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World Congress on Brain Injury leads charge for change

Over 1,000 global delegates gathered to discuss latest advances and research in neuro-rehab

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More than 1,000 brain injury professionals from 34 countries across the world gathered to share insight and updates on the latest advances in brain injury treatment and research. 

The 14th World Congress on Brain Injury saw the world’s leading figures in the field of brain injury come together in Dublin to share the latest findings on the assessment, treatment and future priorities in research and rehab. 

The four-day event – the first in-person Congress since COVID-19 – involved more than 100 internationally-recognised keynotes, speakers and panellists, united in their commitment to progressing the recovery of those impacted by brain injury. 

Key areas of focus included paediatric brain injury, brain injury from intimate partner violence, brain injury and the criminal justice system, approaches to and outcomes of neuro-rehabilitation, and advances in brain injury care.

Organised by the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA), it was supported by Acquired Brain Injury Ireland. 

Speaking on behalf of the IBIA Board, chair of the World Congress Dr David Arciniegas, said: “Every two years, the IBIA mounts this global gathering as a platform to share cutting edge research, promote collaboration, and shine a light on the causes and impacts of brain injury internationally. 

“This 14th edition has been especially significant, marking the first World Congress to be hosted in-person since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Each day, we witnessed the enthusiasm of presenters and attendees to work together to advance brain injury research and translate it into the very best clinical practice. 

“We’re confident that the outstanding science presented will directly result in improved outcomes for persons with brain injury upon the return home of the delegates.”

Congress co-chair and chief executive of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Barbara O’Connell, explained: “It was always our intention that this Congress would be a catalyst for lasting and meaningful change in Ireland.

“19,000 people in this country acquire a brain injury every year. Yet, despite these staggering numbers, there is no clear recovery or rehabilitation pathway for survivors in Ireland. Once they’re discharged from hospital, their future is in the hands of a geographic lottery – the system is unequal, under-resourced and under-funded.

“That’s why we were particularly gratified that our Government stood up and took note as this remarkable delegation of global professionals came together in our capital city. 

“Introducing the keynote presentation on the final day of the Congress, Ireland’s Minister of State for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte TD, announced her commitment to secure funding in the next annual budget for the country’s first community-based, specialist paediatric neuro-rehabilitation team.

“This is a significant development, representing a legacy from the Congress that will make a real difference for young people impacted by brain injury and their families.

“We look forward to working with Government, our Health Service Executive, partners and stakeholders in the months ahead in order to make this happen.”

The Congress also marked the transition to new executive leadership for the IBIA, with the baton being passed from Dr David Arciniegas to Dr Lisa Brenner as chair and CEO. 

The next World Congress will take place in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, from March 19 to 21, 2025. 

HIWIN

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