Stopping Misdiagnosis: One Injury at A Time
Social Scientist Christian King Psychologist Dr Ashlee Brown and aassociatesat the Brain Injury Centre have developed an affordable, online diagnostic tool to assist in the diagnosis of mild to moderate Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) helping to put an end to the rampant, widespread misdiagnosis of TBI’s.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States alone sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury each year with 75% of these being mild or basic concussions. But, an alarming number of these cases go unnoticed because Emergency Room personnel are not trained to find minor brain injuries in a standard neurological exam. This results in mild TBI’s being (mTBI’s) undiagnosed, misdiagnosed or worse, ignored.
“The endemic prevalence of undiagnosed mTBI presents a significant and worrisome public health challenge, especially given the clear links between head injury and mental illness, substance abuse, and criminality” (Buck, 2011). In 2003, a Report to Congress on Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries . . . Steps to Prevent a Serious Public Health Problem was released and for the first time, was noted as a Serious Public Health issue by the CDC. This report is one of many that is attributed to overall awareness with a 42% increase in emergency room visits related to TBIs; however, there are still a large portion of the population who do not even go to the emergency room (ignoring injury) or even if they do go, are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed.
One study found that approximately 70 percent of people with co-existing mental health and substance abuse problems had a history, but not necessarily a diagnosis of mTBI. Several studies have shown that anywhere from 60% to 87% of prisoners (from state-wide systems to county jails) have a history of head injury. A 2005 study by Iverson showed that 9 out of every 10 patients with depression can be linked to a head injury. Why is more not being done?
The most disturbing factor is that this is impacting members of society that often cannot speak for themselves or are unwilling to admit they are in need of help. Children under the age of 5, older teens aged 15 to 19, and adults 65 years and older are most likely to sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury. Adults aged 75 and older are the most likely to be hospitalized following a TBI, as well as the most likely group to experience death as a result of a TBI. In every age group, TBI rates are significantly higher in males than in females.
These statistics speak to a need for immediate change in current practices. With that change needs to include a quick, affordable and easily-available diagnostic test. Christian King at the Brain Injury Centre and his associates have found just that. King, an expert in misdiagnosis with over 10 years in the field of brain injury and rehabilitation have developed an online Neuropsychological assessment for individuals with undiagnosed mild to moderate TBI.
This highly cost effective Baseline test can be accessed at Brain Injury Centre Assessment