Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 66-70

Challenges in understanding the epidemiology of acquired brain injury in India

1 Department of Clinical Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, United Kingdom
2 Indian Institute of Public Health- Hyderabad, Madhapur, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
3 Indian Institute of Public Health- Delhi, Gurgaon, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Suresh Kumar Kamalakannan
Department of Clinical Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.151047

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An acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury to the brain, which is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. In India, rapid urbanization, economic growth and changes in lifestyle have led to a tremendous increase in the incidence of ABI, so much so that it is being referred to as a 'silent epidemic'. Unlike developed countries, there is no well-established system for collecting and managing information on various diseases in India. Thus it is a daunting task to obtain reliable information about acquired brain injury. In the course of conducting a systematic review on the epidemiology of ABI in India, we recognized several challenges which hampered our effort. Inadequate case definition, lack of centralized reporting mechanisms, lack of population based studies, absence of standardized survey protocols and inadequate mortality statistics are some of the major obstacles. Following a standard case definition, linking multiple hospital-based registries, initiating a state or nationwide population-based registry, conducting population-based studies that are methodologically robust and introducing centralized, standard reporting mechanisms for ABI, are some of the strategies that could help facilitate a thorough investigation into the epidemiology and understanding of ABI. This may help improve policies on prevention and management of acquired brain injury in India.

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