In support of Presidential Executive Order 13625, Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families, signed Aug. 31, DOD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are combining more than $100 million to fund two new consortia aimed at improving the diagnosis and treatment of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Once in place, the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD (CAP) and the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC) will be jointly managed by the VA and by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) on behalf of DOD.
“PTSD and mTBI are two of the most devastating injuries suffered by our warfighters in Iraq and Afghanistan, and identifying better treatments for those impacted is critical,” said Dr. Terry Rauch, Program Director for Defense Medical Research and Development within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. “These consortia will bring together leading scientists and researchers devoted to the health and welfare of our Nation’s service members and veterans.”
More than 15 percent of service members and veterans suffer impaired functioning as a result of PTSD. CAP will study potential indicators of the trauma, as well as prevention strategies, possible interventions, and improved treatments. Biomarker-based researched will be a key factor in CAP’s studies.
“The long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury and the relationship to post-traumatic stress are poorly understood. This consortium will lead the way in improving the understanding and developing treatment strategies,” said COL Dallas Hack, Director of the Combat Casualty Care Research Program within the Medical Research and Materiel Command.
A primary goal of CENC is to understand the aftereffects of an mTBI. The consortium also will study potential co-morbidities, conditions that are associated with a neurotrauma and worsen because of it.
“Traumatic brain injury has been identified as the signature injury of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, and ensuring the best possible care for those affected service members is a high priority,” said Dr. Joel Kupersmith, VA’s Chief Research and Development Officer. “Likewise, PTSD is an ongoing concern for our veterans, whether they experience it while serving in the military or many years later. Defining and developing potential treatments is critical to the health of our veterans.”
For more information on the consortia, including the full description of each award, eligibility, submission deadlines, and General Application Instructions, go to http://www.grants.gov and http://cdmrp.army.mil.
- —CDMRP Public Affairs