Amanda Rabinowitz, PhD, Associate Director at MRRI, contributed as one of the collaborating authors in the recent publication of the updated diagnostic criteria for mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) by The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM). This significant initiative, spearheaded by Noah Silverberg, PhD, Chair of ACRM’s Brain Injury Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group Mild TBI Taskforce, represents the first revision of ACRM’s widely utilized definition of mild TBI in three decades.
The necessity for this revision becomes apparent in light of substantial advancements in research on mild TBI and the evolving understanding of its acute sequelae since the original case definition was published. This revision also provided the opportunity to address limitations of the previous definition, such as failure to differentiate clinical signs from symptoms.
Under Dr. Silverberg’s leadership, alongside other Mild TBI Taskforce members, Dr. Rabinowitz actively contributed to this endeavor, engaging in the rigorous Delphi consensus process, rapid evidence reviews, and soliciting feedback from an expert consensus panel.
“The perspective of providers who manage concussions on the sideline of the football field is going to be different from the providers who treat brain injury in the emergency department. And that perspective is different from that of clinicians in the VA Healthcare system diagnosing military TBI, often months or years after the injury occurred. We wanted our definition of mTBI to capture all of those viewpoints,” remarked Dr. Rabinowitz.
This panel brought together a diverse range of insights from interdisciplinary clinical and research experts specializing in sports, civilian trauma, and military contexts. The outcome is a set of diagnostic criteria crafted to be applicable across the lifespan and in diverse settings such as civilian trauma, sports, and the military. These criteria have the potential to standardize mild TBI detection universally, facilitating equitable access to clinical care and fostering cohesion in research practices.
Click here to read the full text open access article in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.