Traumatic Brain Injury Research Study

Landmark TBI Study of the Effects of IED Blast Injuries in OEF Veterans

  • This study was designed by Michael Lipton, MD, PhD, one of the leading DTI neuro-radiologists in the nation.
  • Long range effects of the brain insult could be documented, and, hopefully, delayed or averted.
  • It will assist in defining the pathology incurred with IED, and the association to functional deficits noted. Ultimately the information will be utilized to develop the best treatment protocols for recovery.
  • This is a possibility to change Medical Protocols and Policies which are not meeting the needs of our returning heroes.
  • Un-treated or under-treated Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is associated with life changing and life threatening comorbidities including: substance abuse, divorce, incarceration, unemployment, homelessness, and suicide.
  • The only way to avert these issues is to treat the underlying cause: TBI.
  • This study will represent a landmark collaboration of two civilian non-profit organizations: The Albert Einstein Foundation and the Resurrecting Lives Foundation to promote the reintegration of our returning military members.

WHAT

A landmark study of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) due to Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s) in OIF/OEF military personnel. This will be the only study to date combining the neurodiagnostics of Diffusion Tensor Imaging with neuropsychological testing, balance and visual testing, endocrine screening, and complete history and physical. The study links physiology to anatomy which has not previously been studied.

WHO

Twenty (20) members of the military returning from Afghanistan who meet criteria for the study. The main criteria for inclusion are:

  • Age 18 or older
  • Male veterans (active duty personnel are not eligible)
  • Tour of duty with at least one exposure to TBI through an IED within the last 10 years
  • No predisposing factors such as severe concussion or psychiatric disorder prior to the tour of duty.
  • Male relatives to the above mentioned patients who are close relatives (sibling or first cousin), over age 18, and have NOT experienced TBI.
  • Willing to travel to New York City with the expenses paid (includes transportation, food, lodging).

This is the only study that will make this relative comparison for controls making it the most accurate to date.

WHEN

Commencement started January 2013.

WHERE

albert-einstein Albert Einstein University in the Bronx, New York, under the direction of world renowned neuroradiologist, Michael Lipton, MD, PHD. Dr. Lipton is one of the world’s foremost experts in Diffusion Tensor Imaging which is new technology defining the anatomical pathology of mild TBI. The Resurrecting Lives Foundation will financially support the study through a donation to the Albert Einstein University.

WHY

Short Term Goal: To define the anatomical changes incurred by blast injury in our military personnel exposed to Improvised Explosive Devices. Although a few previous studies have attempted this, they have equivocal results, and have been funded through VA or DOD grants. Most notable is Washington University Study July 2011, which noted abnormalities in nearly 2/3 of the studies but stated that results were inconclusive due to the new technology. No matched controls of relatives are noted in any previous study.
Intermediate Goal: To allow the possibility of following progression/regression of pathology based on treatment protocols including cognitive rehabilitation. Current studies from the University of Vermont indicate progression of pathology for weeks to months after the brain insult and this has very important implications for treatment and recovery.
Long Term Goal: To allow follow up for decades in the future. This is important for early detection of long term effects of TBI which include Parkinson’s Disease and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) which have been noted in studies at Boston University. This study design, drafted by the expert in DTI neuro-radiologist in the nation, would assist in defining not only the pathology incurred with IED, but also the best treatment protocols for recovery. Long range effects of the brain insult could be documented, and, hopefully, delayed or averted. THIS IS A POSSIBILITY TO ADVANCE MEDICAL PROTOCOLS AND POLICIES. It is time to eliminate the consequences of TBI co-morbidities in our returning military including: substance abuse, incarceration, unemployment, homelessness, and suicide. The only way to avert these issues is to treat the underlying cause: TBI.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Please contact us at: tbistudy@resurrectinglives.org