Casey Works to Secure Funds for Traumatic Brain Injury Centers

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today announced the passage of an amendment that would help fund the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Traumatic Brain Injury Model System.  The amendment to the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2008 seeks to provide additional funding to traumatic brain injury (TBI) centers across the country.  Senator Casey is an original co-sponsor of the amendment  

 “Centers like the Traumatic Brain Injury Model System at the University of Pittsburgh are taking important strides in researching and providing much needed treatment for those suffering with traumatic brain injuries,” said Casey.  “This amendment will allow the centers to receive funding to continue their research so that those with TBI are given state-of-the-art care.”

The amendment would increase funding to Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems of Care (TBIMSC) by $900,000 in the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill.   This money would prevent the closure of two of the 16 TBIMSC research centers in the country.  At the current funding level of $7.5 million, the program will have to eliminate funding for two of its centers. 

For the past two decades, TBIMSC has served as a national stage for the development of essential relationships, expertise, national infrastructure and service capacity in the field of TBI research and treatment. The network of research centers allows for the monitoring of a large number of patients in a national database, in order to allow for long-term, longitudinal studies of various treatment outcome questions.

With the help of federal funding, the University of Pittsburgh’s Medical Center has established a Traumatic Brain Injury Model System. UPMC has built expertise in such injuries over more than a decade.  The hospital has conducted several studies on TBI and is preparing to begin the largest clinical trial in North America to study the drug Citicoline in about 1,300 patients across the country. 

The amendment written by Ken Salazar (D-CO) is also co-sponsored by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Evan Bayh (D-IN).  

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