The Hope after Combat mTBI Initiative combines advanced methods of detecting TBI pathology from CNS with the capabilities to improve patient outcomes through rehabilitative care at the Eisenhower Center.
Advanced MR imaging, such as SWI and DTI, expands the range of tissue properties “visible” to a clinician, including the detection of important biomarkers and the imaging of tissue function, offering hope to combat veterans and their families through treatment at the Eisenhower Center. With enhanced diagnosis comes enhanced treatment and hope for combat veterans and their families. These capabilities provide enhanced diagnostic modalities, more rigorous ways to determine treatment protocols, and to measure a subject’s response to treatment. CNS and the Eisenhower Center will work conjointly to research the efficacy of treatment modalities, including cognitive therapy, neurofeedback, photic and HEG stimulation techniques, and recreational therapy through the Eisenhower Center’s Camp Liberty. Additional research in diagnosis and treatment of PTSD will also be examined during this study.
The Center for Neurological Studies is using their patented technology to detect mild-to-moderate brain injuries in combat veterans who have been exposed to a bomb blast. Click here to contribute to Hope After Combat.
TBI in Veterans
Since 2000, more than 300,000 members of the U.S. Armed Forces have sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI in combat veterans is strongly associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and physical health problems. These medical concerns affect the quality of life not only for veterans but of their spouses, children, extended family, friends, and their community.
Veterans with TBI face higher risks for other psychological problems and suicide. They have higher rates of unhealthy behaviors—smoking, overeating, and unsafe sex—and higher rates of physical health problems and mortality. They also tend to miss more work or to report being less productive. These conditions can impair relationships, disrupt marriages, aggravate the difficulties of parenting, and cause problems in children that may extend the consequences of combat injury and trauma across generations. There is also a link between these conditions and homelessness. The damaging consequences from lack of treatment or under-treatment suggests that those afflicted, as well as society at large, stand to gain substantially with access to effective care.
Hoge CS, McGurk D, Thomas JL, Cox AL, Engel CC, and Castro CA. Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in U.S. Soldiers Returning from Iraq. New England Journal of Medicine, 2008. (5)358: 453-463.
Croft, Harry. Effects of Combat PTSD on the Children of Veterans. HealthyPlace.com. Posted March 19, 2014. Last visited: March 5, 2015.
TBI in the Community
TBI and PTSD in veterans extends beyond the soldier and family and into the community. PTSD has been linked to domestic violence, criminal activity, and to alcohol and other drug abuse as a means of self‐medication. One of the strongest indicators between PTSD and criminogenic behaviors in incarcerated veterans was the presence of a TBI. When a veteran suffers from a combination of TBI and PTSD, his/her symptomology often includes irritability, cognitive defects, insomnia, impaired vision, depression, fatigue, and anxiety.
Accurate diagnosis of brain injuries is critical in order to improve quality of life for veterans, their families, and our communities. Through this initiative, CNS and the Eisenhower Center will focus on innovation, diagnosis, and hope for combat veterans and others suffering TBI.
Cavanaugh, Jillian M. Helping Those Who Serve: Veterans Treatment Courts Foster Rehabilitation and Reduce Recidivism for Offending Combat Veterans. The New England Law Review, 2011. 45:463-487
Saxon AJ. Returning Veterans With Addictions. Psychiatric Times, 2014.
Corrections Forum. The Correlation Between PTSD and Criminogenic Behaviors in Incarcerated Veterans. December 2013. (Last Visited: March 5, 2015.)
Tanielian T and Jaycox LH, eds. Invisible Wounds of War: Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Their Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery. Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, MG-720-CCF, 2008, 492 pp.