Back to Top Skip to main content

Doctors use cutting-edge research at Navy hospital

Chad Rodarmer, traumatic brain injury clinic program manager, demonstrates tracking a patient's eye movement at Naval Medical Center San Diego, California. (DoD photo by EJ Hersom) Chad Rodarmer, traumatic brain injury clinic program manager, demonstrates tracking a patient's eye movement at Naval Medical Center San Diego, California. (DoD photo by EJ Hersom)

Recommended Content:

Technology | Warrior Care | Traumatic Brain Injury

WASHINGTON — A Defense Department study on the benefits of surfing for patients with post-traumatic stress. A clinical tracking tool used to manage patient care. An advanced electroencephalogram and eye tracker.

The traumatic brain injury clinic at Naval Medical Center San Diego and the Naval Health Research Center at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego are developing and using cutting-edge research to better help service members, their family members and retirees.

At the research center, Kristen Walter is conducting DoD's first research study of its kind on the psychological and physical effects of a surf therapy program for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues. Almost 70 active duty and reserve component patients from all service branches, primarily the Marine Corps and the Navy, participated in the study.

“Initial results suggest that both PTSD and depression symptoms improve for those affected with the disorders,” Walter said. “We’ve also found our strongest effects are improvements in positive effect and decreases in negative effect. We assess individuals before and after each surf therapy session.”

After this first study, she added, she and her team will look into not only the effects not only of surfing therapy, but also of hiking and other recreational therapies that would be accessible for more patients. She said she has personally noticed the change in the patients.

Sense of Community

“There’s definitely a sense of community here in addition to the surf therapy," she added. “It improves mood, makes people feel better -- more connected to the environment and also to other people.”

Patients typically undergo standard psychotherapies for psychological disorders, but recreational outlets offer them an alternative, Walter said.

“Some people don’t benefit from our standard treatment," she explained. "Getting people actively engaged in their environment, doing things that matter to them -- that’s incredibly important for mental and physical health. It’s really important to study those effects.”

The team designed the algorithm for the clinical tracking tool with Navy Seal patients because of the Seals’ high operations tempo, said Dr. Lars Hungerford, senior clinical research director for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, which oversees the research at the TBI clinic.

“We created an algorithm and a tool so that we can screen them while they’re still overseas so we’ll know how many people we’ll need to see [and] get them set up so that when they hit the ground here, they’re all set up and running. We can just move on from there,” he said.

On the Same Page

While a patient is undergoing treatment at the hospital, Hungerford said, all of the different specialists who see the patient will put in their notes and appointments and see the patient’s goals so that everyone is on the same page.

“For example, when we first see a patient, we do an intake, meet as a team and come up with a treatment plan for what that person needs," he said. “They need occupational therapy, speech, neuropysch -- that gets put into the referral and gets kicked over to the individual providers, and then they write up their notes and we track all of their symptoms in the system.

Coordinating Care

“We see they have a headache goal,” he continued. “According to the tracking system, we’ve met, and we’re about halfway through the headache goal, but now they’re complaining more about memory problems, so things might shift as we go along. You can capture that quickly by looking at this system, and [all of the providers] can communicate and coordinate care.”

The eye tracker is used to measure saccade response, or reaction time and speed of response, Hungerford said. The new wireless EEG prototype is portable and doesn’t require liquid or gel.

“With the old EEGs, you had to put on a lot of gel, and patients left with a goopy head and had to go home and take a shower,” he said. “With this prototype, we can apply it within a few minutes and get a nice reading of the EEG waves. When the sensors touch skin, they don’t have to go through hair. They’re flat for comfort and don’t have prongs. It’s advanced technology.”

The new fusion study is using both the eye tracking and EEG at the same time. “That’s probably something that hasn’t been done,” Hungerford said. Looking at the different modalities that diagnose TBIs and comparing what the eyes are doing to what the brain is doing to what the MRI reveals combine to achieve a better understanding of what is going on with the patients, he added.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Best job in military health? For these men, it’s nursing

Article
5/8/2018
Nurse Manny Santiago (right) with retired Marine Corps Sgt. Carlos Evans in October at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Santiago said he “had the privilege of taking care of this young man” after Evans stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in May 2010 during his fourth combat deployment. The two men discovered they’re both from the same hometown in Puerto Rico. (Courtesy photo)

Males outnumbered, but odds are better in MHS

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

For children who get concussions, brain rest is best

Article
4/19/2018
Christian Macias runs in a combat fitness test modified for children at a “bring your child to work day” event at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. (U.S. Marine Corp photo by Sgt. N.W. Huertas)

Most recover fully, but it may take longer to heal

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Traumatic Brain Injury

Air Force lab puts medical devices through their paces

Article
4/10/2018
A 10-bed Expeditionary Medical Support Hospital (EMEDS+10) set up at the Air Force Medical Evaluation Support Activity testing facility at Fort Detrick, Maryland. AFMESA tests medical devices to ensure they will work in the field and survive the rigors of deployment. Many devices tested by AFMESA are used in EMEDS facilities, making it a critical testing location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Shireen Bedi)

