Brain Waves: UAB Traumatic Brain Injury Model System Newsletter Volume 17 | Number 2
VOL 17 | NUM 2
UAB Traumatic Brain Injury Model System Digital Newsletter
The University of Alabama at
Birmingham Traumatic Brain Injury
Model System (UAB-TBIMS)
provides Brain Waves twice annually
as an informational resource for people
with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
UAB-TBIMS Program Director:
Robert Brunner, MD
Brain Waves Editor: Phil Klebine, MA
529 Spain Rehabilitation Center
1717 6th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233-7330
The contents of this publication
were developed under a
grant from the National
Institute on Disability, Independent Living,
and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant
number 90DPTB0015). NIDILRR is a Center
within the Administration for Community
Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS). The contents of this publication
do not necessarily represent the policy of
NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume
endorsement by the Federal Government.
©2019 University of Alabama Board of Trustees.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
provides equal opportunity in education and
The Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Knowledge Translation
Center (MSKTC) recently updated its 4-part factsheet series on
Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury. The MSKTC collaborates with TBI
Model System programs to adapt knowledge gained from research into
information that benefits people with TBI and their families. This means
you get information from TBI experts. In fact, experts from the University
of Alabama at Birmingham Traumatic Brain Injury Model System (UAB-
TBIMS) co-authored the series.
Below are the updated factsheets. Other new and updated factsheets
are soon to be released, so check back on occasion for additions and
• Understanding TBI: Part 1 - What happens to the brain during injury
and the early stages of recovery from TBI?
• Understanding TBI: Part 2 - Brain injury impact on individuals
• Understanding TBI: Part 3 - The Recovery Process
• Understanding TBI: Part 4 - The Impact of a Recent TBI on Family
Members and What They Can Do To Help With Recovery
About 25% of new head injuries are to women, so it is not surprising
that head injury research in women is limited. However, this year a
number of interesting findings looking at gender differences after injury.
One area is concussions related to domestic violence. Concussion
research has mainly focused on boys and men. However, a study
published the Journal of Neurotrauma estimates that between 44 and
75% of women who experience domestic violence sustain repetitive
concussions. That is about 1.6 million women each year.
There is also growing research into gender differences on the impact
of concussion. A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that
girls who play high school soccer are at nearly the same risk for brain
injuries as boys who play high school football. Concussion rates were
higher among girls than boys in every high school sport. Another study
published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine showed that girls
who suffer a concussion while playing school sports are more likely than
boys to delay seeking specialty medical care, which can worsen their
symptoms and prolong recovery. And another study published in the
Journal of Women’s Health showed women and girls with a concussion
are more likely than men and boys to also have a neck injury with the
These and other similar studies are increasing awareness at the
highest levels. Hopefully, such insights will lead to more funding into the
short- and long-term aftermath of concussion in girls and women.
BrainWaves would like to congratulate Dr. Thomas Novack on
his upcoming retirement. Dr. Novack was Program Director for the
University of Alabama at Birmingham Traumatic Brain Injury Model
System (UAB-TBIMS) from 1998 to 2019. His career spans even longer,
and his contributions in TBI research and clinical care will forever be
appreciated. Enjoy retirement, Dr. Novack!