VA Instrumental In New National Brain Research Initiative

A spotlight was placed on traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since then, the VA in America has been instrumental in doing what they can to gather more information on TBIs. Now, years later, the VA continues to lead the way as it announces that it will help launch a nationwide initiative to better the state of pre-clinical brain research. 

The name of the initiative is the Interagency Resource Coordinating Center for Preclinical TBI Research (IRCC) and will be focused on the science that goes into creating models that represent TBI. There also will be a clear focus on improving data sharing ability regarding TBIs as well as other technologies associated with its general research. In its initiative, the VA has gained the financial support of the National Institutes of Health as well as the Department of Defense. 

TBIs have been a significant problem for former service members in the years following the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. It is estimated that nearly a fifth of the casualties from those two conflicts involve a TBI in some form. TBIs can include injuries such as a concussion, but research has been trying to figure out the correlation that exists between suffering a TBI and the symptoms that are associated with them such as headaches, memory loss, depression, and other mental health concerns. Although we have uncovered many answers about the nature of TBIs, there still are no FDA-approved medications that can be used to treat them. 

 Research for TBIs has sped up significantly over the past 20 years or so, and many associate its overall research trajectory with sports such as the NFL. However, the VA has arguably been the most influential and bringing these concerns to the forefront, and appears to continue to want answers as it commits itself to the IRCC.