• DCoE Webinar Preview: Management of Headache Following Concussion

    Experts from the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) will discuss a new clinical recommendation for headaches associated with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) during a webinar hosted by Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury 1-2:30 p.m. (ET) April 14.

    Headache is the most common symptom of mild TBI, also known as concussion. Other symptoms include sleep disturbances, dizziness, confusion, nausea or vomiting, blurred vision, sensitivity to light or sound, memory problems, and behavior and mood changes.

  • Military Children Use Website to Cope with Stress, Connect with Others
    Three smiling teens sit at table looking at cell phone screen together
    Photo courtesy of the National Center for Telehealth and Technology

    Although it’s well known that military service can challenge warriors’ psychological health, the children of service members are also affected by the stresses of military life. In honor of Military Children’s Health month, we want to share this recent article about the Military Kids Connect website created by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology. The website is a safe, private space where military children and teens can share their unique experiences.

    “The mission of the website is to improve the quality of life of military children as they face the psychological challenges of living in the military life and culture,” said T2 psychologist Kelly Blasko. “It was designed so [children] can learn about feeling stressed and anxious, and it provides them with some tools to alleviate some of this stress.”

  • 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.
  • TBI Diagnosis Helped Save a Family
    Read the full story: TBI Diagnosis Helped Save a Family

    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, Brian O’Rourke didn’t realize he had a brain injury until loved ones persuaded him to get help. A video about O’Rourke’s brain injury experience is available on the A Head for the Future web page.

    Service members, veterans and their families may carry the stress and confusion of living with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) long before it is diagnosed. Often, family members and friends are the first to notice the signs and symptoms of a TBI and urge their loved one to seek help. Retired Navy SEAL Brian O’Rourke spent months in denial, experiencing behavior changes and having trouble sleeping, before his family and friends persuaded him to find the support that led to his TBI diagnosis.

    O’Rourke and his wife, Tammy, share the story of the challenges in their marriage and family life before Brian sought treatment for his symptoms, which included insomnia, irritability and anxiety.

  • DCoE Director on Preventing Head Injuries

    This story by Capt. Mike Colston, director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, is reposted from the Military Health System, where it ran as part of the Motivational Monday series.

    Our military community is active. Not only do the armed forces emphasize fitness, but sports are a personal passion for a lot of us, whether riding a bike or motorcycle, playing on a team or competing in extreme sports.

    We’ve all heard about traumatic brain injuries (TBI) caused by blast events. But, battlefield injuries aren’t the reason for most military TBIs; the most common causes are motor vehicle crashes and falls.

  • Vision Assessment Important to TBI Care
    U.S. Army photo by Capt. Charles An

    Concussion can cause changes to vision that are sometimes overlooked during an initial medical evaluation. Vision experts stress that eye exams should be part of the diagnosis and treatment of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI).

    “Service members exposed to a blast [exposure] may have brain injury, which may affect eye coordination, even when vision is 20/20,” said Felix Barker, associate director of research for the Vision Center of Excellence in Bethesda, Maryland.

    Because a patient’s vision may not be affected at first, and issues such as bumping into objects or having double vision may seem subtle, providers and patients may not realize vision is a problem, he said.