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Brain injury experts hold conference; TREATMENT.

BRAIN damage suffered after strokes costs the NHS more than pounds 2.3bn a year, a high-profile conference was told last night.

Recovery can be a long and laborious process for patients and families.

Experts are meeting in Cardiff for the first time this week to discuss the best ways of treating brain damage.

``No age group is immune from brain injury,'' said Professor Peter Halligan, of Cardiff University's School of Psychology.

``It's estimated that each year one million people in Britain - a huge proportion of them young males - attend hospital for head injury.

``As for stroke, we tend to assume that it affects mainly older people. But as many as 250 children a year suffer a stroke and 10,000 of the 100,000 people who suffer a first stroke each year are of working age.''

Some 600 delegates are expected to attend the Effectiveness of Rehabilitation for Cognitive Deficits conference organised by Cardiff University's School of Psychology.

Prof Halligan said, ``The volume of interest that the conference has generated reflects the originality and significance of the theme.

``As far as we are aware there has never been a formal international meeting dedicated to considering the efficacy of existing treatments and employing an evidence-based approach for cognitive disorders in patients following brain damage.

``In economic terms the cost of brain damage after stroke to the NHS is estimated to be over pounds 2.3bn each year, hence there is a real need to be realistic and concerned about the effectiveness of treatments offered.''

The conference at Cardiff City Hall concludes tomorrow.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 18, 2002
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