Global neurotrauma research challenges and opportunities




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Nature, 1476-4687, Vol. 527, 2015, p. S193–S197

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Traumatic injury to the brain or spinal cord is one of the most serious public health problems worldwide. The devastating impact of 'trauma', a term used to define the global burden of disease related to all injuries, is the leading cause of loss of human potential across the globe, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Enormous challenges must be met to significantly advance neurotrauma research around the world, specifically in underserved and austere environments. Neurotrauma research at the global level needs to be contextualized: different regions have their own needs and obstacles. Interventions that are not considered a priority in some regions could be a priority for others. The introduction of inexpensive and innovative interventions, including mobile technologies and e-health applications, focused on policy management improvement are essential and should be applicable to the needs of the local environment. The simple transfer of a clinical question from resource-rich environments to those of low- and middle-income countries that lack sophisticated interventions may not be the best strategy to address these countries' needs. Emphasis on promoting the design of true 'ecological' studies that include the evaluation of human factors in relation to the process of care, analytical descriptions of health systems, and how leadership is best applied in medical communities and society as a whole will become crucial.

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Brain, Health care, Neuroscience, Psychiatric disorders