American Legion to host TBI/PTSD symposium in Washington

Results to be announced of Legion’s online survey of veterans suffering from the conditions

Complementary and alternative treatments for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as caregiver and family support, are the major topics to be examined at The American Legion’s symposium on TBI/PTSD in Washington on June 24.

The results of The American Legion’s online survey of veterans suffering from one or both conditions will be announced at the event by Dr. Jeff Greenberg, senior research director for Data Recognition Corporation (DRC), which developed and analyzed the survey that received more than 3,000 responses in February.

Greenberg said TBI/PTSD survey respondents reported limited improvement in symptoms following treatment. "I will provide more detail at the symposium," Greenberg said, "but this finding definitely indicates a need for more robust research to better understand and solve the challenges of providing effective treatment for TBI and PTSD."

The day-long, invitation-only event, “Advancing Care and Treatment for Veterans with TBI and PTSD,” features four panel discussions made up of medical experts from across the country.

Panelists for the discussion on TBI treatments include:

• Col. Dallas Hack, M.D., whose specialty is combat casualty care for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, Md.
• Dr. Ann Germain, associate professor of psychiatry and psychology at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh.
• Col. Sydney Hinds, M.D., director of the veterans brain injury center at the Defense Centers for Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.

The panel on PTSD treatments will include:

• Retired Army Col. Charles Hoge, M.D., research consultant for neuropsychiatry at the Office of the Surgeon General.
• Dawne Vogt, Ph.D, specializing in women’s health sciences at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for PTSD.
• Lt. Col. Dennis McGurk, deputy director of the Army’s program for research in military operational medicine.

Panelists for the discussion on complementary and alternative medicine include:

• Dr. Stephen C. Ezeji-Okoye, M.D., deputy chief of staff at VA Palo Alto Healthcare System.
• Dr. Jennifer Strauss, Ph.D., women’s mental health program manager for VA Mental Health Services.
• Dr. Robert Koffman, senior consultant for integrative medicine and behavioral health, National Intrepid Center of Excellence, Department of Defense.

The Institute of Medicine’s Roberta Wedge will give a presentation about a study she directed on PTSD treatment in military and veteran populations. A panel discussion will follow on caregiver support, led by:

• Terri Tanielian, senior social research analyst at the RAND Corporation.
• Linda Kreter, founder and chief executive officer of Wise Health, Inc.

Results of The American Legion’s TBI/PTSD survey will be posted at after the symposium. The Legion’s September 2013 report on TBI and PTSD treatments, “The War Within” is also available at