Lab’s mission is unique within the Air Force, and across the U.S. military

Recommended Content:

Technology

Identification of brain injuries in deployed environment surged after enactment of DoD policies

Article
3/27/2018
Graphic logo for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center

Researchers compared the number of TBIs before and after introduction of new policies aimed at screening for and identifying deployment-related TBIs

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury

Essentris®

Fact Sheet
3/27/2018

The military’s inpatient electronic health record is used in acute hospital environments, providing point-of-care data capture at the patient’s bedside for physiological devices, fetal/uterine devices, ventilators and other patient care machines.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Military Health System Electronic Health Record

The relentless winter poses risk for head injuries

Article
3/21/2018
With each storm during the winter and spring months, falls due to weather conditions or recreational activities can occur, increasing the risk for a traumatic brain injury. Prevention through safety measures, such as taking extra time to get around during icy conditions, and being aware of surroundings, can help reduce risk. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Hudson)

Whether snowboarding or walking on an icy sidewalk, winter conditions and sports can pose an increased risk for traumatic brain injuries

Recommended Content:

Winter Safety | Traumatic Brain Injury

First-ever blood test for detecting brain injury cleared by FDA

Article
3/15/2018
Research found two proteins rapidly appear in the blood following a blow or jolt to the head when a serious traumatic brain injury occurs.  Now there is a blood test that can identify whether the proteins are in the blood or not. With the blood test as a diagnostic tool, medical professionals can rule out more serious brain injuries while evaluating someone with a suspected concussion. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Teresa J. Cleveland)

Research funded by the DoD and U.S. Army breaks ground on brain injury diagnostics

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center Celebrates 25 Years

Video
3/12/2018
Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center Celebrates 25 Years

Katherine Helmick, DVBIC acting national director, discusses DVBIC achievements and goals to advance service members' health care. DVBIC honors 25 years of military health care by continued dedication to research and treatment of traumatic brain injury.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury and the Art of Paddling

Article
3/7/2018
Collins enjoys stand-up paddle boarding for how it helps him with TBI. His service dog, Charlie, likes it too. (Courtesy Photo by U.S. Army Special Operations veteran Josh Collins)

A U.S. Army veteran’s recipe for embracing life after several TBIs

Recommended Content:

Mental Wellness | Hearing Loss | Men's Health | Physical Activity | Physical Disability | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Traumatic Brain Injury | Vision Loss

Solution Delivery Division

Fact Sheet
3/7/2018

To deliver information technology solutions to the Military Health System through expert acquisition program management, process reengineering, information translation and sharing, training, and integration activities in order to support and advance the delivery of health care to our patients.

Recommended Content:

Technology

Brain Injury Awareness Month - Videos spotlight military TBI champions

Article
3/5/2018
Former Army Sgt. Wendell Guillermo sustained a traumatic brain injury in Iraq when his unit was hit by a grenade. Despite experiencing some of the common symptoms of TBI including headaches, irritability, memory loss and sensitivity to light and sound following an incident in combat, Guillermo soldiered on. Years later, he was diagnosed with a mild to moderate TBI.

During Brain Injury Awareness Month and beyond, we want our military community to know that recovery from a TBI is possible

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury

Advancements in telehealth improve access to healthcare

Article
2/23/2018
Air Force Medical Service Seal

Telehealth brings a range of services all working together to improve access

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Military Hospitals and Clinics | Technology

Health care of the future: Virtual doctor-patient visits a reality at NCR

Article
2/20/2018
In a demonstration of the telehealth process at Fort Campbell’s Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, clinical staff nurse Army Lt. Maxx Mamula examines mock patient Army Master Sgt. Jason Alexander using a digital external ocular camera. The image is immediately available to a provider at Fort Gordon’s Eisenhower Medical Center, offering remote consultation. (U.S. Army photo by David E. Gillespie)

Experts from MHS, NCR come together at Virtual Health Summit

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Military Hospitals and Clinics | Technology

Air Force robotic surgery training program aims at improving patient outcomes

Article
2/9/2018
Air Force Col. Debra Lovette (left), 81st Training Wing commander, receives a briefing from Air Force 2nd Lt. Nina Hoskins, 81st Surgical Operations squadron room nurse, on robotics surgery capabilities inside the robotics surgery clinic at Keesler Medical Center, Mississippi. The training program stood up in March 2017 and has trained surgical teams within the Air Force and across the Department of the Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue).

Robotic surgery is becoming the standard of care for many specialties and procedures

Recommended Content:

Technology | Innovation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Second lady Karen Pence advocates art therapy for wounded warriors

Article
2/8/2018
Second Lady Karen Pence (right), speaks with Army Col. David Gibson, commander of the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, during a roundtable discussion about the National Intrepid Center of Excellence Satellite Center's art therapy program at Fort Hood, Texas. Pence has been touring Creative Forces Military Healing Arts networks at military facilities as part of her advocacy for the use of art therapy to help heal service members suffering from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. (U.S. Army photo by Patricia Deal)

Pence's passion is driven by the human and scientific evidence of art therapy's healing properties

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 20

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.