• 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.

  • Improvements in Brain Injury Data Collection
    Man in wheelchair and woman looking at computer screen

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Polytrauma System of Care allows for veterans who have a traumatic brain injury (TBI) to recover and transition with assistive care.

    “I take great pride in the Polytrauma System of Care,” said Linda Picon, VA senior consultant on TBI to the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. "I have witnessed first-hand the rehabilitation successes of many wounded veterans and service members with TBI and polytrauma. It has been my honor to serve and I can't think of more rewarding work."

    This story by Hans Peterson is reposted from the Veterans Health Administration.

  • 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
    man grimacing in pain
    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.

  • Defense Department TBI Center of Excellence Welcomes New Director

    Army Col. (Dr.) Geoffrey Grammer officially assumed leadership of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) March 16. DVBIC is the Defense Department center of excellence for traumatic brain injury.

    Grammer transferred from the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Maryland, where he was the department chief of research. He is a psychiatrist and internal medicine specialist who holds board certifications in psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry. He is an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.

    “I’m looking forward to working with the men and women of DVBIC to continue the excellent work they’ve been doing in clinical care, research and education for nearly 25 years,” Grammer said.

  • DCoE Webinar Preview: Deployment-related Co-occurring PTSD, Mild TBI in Service Members

    Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) will host a webinar, “Deployment-related Co-occurring PTSD and Mild TBI in Service Members,” 1-2:30 p.m. (ET) March 24.

    Jennifer Vasterling, a psychiatry professor at Boston University School of Medicine, will present research on the causes and effects of co-occurring PTSD and concussion. She will discuss how a concussion can affect the way a service member responds to treatment for PTSD and share ways to enhance treatment for these patients.