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Study looks at brain injury rates February 12, 2010

Posted by intebic in Uncategorized.
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By NICOLA BRENNAN – Waikato Times

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of brain injury in the Western world and Waikato University is endeavouring to find out why.

Researchers from Waikato University were teaming up with Auckland University of Technology to embark on a first-of-its-kind brain injury study.

The study, funded by the Health Research Council, aimed to record and assess every person who suffered a brain injury in the Waikato district in the 12 months from next month.

The region was chosen because its population was most representative of New Zealand as a whole.

Dr Nicola Starkey, of Waikato University’s department of psychology, said this was very different from previous studies, which were all done retrospectively.

Most previous studies focused only on people hospitalised with brain injuries, whereas this one would also include minor brain injuries such as concussion from crashes.

“Even mild injuries can have persistent effects,” Dr Starkey said.

These included headaches and lethargy which people might not realise stemmed from their injury.

Brain injuries affected 650 out of every 100,000 New Zealanders, compared with 300 per 100,000 people in North America, Australia and the United Kingdom. This made New Zealand’s rate one of the highest in the world.

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