In the United States, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, annually. TBI typically occurs when a sudden force impacts the head or body, resulting in damage and functional impairment of the brain.
Injuries range in severity, from mild, characterized by a brief change in mental status or consciousness, to severe, involving an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia.
Mild TBI (mTBI) accounts for 70 to 80% of all reported TBIs, but the prevalence may be even higher, as many cases often do not receive medical attention.
Symptoms of mTBI may include headaches, fatigue, depression, irritability and impaired cognitive function and may persist for many years, negatively affecting quality of life. In addition, mTBI can lead to increased risk of affective mood disorders such as MDD, post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychiatric and nonpsychiatric disorders.
To date, there are no pharmacological treatments approved for mTBI, and there are limited assets in development. Patients with mTBI are often told to avoid mentally strenuous activities to allow their brains to rest. However, a lack of treatment may lead to an increased risk of affective disorders and long-term cognitive impairment, underscoring the need for new effective treatments.