Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin
Michael Armstrong, M.D.
DVBIC Site Director
DVBIC Minneapolis meets the overall mission by providing education, care coordination and research services to veterans and active duty service members who have sustained a TBI. DVBIC collaborates with the Minneapolis VA and surrounding medical community to allow for additional opportunities and expanded expertise. The Minneapolis DVBIC team is working to develop relationships with the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, University of Minnesota; Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers, VA; Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Quality Enhancement Research Initiative, VA; and TBI Model Systems.
Geographic Catchment Area
In conjunction with our VA partners, DVBIC Minneapolis serves veterans and active duty service members who are within the Northern Great Plains Region. In addition to Minnesota, this region includes: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Regional Education and Outreach
The regional education coordinator serves as the TBI education resource for service members, their families, spouses, staff, and the military and civilian communities. Their primary responsibility is to coordinate, facilitate and/or provide TBI education for providers, clinicians and all members of the health care team.
Regional Care Coordination
The regional care coordinator serves as a single point of contact for service members and their families -- regardless of their status in the DoD, VA and civilian health care network -- and acts as a consultant to the patient, family, case manager and provider regarding TBI care and resources. The regional care coordinator monitors service members and veterans with TBI long term, to help prevent poor outcomes and educate patients on the factors that can affect their health following TBI. The regional care coordinator also helps individuals as they navigate complex systems of care, where cognitive, social, behavioral or physical deficits prevent access or successful engagement in treatment.
Our goal is to develop research related to clinical needs and questions aimed at assessment of brain injury recovery through advanced imaging processes as well as the long-term implications of brain injury and the aging process. We also are looking to expand DVBIC research into additional areas in VA Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, specifically with the Amputation and Stroke programs. The following research projects are in development:
- Difficulty with executive functioning is commonly observed in patients with TBI. It can typically manifest as irritability, impatience, aggression, poor-decision making, excessive risk-taking, and self-harm. These all have likely negative consequences on rehabilitation outcomes and global psychosocial functioning. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) appears to induce modulatory effects on cognitive control and may have the potential to be developed into a treatment for TBI patients. We plan to perform an investigation of cognitive control using tDCS as a non-invasive tool for neuromodulation and assess change using self-report and computer-based performance measures.
- Partnering with the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic, we plan to investigate the relationship between TBI and neurodegenerative disease. The study will use [F18] Flutemetamol PET imaging to measure amyloid plaque deposition in OEF/OIF veterans with a mild or moderate TBI. Identifying the presence of this plaque will enhance our understanding of the underlying neuropathological mechanisms associated with differences in the course and outcome of TBI subtypes.