A decade ago, Congress passed the Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 1996. The legislation reflected a recognition at the highest levels of national leadership that traumatic brain injury (TBI) was an under-recognized problem that affected millions of people. With the legislation, Congress appropriated funds to study the prevalence of TBI and to encourage innovative efforts to reduce the incidence of TBI. Congress recognized that people who suffer a traumatic brain injury may need access to a wide range of assistance and care. Congress also recognized that the needs of people who suffer from the results of serious brain injury may change over time. The Brain Injury Association of America reports that automobile accidents account for 20% of serious TBI, and falls, 25% of TBI. Congress reauthorized the Traumatic Brain Injury Act in 2000, as part of the Children’s Health Act (P.L. 106-310). The results of TBI are often devastating, yet not always obvious. Congress deserves credit for recognizing the seriousness and magnitude of TBI and its impact on people’s lives.
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