VCU Will Lead $62M Traumatic Brain Injury Study
Monday, August 19, 2013
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has been awarded a $62 million
federal grant, the largest in it’s history, to oversee a national
research consortium of universities, hospitals and clinics that will
study what happens to service members and veterans who suffer mild
traumatic brain injuries or concussions.
The concussions that will
be studied include both combat injuries, such as those from blasts and
bullets, and civilian injuries, such as those from car accidents, sports
injuries and falls. The research is expected to continue for five
years, with information available as early as the six-month mark.
magnitude of traumatic brain injury research at VCU, and all the
neurosciences for that matter, has laid the groundwork for a grant like
this," said Sheldon Retchin, M.D., senior vice president of VCU Health
Sciences and CEO of the VCU Health System. "The research across the
rehabilitation medicine spectrum, particularly as it relates to
traumatic brain injuries and military personnel, was the springboard to
this research grant.
The principal investigator on the grant is
David X. Cifu, M.D., chair of the VCU School of Medicine’s Department of
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and executive director of VCU's
Center of Researcher Sciences and Engineering (CERSE).
project is specifically designed to develop an understanding of the
linkage between concussion/blast exposures and chronic effects,
comorbidities and neurodegeneration in service members and veterans with
combat-related TBI exposure,” Cifu said. "The project will also assist
in providing current and future care, guide the development of novel
interventions to prevent or mitigate cognitive and behavioral decline
and contribute to long-term planning for service member and veteran
needs and benefits.”
According to Department of Defense grant
materials, this is the first program that brings together more than 30
of the most experienced brain injury scientists and doctors from the VA,
the military and universities to work on the same set of problems. The
network is set up to allow for a better understanding of why some people
get bad symptoms after a brain injury and others do not, what can be
done for those people who continue to have these problems, and what can
be done to prevent some of the long-term problems, including dementia,
that some service members and veterans develop later in their lives.
overall award is the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium, but the
CENC that Cifu will head up for the consortium is the Military and
Veterans Injury Recovery and Rehabilitation Network, or MAVERICK.