Each year brain injuries cost the nation roughly $50 billion. That's half a trillion every decade.
And then there's the human toll....
Brain injuries kill 52,000 people each year, making this the third leading cause of death from injury.
But there's more to this story than the death toll. Another 80,000 people a year in the U.S. survive brain injuries but go on to lead reduced lives.
Luckily, there is hope. Today we're on the verge of saving millions from the suffering brought about by traumatic brain injuries.
These insights also will lead to new treatments for such severe brain diseases as Lou Gehrig's (also known as ALS) and Alzheimer's.
And that's what the Era of Radical Change is all about -- seeing friends and family survive things that a few years ago would have killed them.
It's all the result of more than 50 years of exponential growth in high tech and its effect on every aspect of science.
We are now at a tipping point in human history. Cases that once seemed doomed now offer new hope.
Brain Injuries: The Tragedy and the HopeUnfortunately, this is a story I know all too well. It is one of the reasons why I'm deeply interested in this field.
Nineteen years ago last March, my cousin was killed in an infamous boating accident while his family looked on.
Doctors tried to save him but to no avail. His brain injuries were just too severe.
Now I wonder how my cousin would have done had that very same boat crash happened today.
As it turns out, a similar accident just occurred in our town.