Blast related Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is an important source of morbidity in Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF). The brain is highly susceptible to blast injury, and OIF/OEF participants have been experiencing blast events at unprecedented rates. Mild TBI (MTBI) may go unrecognized and persist as post-concussive syndrome (PCS), a condition of chronic MTBI symptoms that may have associated cognitive impairments. Anecdotally, many returnees are reporting ongoing cognitive, emotional, and somatic symptoms that are consistent with PCS from blast-induced MTBI. But the full impact of this condition on Military and Veterans health care services is unknown because epidemiological studies are lacking. Thus, the identification, characterization, and prediction of individuals who have persisting effects from blast-related MTBI are the focus of this proposed series of epidemiological investigations. Multiple hypotheses will be tested including: 1) a significant proportion (>18%) of service members experiencing blast events during OIF/OEF sustain a MTBI that leads to persisting symptoms post-deployment consistent with PCS, 2) multiple predictive factors for developing PCS after blast related MTBI can be identified including the presence of retrograde and/or anterograde amnesia, 3) returnees with PCS after blast induced MTBI will display objective cognitive performance impairments on neuropsychological testing compared to controls without PCS, and will also display objective neuro-physical impairments on hand dexterity (fine motor) measures, computerized posturography (CPT) measures, and quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG), 4) veterans and service members with PCS after blast-induced MTBI will improve symptoms over time with current standard of care treatment but will continue to display significant long-term disability.
VCU Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Center (TBIMS)
Drs. Kreutzer & Cifu awarded funding for the VCU Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Center (TBIMS)
Facilitating Employment for Youth with Autism: A Replication Study of an Internship Model to Identify Evidence Based Practices
Paul Wehman, Ph.D. has received a 5 year, Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) on Facilitating Employment for Youth with Autism.