Advocates Reveal State of Progress, Need for More Clinical Research During Brain Injury Awareness Month | MedStar Health

Advocates Reveal State of Progress, Need for More Clinical Research During Brain Injury Awareness Month

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Montel Williams and Brain Injury Association of America Tackle TBI

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 29, 2017- Leading advocates acknowledge accomplishments and advances in the field of Brain Injury Research but, call for more progress to help the more than five million people living with brain injuries in the U.S. today. Patient advocate and television personality Montel Williams and the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) have once again joined forces to call for greater strides in awareness, understanding, access to quality care, treatment opportunities and research for concussion and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

As part of Brain Injury Awareness Month, Montel Williams and Helius Medical Technologies, in partnership with BIAA, launched Tackling TBI,” an awareness campaign for TBI. The mission of the campaign is to raise awareness of TBI and concussions as growing health issues, to educate patients and caregivers, provide resources and to share opportunities to participate in research. The campaign includes a Public Service Announcement (PSA) featuring Montel Williams and former NFL player Marvin Washington, and a video series of interviews with TBI patients. Information on a Helius sponsored clinical trial for TBI can be found at

“Currently more than 5.3 million Americans in the U.S. live with a lifelong disability as a result of a TBI and there are 1.7 million new cases each year,” said Montel Williams. “But this isn’t just a civilian issue, an average of 15,000 active duty service members acquire brain injuries every year. Our goal is to raise awareness and provide patients information about new therapies in clinical trials so that they can have an educated discussion with their healthcare provider about the best option for them. My goal is to apply what I’ve learned as an MS patient and help those suffering from TBI become educated participants in their own courses of treatment.

“Brain injury has been thrust onto the national circuit as a result of important discussions around football players and veterans and now there remains important work to be done for all Americans living with the condition,” said Susan Connors, president and chief executive officer of BIAA. “A TBI can be the start of a misdiagnosed and misunderstood neurological disease and we need to expand on how we deliver help, hope and healing to the millions who have sustained this life-altering, sometimes devastating, injury.”

Recent brain injury advances include:

  • A three-year project to develop first-time Guidelines for the Rehabilitation and Disease Management of Adults with Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury.
  • The recent passing of the 21st Century Cures Act that will allow for the establishment of an NIH data collection system to track the incidence and prevalence of neurological conditions, provide NIH and FDA with new funding for medical research and new treatments, and support the coordination and collaboration of rehabilitation research.
  • Public awareness including BIAA’s Not Alone campaign designed to educate the general public about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families. The campaign works to de-stigmatize the injury, empower those who have survived, and promote the many types of support that are available.
  • The availability of clinical trials to support the development of new therapies.

A TBI is an injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain and can be caused by a host of things such as sports, car accidents, military service, trips, slips or falls. For many people, TBI causes fatigue, headaches, and difficulty with balance or motor skills, slurred speech, or seizures. Depending on the severity of the brain injury sustained, individuals with brain injuries need an array of emergency services, hospitalization, physician services, and medications to survive injury, as well as a continuum of treatments and rehabilitation to recover and regain as much lost function as possible over time.



About the Brain Injury Association of American (BIAA)

The Brain Injury Association of America is the country’s oldest and largest nationwide brain injury advocacy organization. BIAA’s mission is to advance awareness, research, treatment, and education and to improve the quality of life for all people affected by brain injury. BIAA is dedicated to increasing access to quality health care and raising awareness and understanding of brain injury. Further resources and information related to brain injury are available at, BIAA on Facebook and Twitter Page and through the National Brain Injury Information Center (NBIIC) at 1-800-444-6443.


About Helius Medical Technologies, Inc.

Helius Medical Technologies is a medical technology company focused on neurological wellness. Helius seeks to develop, license and acquire unique and non-invasive platform technologies that amplify the brain’s ability to heal itself. For more information, please visit

To download media resources for the “Tackling TBI” campaign visit:

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About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network

The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Northern Virginia and Delaware.

The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury.  Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.  

The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopaedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, MS, Parkinson’s, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries.

Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, D.C., and at more than 50 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout D.C., Baltimore, and all of Maryland, Northern Virginia, & Delaware.  MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is fully accredited by The Joint Commission,  the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke.

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