DCoE Blog

  • From Car Accident to Beauty Pageant
    Tina Garcia gets ready for a pageant.
    Photo courtesy of A Head for the Future

    Service members who deal with traumatic brain injury (TBI) find different ways to overcome it. Tina Garcia, who experienced a TBI in a car accident 15 years ago, found a unique platform of expression. A Head for the Future shares Tina’s story of her participation in the Miss Colorado Senior pageant and overcoming her TBI:

    Air Force veteran Tina Garcia woke up in a daze after her car was rear-ended in 2002. When she was rushed to the hospital, she was told not to move and that her neck was probably broken. Garcia was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Recovery was tough but eventually led her down a surprising path.

  • Top 10 Concussion Research Articles of 2016
    DoD photo by Sgt. Christopher Giannetti

    There is no shortage of clinical research articles on traumatic brain injury (TBI). In fact, a team of experts from Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) recently reviewed more than 250 abstracts from literature published in 2016. The team, with a variety of clinical backgrounds, reviewed the latest in brain injury research and selected 10 articles that advance brain injury research.

    In recognition of Brain Injury Awareness Month, here is our top 10 list of TBI research articles, with summaries, categorized by topic. Click on the article title to access the abstract or article on PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

  • Celebrate Good Times! No Luck, Charms or Alcohol Required
    DoD photo by Cpl. Khoa Pelczar

    Unless you’ve been hiding under the Blarney Stone, you’ve seen the shamrocks — St. Patrick’s Day is upon us. In America, many adults celebrate the holiday with Irish jigs, witty toasts — and a lot of alcohol. But, if you are coping with posttraumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury (TBI) you may want to pass up that pint of green beer.

    Many trauma survivors use alcohol to relieve pain and other symptoms, but the relationship between combat stress and substance use is counterproductive and can be dangerous. And drinking alcohol with a TBI can complicate your injury or delay recovery.

  • Coping with Flashbacks

    Some service members with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have flashbacks that can limit their quality of life. The Real Warriors campaign shares tools and valuable information for dealing with this particular hurdle of PTSD:

    Flashbacks happen when you feel like you are reliving a traumatic experience or memory. They can occur day or night, and can occur recently or even years after the event. You may remember the entire event or only details such as sounds and smells.

    Flashbacks can occur in veterans who have experienced a traumatic event. While not always, flashbacks are often a symptom of PTSD. They can occur as a result of combat, a training accident, sexual trauma or other traumatic events.

  • Partner with DVBIC to Promote Brain Injury Awareness Month

    As the Defense Department’s center of excellence for traumatic brain injury (TBI), the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center focuses on conducting and synthesizing TBI research to ensure it translates into the best possible care for service members, veterans and their families. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and DVBIC needs your help to spread an important message about prevention: Think Ahead.

    Think ahead means being safe by taking the precautions necessary to prevent brain injuries, knowing the signs of concussion (another word for a mild traumatic brain injury), and accessing care when necessary. It is important to seek help as soon as possible after a TBI because early detection and treatment can facilitate recovery.

    Since last year, we have run a social media campaign during March to remind everyone to “#ThinkAhead” to avoid brain injury. The goal is to get as many people as possible to use social media to remind friends and family to be safe, know the signs of concussion, and seek care.

    To help DVBIC spread the word, print a hashtag card from the DVBIC A Head for the Future website, share a personal message, and take a selfie to share on social media with the hashtags #ThinkAhead and #BIAmonth. DVBIC will retweet and share many of these messages.

  • Why I Give: Stories on Volunteering, Giving Back (Olivera Teodorovic)
    Photo courtesy of Olivera Teodorovic

    When people hear “Superwoman,” the words justice and strength may come to mind. This cherished comic book character positively affects the lives of those she encounters, but who’s to say she isn’t real? This is the final article in a four-part series that shares how four superwomen change lives and take on unique, yet rewarding, challenges as they offer their time as community volunteers.

    I’m A Big Sister

    “The decision to become a big sister wasn’t hard,” said Olivera Teodorovic, a graphics illustrator at the National Center for Telehealth and Technology. “I have absolutely no regrets.”

    Teodorovic volunteers with a well-established youth mentoring network in South Puget Sound, Washington. She had long known she wanted to help someone. Her family values new experiences — her parents emigrated from the former country of Yugoslavia (now Serbia) to the United States when she was young.