DVBIC supports a multi-center network of military treatment facilities and Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers. The mission of the Research Division at DVBIC is to support researchers in this network in developing and conducting clinical investigations in traumatic brain injury (TBI). DVBIC’s extensive internal and external collaborations allow for clinical innovation and research along the entire continuum of care of TBI: from initial injury, whether in-theatre or outside of theater, through medical evacuation to acute and post-acute medical settings, rehabilitation, and ultimately a return to family, community and work or continued duty.
Clinical Research Goals & Objectives
- Identify optimal assessment tools (such as neurobehavioral, neurophysiological and neurocognitive tests) for the detection of blast-induced effects on the brain.
- Identify and characterize the acute and chronic effects of blast exposure on brain health.
- Develop and assess standard algorithms, tools, and innovative technologies to enable medical and nonmedical personnel in the pre-hospital setting to assess, monitor, treat and triage service members with suspected TBI (all severities).
- Characterize the acute and chronic effects of TBI, including multiple TBIs, on fitness for military duty, reclassification, and transition.
- Develop and validate outcome assessment tools and prognostic models (including those for RTD determinations) that account for post TBI outcomes to include physical, cognitive, behavioral, health-related quality-of-life, and mental health outcomes.
- Develop and validate neuroprotection strategies (e.g., tools, technology, PPE, and/or processes) and characterize their effectiveness for preventing TBI in at-risk service members.
- Characterize the effect of existing and novel interventions in the chronic stages of TBI and identify their impact on function and re-hospitalization.
- Develop and assess new technologies to improve treatment and outcomes in acute and chronic stages of TBI (e.g., use of tele-medicine, tele-health, and smartphones).
- Identify factors that affect individualized responses to pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments in TBI patients, and characterize the treatment responses in TBI patient subgroups to develop precision medicine approaches for injury management.
- Characterize aspects of resilience in service members who have sustained a TBI in combat training and deployment settings to include issues such as: the effects of fatigue/sleep disturbance/psychological stress/cognitive performance/and nutrition.