DCoE Blog

  • College Success After Traumatic Brain Injury

    Read the full story: College Success After Traumatic Brain Injury
    Image courtesy U.S. Army

    As a service member or veteran, you have all the advantages of your military training and experience to help you succeed in college. You’ve learned the importance of discipline, dependability teamwork and how to show respect. You know how to set goals and raise the bar for everyone around you. These skills will serve you well.

    Nevertheless, entering or returning to school after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may feel challenging. You may find yourself coping with persistent symptoms such as headaches, sleep disturbances, pain, vision and hearing problems, dizziness, and mood changes. You may also feel overwhelmed or have difficulty staying focused.

    Strong support systems at colleges and universities can help you through these challenges. However, it’s important to be your own advocate and educate yourself about what resources are available.

  • Get Your Head Out of the Game to Prevent TBI

    Read the full story: Get Your Head Out of the Game to Prevent TBI
    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Rebecca Eller

    As fall sports season begins for students and families, players can reduce the risk of a concussion by learning to tackle properly in sports such as football, lacrosse and rugby. Coaches may tell players to get their heads in the game, but players shouldn’t take that literally, warned an expert with the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC).

    Learning to lead with the shoulder and not the head or helmet is important for all sports that involve contact, said Scott Livingston, director of education for DVBIC.

    “Take the head out of the game,” he said. “Don’t use the head as a weapon. Don’t aim for an opponent’s head.”

  • Sending Your Child Back to School after Concussion

    Read the full story: Sending Your Child Back to School after Concussion
    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Paul S. Martinez

    Although summer isn’t quite over, many kids are shifting attention to the upcoming school year. If you are a parent, you’ve most likely started back-to-school prep: shopping for new clothes, buying school supplies and organizing new daily routines. While you’re thinking ahead, don’t forget to plan for any special needs for your child who may have experienced a summer head injury. A common injury that affects school performance is concussion. 

    A concussion is a jolt or blow to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Children often get them by falling down, running into things, getting struck by objects or playing sports. A concussion can cause cognitive, emotional and physical symptoms. Your child might report symptoms like headaches, dizziness, blurry vision or trouble paying attention. If you have any concerns, seek medical attention promptly.

  • Clinician’s Corner: Top 10 Concussion Research Articles of 2015

    Read the full story: Clinician’s Corner: Top 10 Concussion Research Articles of 2015

    As the Defense Department’s center of excellence for traumatic brain injury (TBI), one of the primary goals of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) is to stay up-to-date on the latest in brain injury research. A team of DVBIC experts with a variety of clinical backgrounds reviewed approximately 250 abstracts from the TBI clinical research literature published in 2015, choosing the ten articles they felt advanced the field of TBI research the furthest.

    Listed below and categorized by topic are the titles and summaries of these top 10 concussion research articles of 2015. Click on the links provided to access the complete abstract or article on PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

  • A Head for the Future Launches ‘TBI Champions’ Video Series

    Read the full story: A Head for the Future Launches ‘TBI Champions’ Video Series

    Ed Rasmussen and Brian O’Rourke are former Navy SEALS who experienced multiple traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) from training incidents, received help and now manage their symptoms with support of their families.

    Randy Gross is a former Army staff sergeant who sustained a TBI from a motor vehicle collision. He sought treatment immediately for his injury, made a full recovery and is now a regional education coordinator at Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), helping other service members and veterans who have sustained a TBI.

  • Clinician’s Corner: Expert Highlights Cognitive Rehabilitation after Traumatic Brain Injury

    Read the full story: Clinician’s Corner: Expert Highlights Cognitive Rehabilitation after Traumatic Brain Injury

    Providers should rely on the evidence base for cognitive rehabilitation of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) rather than solely on “clinical intuition,” an expert told attendees at the 2015 Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Summit.

    “Please use the available materials” to guide cognitive rehabilitation for mild TBI, commonly known as concussion, Linda Picon, the Department of Veterans Affairs liaison for TBI at DCoE, urged providers. There is still much to learn about the most effective treatments for this patient population, but using the wealth of provider tools available means that care can be standardized to help advance the science and optimize patient outcomes, she said.

    Although existing practice standards are primarily based on studies of patients with moderate to severe TBI rather than concussion, Picon said the Defense and Veterans Affairs Departments have a number of concussion resources to guide the assessment and treatment of problems with attention, memory, executive function, social competence and other common cognitive complaints. These include:

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