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House Approves Pascrell-Bacon Traumatic Brain Injury Amendment

Measure will provide $1 million to support the National Concussion Surveillance System

Today, U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Don Bacon (R-NE-02), co-chairmen of the Congressional Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force, hailed House passage of their amendment to provide $1 million to support the National Concussion Surveillance System (NCSS). The NCSS is critical to accurately determining the incidence of concussions, particularly among the most vulnerable Americans. Rep. Pascrell’s Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Program Reauthorization Act of 2018 authorized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create the NCSS and the CDC implemented the program in late 2018. This amendment appropriates needed funding for the system.

“From the battlefield to local athletic fields, traumatic brain injuries are an epidemic across our nation.  Our amendment today provides vital funding for the NCSS and similar programs to study, prevent, and treat TBIs,” said Rep. Pascrell, the founder of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. “I want to thank my partner in this effort, Congressman Don Bacon. We must do all we can to help our soldiers, our athletes, and the millions of Americans struggling with the effects of TBI. The NCSS is an invaluable resource for the study of brain injuries and our bipartisan measure today will direct the funding it deserves. As our nation combats the coronavirus pandemic, we must also stay vigilant in our fight against this longstanding silent threat.”

“Military members have a higher risk of suffering a TBI while in combat or during training. TBIs can also have significant effects on one’s cognitive ability or leave them with a permanent physical disability,” said Rep. Bacon. “In fact, since 2000, more than 400,000 servicemembers have sustained a TBI. This has also become a growing issue in the athletic field. As co-chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, I believe the NCSS is a vital way to push for more prevention, treatment, and research.”

In 2013, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine issued a report calling on the CDC to establish a surveillance system that would capture a rich set of data on sports- and recreation-related concussions among youth ages 5 to 21 that is not currently available. The CDC currently estimates that 2.5 million traumatic brain injuries occur each year and 5.3 million Americans live with a life-long disability as a result of TBI. But it is impossible to know the true incidence and prevalence without a surveillance system.

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