DCoE Blog

  • TBI Patients Can Benefit from Performance Triad Plan

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    Most clinicians know that patients achieve optimum physical health by eating healthy nutrient-based foods, staying active and consistently getting at least eight hours of quality sleep every night. But for patients with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), these tasks may be challenging.

    “Regardless of the mechanism of injury, TBI can result in significant neurological impairment, acute clinical symptoms and functional disturbances,” said Gary McKinney, chief, office of clinical practice and clinical recommendations at Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC).

    McKinney and other experts from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, spoke about how primary care providers can apply the key focus areas of the Army Performance Triad (sleep, activity and nutrition) to boost patient recovery from TBI during a Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) webinar July 14.

  • Clinician’s Corner: Real Warriors’ Website Supports Psychological Health Care

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    U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Cohen A. Young

    As clinicians, we’re always looking for ways to help our patients learn more about psychological health conditions, how to seek help and how to help others. We urge that early intervention can positively impact their well-being and even their careers. We also know that almost half of patients who seek care leave treatment too soon, so it’s essential to direct them to resources that provide information to help between care and following care. Finding good resources that speak directly to patients can be difficult. Fortunately, the Real Warriors Campaign is only a click away.

    Sponsored by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), Real Warriors is a multimedia public awareness campaign designed to encourage service members and veterans coping with mental health concerns to reach out for appropriate care or support.

  • Clinician's Corner: Recognizing and Responding to Your Own Mental Health Needs

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    U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Samantha Saulsbury

    Do you know a mental health provider who’s always physically and emotionally tired? What about a colleague who is going through a significant life stressor such as a divorce and doesn’t pay enough attention to how this stressor impacts his or her functioning and work with patients?

    How often do you stop and think about your own emotional well-being? What do you do about it?

    "Please secure your oxygen mask before assisting others."

    It’s important to recognize early warning signs of mental health problems, pay attention to self-care and seek help in a timely manner.

  • Concussion and Winter Sports

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    U.S. Air Force photo by Mike Kaplan

    Young ice hockey players may reduce the severity of a head impact when they are able to anticipate a collision, according to research presented during a webinar hosted by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) earlier this month.

    Anticipation seems to play a role in the frequency as well as the magnitude of impacts sustained by young hockey players and football players, said Mihalik, co-director of the Matthew A. Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Even if an athlete can’t avoid an impact, bracing for one seems to lessen the severity of the impact, he said. To reduce damage from concussions, doctors and coaches need to train players to see them coming.

    “The idea from a preventative standpoint is how can we enhance visual function? How can we teach athletes to anticipate those collisions a little bit better?” Mihalik asked. Athletes need to be able to distinguish moving objects from those that aren't, and to be able to scan and interpret what they see in front of them and peripherally, he said.

  • Super Bowl: Not ‘Super’ for Viewers with PTSD

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    U.S Army photo by Cpl. Alex Flynn

    More than 100 million Americans will tune in to watch the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers square off in Super Bowl 50 Sunday. However, it may not be much of a party for many service members and veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    The emotions involved in the back-and-forth of a highly competitive game could be an issue for military members with PTSD.

    “Anything that is going to ramp up emotions you have to be careful about,” said Army Maj. Demietrice Pittman, a psychologist with Deployment Health Clinical Center. “Your emotions swing when you are watching the Super Bowl. Even if it is not your team it is usually a good matchup.”

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

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    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.

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