Representatives of the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) shared details regarding their efforts towards identifying and treating traumatic brain injury.
The Defense Department shared on their website the importance that needs to be placed on early diagnosis of brain trauma, both for “invisible” injuries such as concussions, or more severe traumatic brain injuries, as indicated by Kathy Helmick, deputy director for TBI at the Defense Centers of Excellence.
Helmick shared further: “The DOD goes hand-in-hand with the military services with early detection, understanding the barriers, and having the collaborators and partners in advancing the science. We want to eliminate undetected mild brain injury, and we do that with aggressive screening programs.”
The VA and the DOD collaborate with various academic institutions and agencies when it comes to traumatic brain injuries (TBI), in order to improve the methods by which service members suffering from TBI are treated. Among the agencies that they work with towards this end are the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.”
Helmick also highlighted the importance of standard care for those suffering from TBI. She shared: “The more we standardize care, those tools help where we’re vulnerable [with] repeat concussions… We know very little from the civilian world about what repeat [injuries] do over time, what their symptoms and complaints are and how quickly one recovers.”
Army Col. Jamie Grimes, Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center director, on the other hand, shared: “We think [the study] will be highly informative in cognitive rehabilitation for those with concussions.”