The Department of Defense (DoD) has established The Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine Brain Tissue Repository for Traumatic Brain Injury at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. and will receive a “multiyear grant from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command to advance the understanding and treatment in traumatic brain injury (TBI) in service members.
Now that the million dollar titles of the government agencies have been typed, the grit of the announcement from Pentagon officials is this: they have created a brain-tissue bank where scientists will study those who have suffered from TBI so they can find answers to better help those who have served in the U.S. military.
The newly appointed director of the DoD’s repository in Maryland, neuropathologist Dr. Daniel Perl, had this to say, “Little is known about the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury on military service members [and] by studying these tissues, along with access to clinical information associated with them, we hope to more rapidly address the biologic mechanisms by which head trauma leads to chronic traumatic encephalopathy.”
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disorder that shows a time-worthy accumulation of a protein in nerve cells within various regions of the brain and it will cause changes in mood (depression, apathy, wanting to commit suicide and anxiety), cognition problems, aggression and sometimes motor disturbances like balance and gait.
It might seem a little grandiose for them to announce it as the “world’s first brain tissue repository to help researchers understand the underlying mechanisms of traumatic brain injury in service members” as there are brain banks all across Europe and it was in 2010 when the one in Colorado was brought to attention to those with multiple sclerosis (MS).
They all study TBI in the forms of diseases like MS, Amyotrophic Lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimers and Parkinson’s, but, there should be some latitude given since the DoD is going to be studying TBI in the form of service members only where repeated external mechanical forced trauma occurs and not those who had suffered from a disease.
And better yet, they will be finding answers to how blast exposures affect the brain and are asking if different “forms of brain injury experienced in the military lead to CTE”.
Ignoring the long name of the bank too should be a ‘gimme’ as well since it is the United States government.
Considering the large statistics of our men and women coming home with persistent difficulties from TBIs, what they learn will help those affected now and prevent future injuries and for this, they should be excused a little pomp and circumstance.
To donate or for more information, please email the repository team at CNRM-TBI@usuhs.edu or call 855-366-8824.
Please visit the USO Wounded Warriors to leave a message of support to those in our military! They have links for local USO centers, programs for assisting our troops and ways we can help our returning soldiers and their families.
For help: Allen County Veteran Service Commission can be reached at 301 N. Main Street, P.O. Box 1243, Lima, Ohio 45802 or at 419-223-8522 and USO’s Wounded Warriors can be reached at United Service Organizations, P.O. Box 96322, Washington, D.C. 20090-6322 or at 1-888-484-3876.
Sources: Courtesy American Forces Press Service; AF.mil.com