More than $100 million set aside for PTSD, TBI research

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense are investing more than $100 million in research to improve diagnosis and treatment of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The two groups, The Consortium to Alleviate PTSD (CAP) and the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC) will be jointly managed by VA, and by the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), on behalf of DoD.

More than 15 percent of servicemembers and veterans suffer impaired functioning as a result of PTSD. CAP will study potential indicators of the trauma, as well as prevention strategies, possible interventions, and improved treatments. Biomarker-based researched will be a key factor for CAP’s studies.

A primary goal of CENC is to establish an understanding of the aftereffects of an mTBI. Potential comorbidities also will be studied; that is, conditions associated with and worsen because of a neurotrauma.

On Aug. 31, the president signed an executive order to improve access to mental health services for veterans, servicemembers and military families. As part of that executive order, president directed DoD, VA, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education to develop a National Research Action Plan that will include strategies to improve early diagnosis and treatment effectiveness for TBI and PTSD. He further directed the Department of Defense and Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a comprehensive mental health study with an emphasis on PTSD, TBI, and related injuries to develop better prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options.