• College Success After Traumatic Brain Injury
    Service members participate in college graduation ceremony
    Image courtesy U.S. Army

    As a service member or veteran, you have all the advantages of your military training and experience to help you succeed in college. You’ve learned the importance of discipline, dependability teamwork and how to show respect. You know how to set goals and raise the bar for everyone around you. These skills will serve you well.

    Nevertheless, entering or returning to school after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may feel challenging. You may find yourself coping with persistent symptoms such as headaches, sleep disturbances, pain, vision and hearing problems, dizziness, and mood changes. You may also feel overwhelmed or have difficulty staying focused.

    Strong support systems at colleges and universities can help you through these challenges. However, it’s important to be your own advocate and educate yourself about what resources are available.

  • Clinician’s Corner: Top 10 Concussion Research Articles of 2015
    Top Ten Concussion Research Articles of 2015

    As the Defense Department’s center of excellence for traumatic brain injury (TBI), one of the primary goals of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) is to stay up-to-date on the latest in brain injury research. A team of DVBIC experts with a variety of clinical backgrounds reviewed approximately 250 abstracts from the TBI clinical research literature published in 2015, choosing the ten articles they felt advanced the field of TBI research the furthest.

    Listed below and categorized by topic are the titles and summaries of these top 10 concussion research articles of 2015. Click on the links provided to access the complete abstract or article on PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

  • A Head for the Future Launches ‘TBI Champions’ Video Series

    Ed Rasmussen and Brian O’Rourke are former Navy SEALS who experienced multiple traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) from training incidents, received help and now manage their symptoms with support of their families.

    Randy Gross is a former Army staff sergeant who sustained a TBI from a motor vehicle collision. He sought treatment immediately for his injury, made a full recovery and is now a regional education coordinator at Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), helping other service members and veterans who have sustained a TBI.

  • Clinician’s Corner: Expert Highlights Cognitive Rehabilitation after Traumatic Brain Injury

    Providers should rely on the evidence base for cognitive rehabilitation of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) rather than solely on “clinical intuition,” an expert told attendees at the 2015 Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Summit.

    “Please use the available materials” to guide cognitive rehabilitation for mild TBI, commonly known as concussion, Linda Picon, the Department of Veterans Affairs liaison for TBI at DCoE, urged providers. There is still much to learn about the most effective treatments for this patient population, but using the wealth of provider tools available means that care can be standardized to help advance the science and optimize patient outcomes, she said.

    Although existing practice standards are primarily based on studies of patients with moderate to severe TBI rather than concussion, Picon said the Defense and Veterans Affairs Departments have a number of concussion resources to guide the assessment and treatment of problems with attention, memory, executive function, social competence and other common cognitive complaints. These include:

  • Military Continues Brain Injury Research to Improve Care
    Col. Sydney Hinds, national director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Centers

    Although research is critical to improving treatment for traumatic brain injury (TBI), service members currently coping with TBI receive the best available care, said Army Col. Sidney Hinds, Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) national director.

    “Our goal is to provide the best care possible for our patients using carefully evaluated research and clinical practice knowledge,” said Hinds, a neurologist, during his presentation at the annual meeting of the International Society for CNS Clinical Trials and Methodology in February. “We use solid, state-of-the-science therapies to help patients today, while we continue to conduct research to improve TBI treatments for tomorrow.”

    An estimated 2 million Americans sustain a TBI each year, and more than 320,000 service members have experienced them since 2000. The vast majority are concussions, known to researchers as mild TBIs. Gaps in TBI knowledge make understanding traumatic brain injury challenging. There have been more than two dozen failed clinical treatment trials. However, experts are optimistic that information derived from research endeavors will propel the field forward.

  • 6 Brain Injury Websites to Bookmark this March

    Nearly 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year in America. Although many service members sustain these injuries during combat, far more TBIs occur as a result of motor vehicle accidents or falls. March is dedicated to raising awareness about TBI — on and off the battlefield. Make sure to check out these must-have resources for promoting brain injury awareness throughout the month, including information on prevention, recognition and treatment.

    • Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) on Facebook: Follow this new page on Facebook for news, information and resources on traumatic brain injury all month long. Share what you learn! You can also follow DCoE on Facebook to stay current on TBI information and events.