New Consortium to Research Concussions Among Victims of Intimate Partner Violence

While there is an abundant amount of research about traumatic brain injuries in athletes and those serving in the military, the same data is scarce when it comes to concussions and head and neck injuries sustained due to intimate partner violence.

Carrie Esopenko, assistant professor in the department of rehabilitation and movement sciences in the Rutgers School of Health Professions in Newark, New Jersey, says that the World Health Organization estimates that one in three women will experience intimate partner violence in her lifetime. Studies suggest that anywhere between 30 percent to 90 percent of women who experience physical abuse at the hands of an intimate partner experience head trauma. Yet not enough data is being collected to understand how this head trauma affects cognitive and psychological functioning as well as the underlying neural effects.

Dr. Esopenko is part of a new Intimate Partner Violence Working Group studying intimate partner violence–related head trauma as part of the Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium, an international, multidisciplinary group that seeks to provide a collaborative framework for large-scale analysis and neuroimaging and genetic studies in patient groups. Dr. Esopeko is the lead author of the paper “A Global Collaboration to Study Intimate Partner Violence-Related Head Trauma: The ENIGMA Consortium IPV Working Group,” which was published in the journal Brain Imaging and Behavior.

Dr. Esopeko states that “although intimate partner violence occurs at any age, it is most prevalent in the 18- to 24-year-old age group, and older adults are also vulnerable. Males and females experience IPV, but violence against women tends to result in more severe and chronic injuries. Due to the high degree of physical aggression associated with this type of abuse, there is a significant risk for traumatic brain injury caused by blunt force trauma, being violently shaken or pushed.”

The goal of the new consortium, according to Dr. Esopenko, is to form “a global collaboration across disciplines — researchers, clinicians, first responders, community organizations and policymakers — to help tailor measures that can be used across groups for consistent data collection that will enable us to combine large-scale datasets to answer these difficult questions and facilitate further translation of research outcomes to clinical care and community-based supports.”

Dr. Esopeko is a graduate of the University of Calgary. She holds a Ph.D. from the Univerity of Saskatchewan.

Filed Under: Research/Study


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply