to criminal behavior.

Review Date: 
January 6, 2011