Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

Congressional Brain Injury Task Force

Approximately 1.4 million Americans experience Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) each year and an estimated 3.2 million Americans are living with long-term, severe disabilities as a result of brain injury. Another 360,000 men and women are estimated to have been inflicted by a TBI in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The national cost of TBI is estimated to be $60 billion annually. That is why I founded the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force in 2001. Co-Chaired by Rep. Todd Platts of Pennsylvania, the task force will serve as a clearinghouse of information for Congress and the public. It will promote full funding for the TBI Act and other brain injury research programs, and provide guidance to federal agencies on policies and proposed rulemakings.


To further education and awareness of brain injury (incidence, prevalence, prevention, and treatment) and support funding for basic and applied research on brain injury rehabilitation and development of a cure.

Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability among young Americans in the United States. However, it is often known as the "silent epidemic" -- traumatic brain injury can strike anyone at any time. TBI is defined as an insult to the brain caused by an external force that may produce a diminished or altered state of consciousness and which often results in an impairment of cognitive abilities or physical functioning. TBI can also result in the disturbance of behavioral or emotional functioning.

Nationwide, there are 1.5 million brain injuries per year, with an estimated societal cost of over $60 billion per year, including direct care and loss of productivity. There are now 3.2 million Americans living with long term disability as a result of brain injury.

These numbers do not include incidence or prevalence of "Acquired Brain Injury" (ABI) which can occur with anoxia or stroke. ABI and TBI should be considered together by the Caucus.

TBI has been named the signature wound of the War in Iraq and Afghanistan with an estimated 360,000 brain-injured men and women returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. America's armed forces are sustaining attacks by rocket-propelled grenades, improvised explosive devices, and land mines almost daily in Iraq and Afghanistan. These injured soldiers require specialized care from providers experienced in treating traumatic brain injury. Blast injuries have become common in military conflicts.

The "Traumatic Brain Injury Act" was most recently reauthorized in April 2008. The Congressional Brain Injury Task Force worked hard to ensure that the new authorization included increased funding for research and treatment of TBI.


Click here to view a list of members of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force for the 112th Congress. (DOC)




Expressing the need for enhanced public awareness of traumatic brain injury and support for the designation of a National Brain Injury Awareness Month.

H.R. 1347

The Concussion Treatment and Care Tools (ConTACT) Act - Provides for the establishment and implementation of concussion management guidelines for school-aged children and provides grants for schools' implementation of computerized pre-season baseline and post-injury neuropsychological testing for student athletes.

Appropriations Requests

Members of the 110th Congress request support for the Defense and Veterans Head Injury Program from the House Appropriations Committee.

Appropriation History

Media Links

August 31, 2011 – ABC News
College Football Player Dies; Brain Injury Suspected

August 29, 2011 – NIH News from the Department of Health and Human Services
NIH Database Will Speed Research Toward Better Prevention, Diagnosis And Treatment Of Traumatic Brain Injury

August 8, 2011 – USNewswire
The American Legion Greatly Concerned About VA Treatment of PTS with “Useless” Drug- Calls for Congressional Hearings

July 30, 2011 – USA Today
Brain Injury May Boost Stroke Risk

July 18, 2011 – US News
Ex-NFL Players May Face Higher Brain Damage Risk: Study

July 14, 2011 – Washington Post
Veterans Wait Too Long for Mental Health Services, Reports Say

July 14, 2011 – AP Enterprise
Army Treats Brain Injuries in Field

June 25, 2011 – Chicago Tribune
Can Mouthguards and Football Helmets Really Prevent Concussion?

June 24, 2011 – American Forces Press Service
Intrepid Center Marks First Anniversary

June 20, 2011 – USA Today
Study Affirms Concussion Dangers to Young Athletes

June 20, 2011 – Bloomberg
Football Is Deadliest Sport Among Youth Athletes, Study Finds

June 17, 2011 – USA Today
Validity of Baseline Testing Questioned

June 17, 2011 – New York Times
Turning to Software to Help Treat Brain Injuries

June 3, 2011 – USA Today
Concussions Tied to Verbal Memory Loss in Young Athletes

June 1, 2011 – Washington Post
Study of Troops with Traumatic Brain Injury Hints at Specific Sites of Damage

May 25, 2011 – USA Today
Testing Helps Change the Game on Youth Concussions

May 23, 2011 – Marine Corps Times
Report: Many Errors in VA Mental Health Claims

May 10, 2011 – NPR
Few Troops Exposed to Bomb Blasts Are Screened For Concussion

May 6, 2011 – North County Times
VA Studies Prompt Better Diagnosis of TBIs, PTSDs

May 6, 2011 – CBS News
“Medical Research Misconduct” on Brain Injured Soldiers

April 25, 2011 – Stars and Stripes
More Marines Now Eligible to Receive Purple Heart for TBI

April 20, 2011 – Wall Street Journal
Feeding Found to Help Brain Injuries

April 19, 2011 – My Health News Daily
Depression Common After Brain Injury

April 19, 2011 – My Health News Daily
Antidepressants Could Help Heal Brain Injuries

April 17, 2011 – USA Today
Larger Helmet Could Guard Against Brain Injury

April 6, 2011 – Washington Post
High School Concussion Statistics

March 11, 2011 – American Forces Press Service
Department Makes ‘Great Strides’ in Brain-injury Care

