A landmark scientific study has been published in the journal Neuroradiology, adding to the growing body of literature showing that blast waves are a source of traumatic brain injury in military personnel. “White matter microstructural abnormalities in blast-exposed combat veterans: accounting for potential pre-injury factors using consanguineous controls,” by Andrew C. McClelland, Roman Fleysher, Weiya Mu, and Michael L. Lipton, was accepted into the prestigious Springer-Verlag publication on July 30, 2018.
The paper resulted from a research project, “Brain Features of the Blast-Exposed Warrior,” conducted at Albert Einstein College of Medicine under lead investigator Michael Lipton, MD, PhD, and was supported by Resurrecting Lives Foundation. The study used Diffusion Tensor Imaging, a type of newer, more sensitive MRI, to diagnose TBI and define brain pathology from blasts. The study compared the brains of the veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who had undergone exposure to blasts through improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to those of their age-matched siblings who had not been in combat or exposed, in order to rule out familial tendencies or traits.
Chrisanne Gordon, MD, founder and chair of RLF, and leader of the drive to collaborate with researchers, said, “We have the highest regard for Dr. Michael Lipton and his team from Einstein for their compassionate and respectful care of those undergoing these studies. Dr. Lipton displayed the intelligence to devise the study, the empathy to provide assistance to our vets and their families, the vision to work with the private sector, our veterans, and non-profit RLF, and the courage to publish a unique and challenging study at the time. We are all indebted to Dr. Lipton as a fearless scientist and physician and we are indebted to our young heroes and their families who participated.”
The scientific project was one of RLF’s first initiatives, and was a rallying point for fundraising for the organization. Major gifts were provided by a long list of generous donors, both individuals and organizations, and support and publicity came from many avenues. For advancing the cause in many ways and for being the instruments of change for our military members, veterans, and their families, RLF especially thanks our board members and supporters who provided funding, transportation, support, and awareness in the states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan.
Amvets Post #26, Mansfield, Ohio, provided a special donation to their brothers and sisters of the OIF/OEF conflicts; their annual “Rock and Roll Festivals” for many years collected the funding to send one third of the participant veterans, all from Ohio, to New York City for the study.
To all who have supported RLF efforts to date, we thank you. “But our special thanks,” said Dr. Gordon, “goes to all the study participants; thank you for your courage, your service, and your commitment to your brothers and sisters.”
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
― Margaret Mead