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Research at the Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

TBICoE supports a network of military hospitals and clinics and Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers with traumatic brain injury research initiatives, including gap-driven analyses and congressionally directed programs such as the Section 721 Longitudinal Study of TBI and Section 734 investigation into the effects of blast exposure on Warfighter Brain Health and Performance.

TBICoE's collaborations allow for clinical innovation and research along the continuum of care of TBI—from initial injury to acute and post-acute medical settings; rehabilitation; and ultimately a return to family, community, and work or continued duty.

Beyond conducting research, TBICoE periodically evaluates available peer-reviewed scientific literature to summarize the state-of-the-science, consensus of medical approaches, as well as existing and new evidence of TBI research. These research reviews, information papers, the CUBIST podcast, and the new clinical pearls resources are available for download.

 

TBICoE Research Gaps and Priorities (2022-2024)

The Research portfolio meets DOD TBI clinical and operational research needs by aligning to TBI knowledge gaps. Every two years, TBICoE’s research section reviews, analyzes, and updates a data-driven, actionable list of research gaps and priorities.

Studies can contribute to multiple gaps depending on the scope of the aims. Primary alignment of a study to a gap occurs when most of the findings address that specific gap, while secondary alignment occurs when a smaller portion of the findings address the gap. The annual "TBICoE Publications Catalog" provides an overview of TBICoE's published work. The 2023 catalog is coming soon, and the 2022 publications catalog is available now.

Review the gaps and priorities.

Research Reviews & Clinical Pearls

The following TBICoE research reviews are fluid areas of investigation and provide an overview on specific topics of interest related to TBI research. These reviews will be updated as new research emerges.

New in 2023, research reviews will be complemented by a supplemental resource, "Clinical Pearls." Both the research review and clinical pearls products are created for both the researcher and the military clinician.

 

Mild TBI and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Research Review and Clinical Pearls

 

Multiple Concussion Research Review and Clinical Pearls

 

Suicide and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Review and Clinical Pearls

 

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Research Review and Fact Sheet

TBICoE Information Papers

Neurodegenerative Diseases and Traumatic Brain Injury

The long-term effects of TBI are unknown, but there is concern that there may be an association with neurodegenerative diseases years after the injury. The intention of this information paper is to summarize the available evidence for or against an association of TBI with 3 of the more common neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

Thumbnail image of the downloadable Neurodegenerative Diseases and TBI info paperDownload this information paper to learn more about neurodegenerative diseases and TBI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Impact of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury on the Autonomic Nervous System

The purpose of this information paper is to provide a general overview of the current evidence related to the impact of concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury, on the autonomic nervous system. This paper will focus on heart rate variability, pupillary light reflex, and hyperhidrosis within the military and civilian populations.

Thumbnail image of the downloadable Information Paper on the Impact of mTBI on the Autonomic Nervous SystemDownload this information paper to learn more about the state-of-the-science of how the autonomic nervous system is impacted by mild TBI. Researchers and clinicians can learn about current tools used to measure ANS and their current clinical utility at this time.

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Research Resources

Check out the latest resource, "Medical Devices for Assessment of Traumatic Brain Injury."

Learn how the FDA approval process works, get a list of approved devices for assessing TBI, and gain insight to what should be considered before using a device.

Thumbnail image of the downloadable fact sheet on TBI medical devices.

TBICoE Congressional Reporting

Some research activity is directed by Congress by National Defense Authorization Acts. That work and the results are reported to Congress. Those reports are part of the public record.

NDAA FY07 Section 721 Report to Congress: Longitudinal Study on Traumatic Brain Injury Incurred by Members of the Armed Forces in OIF/OEF

This study looks at the health effects related to TBI incurred by members of the Armed Forces in OIF/OEF and their families. The final report will be released in 2025.

NDAA FY18 Section 734 Report to Congress: Longitudinal Medical Study on Blast Pressure Exposure of Members of the Armed Forces

The Section 734 Program includes of the following mandates: NDAA FY18 Section 734, NDAA FY19 Section 253, NDAA FY20 Section 717, and NDAA FY20 Section 742.