January 12, 2011 – NortheastCobbPatch
Insurance Refuses Claim for Mother with Brain Injury

May 10, 2010 - Sports Network
Eastern Oregon Football Player Dies from Head Injury

May 3, 2010 - CongressDaily
Earmark for Veteran’s Care

April 19, 2010 - Chicago Daily Herald
New Research May Help Patients with Memory Loss from Brain Injuries

April 13, 2010 - PR Newswire
HDNet World Report Investigates a New and Promising Treatment for Soldiers With Traumatic Brain Injuries

April 9, 2010 - The Star-Ledger
A Dangerous Game: NFL’s Debt to Players with Brain Injury

April 5, 2010 - Business Wire
Novel Therapy Provides Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury

April 1, 2010 - The Associated Press
Military Plans to Test Brain-Injury Therapy

April 1, 2010 - The Star-Ledger
Institute (of Medicine) Urges Study on Care of Troops with Brain Injuries

March 31, 2010 - The Associated Press
Traumatic Brain Injury: Long-Term Plan Urged to Care for Iraq, Afghan Veterans

March 17, 2010 - States News Service
Tracking Impact of Traumatic Brain Injuries

March 15, 2010 - LIFE
Progesterone to the rescue; Female hormone's effect on brain injuries shows promise

March 1, 2010 - USA TODAY
Pentagon Focuses on Brain Trauma

February 19, 2010 - USA TODAY
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Not So Mild After All

January 04, 2010 - The Star-Ledger
Kids and Concussions: The Effects of Head Injuries in Young Athletes

December 16, 2009 - The Associated Press
Girl Who Sustained 11 Concussions Seeks New Law

October 09, 2009 - Stars and Stripes
DoD Asked to Consider Purple Heart for TBI

September 8, 2009 - PR Newswire
BHR Pharma Announces Phase 3 SyNAPSe Study of Progesterone as a Neuroprotective Agent for Traumatic Brain Injury

July 13, 2009 - St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
Iraq Vet is Still Fighting, Now for a Purple Heart

June 10, 2009 - PR Newswire
Brain Injury Association of America Urges President Obama to Include Cognitive Rehabilitation for Returning Service Members as a Part of TRICARE Coverage

January 21, 2009 - TIME
Kids Competing Too Soon After Concussions

January 13, 2009 - States News Service
Cognitive Rehab Helps People with Acquired Brain Injury

August 4, 2008 - States News Service
Bayh and Obama Seek to Broaden Treatment for Signature Injury of Iraq, Afranistan Wars

July 2008 - American Legion Magazine
Signature Wound of the War

March 25, 2007- The Record
Op-Ed: Funding for the "Signature Injury" of the War In Iraq is Key

March 17, 2005- Roll Call
Lobbyists Seek Increased Funding For Brain Injury Treatment, Research

March 17, 2005- The Hill
Letter to the Editor: Giving Brain Injury a Voice

January 31, 2005- New Jersey Medical Magazine
Op-Ed: Traumatic Brain Injury: The Silent Epidemic


Brain Injury Association of America

Non-profit organization dedicated to people with brain injury and their families. Offers research, education, and advocacy programs through a national office, network of state affiliates, support groups, and a helpline.

Brain Injury Association of New Jersey

The Brain Injury Association of New Jersey is a non-profit organization that brings together people with brain injury, their families and friends, and concerned allied health professionals to improve the quality of life people experience after brain injury.

International Brain Injury Assoc.

The IBIA works to develop positive relations and interactions between individuals, families, groups, organizations, institutions, diverse cultures and nations. The IBIA strives to provide international leadership for creative solutions to the issues associated with brain injury.

Brain Trauma Foundation

Nationwide organization devoted to improving the outcome of traumatic brain injury patients. Focuses on the acute phase of traumatic brain injury and methods to improve chances of a meaningful recovery. Through education and clinical research, the Foundation works to improve the care of TBI patients from the scene of injury to the emergency room and ICU.

Coalition for Brain Injury Research

The Coalition for Brain Injury Research is dedicated to supporting and promoting research that will lead to a brain injury cure. Raising awareness as to the need for a cure will renew hope to all survivors and families who continue to suffer the disabling effects of this devastating injury. Based on recent advances in the neurosciences, the potential for cure is rapidly gaining credibility in the research community. We are totally committed to working at the federal, state, and grass roots levels to achieve our goals.

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center

The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center's mission is to serve active duty military, their dependents and veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) through state-of-the-art medical care, innovative clinical research initiatives, and educational programs.

National Association of State Head Injury Administrators

NASHIA is a non-profit organization established to assist state government in promoting partnerships and building systems to meet the needs of individuals with brain injury and their families. Since 1990, NASHIA has been the source of information and education for state agency employees who are responsible for public policies, programs, and services affecting individuals with traumatic brain injury and their families.

International Brain Research Foundation

The International Brain Research Foundation, Inc. (IBRF) is a public charity that serves as a platform for funding leading neuroscientists and research institutions around the world. The objective is to maximize the potential benefits derived from basic research and translate it into clinically useful treatments for those afflicted with disorders of the brain.