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  • Food for Thought…About Nutrition, Performance, Resiliency and Recovery

    Read the full story: Food for Thought…About Nutrition, Performance, Resiliency and Recovery
    Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

    In recognition of National Nutrition Month, Dr. Brian J. Grady, interim director of the National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2) wrote an article looking at the link between nutrition and overall psychological health. Grady shares how nutrition can impact a service member’s performance, resilience and medical recovery. He also shares helpful tools to help service members and their families make wise choices regarding food, including how to eat more mindfully.

  • Veteran Helps Fellow Service Members with Brain Injury Care

    Read the full story: Veteran Helps Fellow Service Members with Brain Injury Care

    In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month, we are featuring the stories of people who experienced brain injuries and recovered. In this post from A Head for the Future, Randy Gross sustained numerous brain injuries and learned to take precautions. A video about Gross’ brain injury experience is available from A Head for the Future.

    When he was 23, former Army Staff Sgt. Randy Gross was riding in a Jeep with his friends. The top was down and his seat belt was off.

    “We weren’t going very fast, so I wasn’t that concerned about it,” Gross said.

    But then, the unexpected happened.

  • DVBIC Releases New Clinical Recommendation for TBI-related Headaches

    Read the full story: DVBIC Releases New Clinical Recommendation for TBI-related Headaches
    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Matthew Callahan

    Imagine throbbing, burning and pressure in your head, or a tightening sensation around your head, neck and face. If you’ve ever experienced a severe headache, you don’t have to imagine it. For people with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), headaches are the most common symptom.

    To help patients get proper care, Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) collaborated with the Defense Department, Department of Veterans Affairs, civilian medical practitioners and researchers to create a clinical recommendation for headaches following a concussion. The recommendation titled “Management of Headache Following Concussion/Mild TBI: Guidance for Primary Care Management in Deployed and Non-Deployed Settings” is designed to help providers diagnose and treat headaches with a variety of options.

    “Proper diagnosis is important because effective treatment varies depending on the type of headache,” said Katie Stout, director of clinical affairs for DVBIC. According to Stout, this resource has the added benefit of providing additional resources for the treatment of other types of headaches not associated with TBI.

  • Navy SEAL: ‘Talk to someone — because we’re out there’

    Read the full story: Navy SEAL: ‘Talk to someone — because we’re out there’

    In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month, we are featuring the stories of people who sustained brain injuries and recovered. In this post from A Head for the Future, Ed Rasmussen discovered that his migraines were caused by head trauma. A video about Ed Rasmussen’s brain injury experience is available on the A Head for the Future web page.

    Retired Navy SEAL Ed Rasmussen began experiencing memory loss, migraines and unexpected changes in his mood — and his wife, Mary Beth, noticed it, too: “When he started losing his memory and it was getting really bad, I said, ‘What’s happening here?’”

  • Computerized Tests Aren’t Always Best in TBI Assessments

    Computerized tests to measure neurocognitive damage are not always reliable and should not replace traditional assessments, experts at the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) confirmed after comparing various types of assessments in a new study.

    Neurocognitive testing is often standard after a suspected traumatic brain injury (TBI). Current neurocognitive tests, designed to measure various cognitive processes such as attention, memory and executive function, are typically of the paper-and-pencil variety and are administered by a trained psychologist. Traditional testing may also include some computer-based tests.

    The “Head to Head” study examined the reliability and validity of four computerized neurocognitive assessments (NCATs) — ANAM4, CNS Vital Signs, CogState and ImPACT — with service members at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. ANAM is the most widely used, but Army Special Forces prefers to use ImPACT.

    In some ways, comparing NCATs to traditional tests and NCATs to one another is like trying to compare apples to oranges because there are many ways to measure cognitive ability, DVBIC Senior Clinical Research Director Wesley Cole and DVBIC Senior Clinical Research Associate Jacques Arrieux said in a webinar that presented the “Head to Head” study findings. As a result, they were unable to determine whether one NCAT was better than the others.

  • Top 10 DCoE Blogs of 2015

    Themes often define a year. In 2015, that was definitely the case: our audience clicked and commented most often when we shared tips, resources and practices related to mindfulness. Other topics our readers found of particular interest were moral injury, resources for military kids and caring for traumatic brain injury (TBI). Listed below in order of popularity are the top 10 blog posts of 2015 on the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) website.