NDAA FY19 Report to Congress: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

A study and report on chronic traumatic encephalopathy research in the military.

NDAA FY20 Section 750 Report to Congress: Study and Report on Traumatic Brain Injury Mitigation Efforts

This study assessed 30 unique TBI treatments and summarized the findings.

TBICoE Publications

Since 1992, TBICoE has published over 700 peer reviewed manuscripts in collaboration with other institutions, which actively align and respond to trends, gaps, and priorities of the DHA or broader DOD to inform policy, resource management, and state of the science for warfighters, veterans, their families and caregivers, and health care providers.

2022 Publications Catalog

The purpose of this catalog is to:

  • Summarize key findings and potential clinical implications of calendar year 2022 TBICoE publications.
  • Increase awareness.
  • Assist in planning of future efforts.

This document contains figures that help visually categorize the publications, as well as citations and abstracts of each (abbreviations in abstracts may be modified for consistency throughout this document). Accompanying the abstracts are the potential clinical impact summaries of the work and the associated TBICoE research network site (including research at TBICoE headquarters). 

Download the catalog.

Sample images of the downloadable 2022 TBICOE Research Publications Catalog

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Publication
Mar 28, 2024

TBICoE Research Review: Multiple TBI/Multiple Concussion

.PDF | 284.05 KB

Prior history of TBI may predispose an individual to increased risk of subsequent TBI, which may result from less force, and lengthier recovery from post-injury symptoms. Activities such as contact sports and military service carry particular risk for multiple TBI.

Publication
Sep 29, 2023

Mild TBI and PTSD Clinical Pearls

.PDF | 924.82 KB

TBICoE's "Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Clinical Pearls," is a new supplemental product to the detailed research review. This resource is designed to be brief and provide key actionable “clinical pearls” that should be considered in the treatment of service members with comorbid mild TBI and PTSD.

Publication
Sep 29, 2023

TBICoE Research Review: Mild TBI and PTSD

.PDF | 435.28 KB

This research review provides an in-depth summary of the available clinical research on the topic of co-morbid mild traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder. Specifically, this review will address symptoms, anatomy, diagnosis, and treatment of mild TBI, PTSD, and the unique circumstances associated with the presentation of both.

Publication
Jun 16, 2023

Neurodegenerative Diseases and Traumatic Brain Injury Information Paper

.PDF | 310.80 KB

The long term effects of TBI are unknown, but there is concern that there may be an association with neurodegenerative diseases years after the injury. The intention of this information paper is to summarize the available evidence for or against an association of TBI with three of the more common neurodegenerative diseases.

Publication
Apr 7, 2023

2022 TBICoE Publication Catalog

.PDF | 577.80 KB

TBICoE publication citations and summaries are organized by category, or overarching research topic. The purpose of this document is to (1) summarize key findings and potential clinical implications of calendar year 2022 TBICoE publications, (2) increase awareness, and (3) assist in planning of future efforts.

Publication
Mar 17, 2023

TBICoE Research Review: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

.PDF | 1.87 MB

The purpose of this Research Review is to summarize current peer-reviewed scientific literature and expert assessment regarding the pathology, genetic pre-disposition, causes, clinical manifestations, and neuroimaging of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Publication
Mar 15, 2023

INFORMATION PAPER: The Impact of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury on the Autonomic Nervous System

.PDF | 381.19 KB

The purpose of this information paper by TBICoE is to provide a general overview of the current evidence related to the impact of concussion/mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) on the autonomic nervous system (ANS). This paper will focus on heart rate variability (HRV), pupillary light reflex (PLR), and hyperhidrosis within the military and civilian ...

Publication
Aug 10, 2020

2013 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

.PDF | 3.33 MB

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Publication
Aug 10, 2020

2014 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

.PDF | 2.67 MB

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Publication
Aug 10, 2020

2015 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

.PDF | 2.73 MB

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Publication
Aug 10, 2020

2016 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

.PDF | 3.30 MB

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Last Updated: April 24, 2024
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