In continuing the efforts to treat the huge number of soldiers who have returned from Afghanistan and Iraq with traumatic brain injury, the U.S. military has created one of the world’s first repositories for brain tissue to study the nature of TBI.
The military will ask permission from families of service members who have deceased to retain specimens and brain tissue samples in hopes that they can further the study, treatment, and prevention of TBI. They believe they will be able to collect several hundred samples for study this way.
“We have been at war for more than a decade and our men and women have sacrificed,” Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense, told Medical Daily. “The military health care system is bringing all the resources it can to better understand how to prevent, diagnose and treat traumatic brain injuries and to ensure that service members have productive and long, quality lives.”
The tissue repository is funded by a federal grant devoted to advancing TBI and brain science for military veterans. Named the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine Brain Tissue for Traumatic Brain Injury, the center has been established at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md.
“Our research efforts and treatment protocols are all geared toward improving care for these victims,” Woodson said. “And that will have benefits to the American public at large.”
A press release from the American Forces Press Services says researchers will be specifically investigating how traumatic brain injuries progresses to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a permanent neurodegenerative disorder associated with repeated brain injury.