Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Research

HIPRC is committed to uncovering the complex layers of brain injury prevention and treatment that have long stymied the global medical community.

HIPRC is leading a state-wide coalition to ensure that children “Return to Learn” after experiencing brain injury.

Our work studying the relationship between TBI treatment guidelines and outcomes for children transforms the way clinicians treat pediatric TBI around the world.

No two brain injuries are alike, and we are ensuring every child in Washington with TBI receives unique treatment and rehabilitation.

Featured Programs

Return to Learn (RTL)

The HIPRC team is proud to conduct a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded study testing a flexible, accessible, and comprehensive Return to Learn (RTL) after concussion-based protocol on best practice designed for academic accommodations to get high school students back in the classroom. For every student diagnosed with a concussion, every school needs a plan.

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TBI Argentina

A global partnership led by the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center (HIPRC) is aiming to improve outcomes after severe pediatric traumatic brain injury with support from a grant by the National Institutes of Health.

The partnership with Centro de Informática e Investigación Clínica in Rosario, Argentina, Children’s National Hospital in Washington D.C., and HIPRC in Seattle is studying best practice guideline adherence and outcomes in severe pediatric TBI treatment in Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay.

Pediatric traumatic brain injury is the leading killer of children worldwide, and learning how to provide the best care possible in a variety of settings is critical to reducing the harms from these injuries.

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General Information:

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.

Concussion Signs and Symptoms

Children and teens who show or report one or more of the signs and symptoms listed below, or simply say they just “don’t feel right” after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, may have a concussion or more serious brain injury.

Concussion Signs Observed

  • Can’t recall events prior to or after a hit or fall.
  • Appears dazed or stunned.
  • Forgets an instruction, is confused about an assignment or position, or is unsure of the game, score, or opponent.
  • Moves clumsily.
  • Answers questions slowly.
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly).
  • Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes.

Concussion Symptoms Reported

  • Headache or “pressure” in head.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision.
  • Bothered by light or noise.
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy.
  • Confusion, or concentration or memory problems.
  • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down”.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


  • Adult TBI: Prehospital Management with Dr. Saman Arbabi. Special considerations for the elderly, the relationship between TBI and domestic abuse, prehospital care, rehabilitation, and more. 
  • Pediatric TBI: Traumatic Brain Injury Prevention and Public Health with Dr. Fred Rivara. Coaches Survey of VICIS Zero1 Helmet Use in High School Football.