Monday, January 16, 2012

The Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine continues to develop new approaches to brain injury diagnosis and recovery

Call for study participants:

In the two years since its inception, the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM) has become a catalyst for brain injury research and transformed the research interactions among federal agencies within the National Capital Area.

The CNRM is a collaborative Federal medical research program of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). CNRM research programs address the full spectrum of traumatic brain injury (TBI), with special focus on militarily relevant forms of TBI, including the concurrent development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with TBI.

Congress established CNRM in 2008 to bring together the expertise of physicians and scientists at these institutions and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to develop innovative approaches to brain injury diagnosis and recovery. 

The CNRM has 23 active clinical research studies with 17 recruiting TBI patients. These studies will help develop more effective assessments of TBI and PTSD, improve brain imaging, and test new treatment strategies.

Most CNRM studies involve advanced brain scanning. One recently approved imaging study involves only a single, one-day visit to the NIH, and it is open to military and civilian participants who have sustained a TBI within the last five years. The CNRM’s newly-acquired Biograph mMR is one of the first integrated whole-body simultaneous positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices.  Dr. Regina Armstrong, director of CNRM, notes:  "A major challenge in the diagnosis and treatment of both military and civilian brain injury patients is the lack of sufficient tools to evaluate the type and extent of injury in a given patient. The DoD, through USU and CNRM, has supported development of this new tool of simultaneous PET/MRI at the NIH Clinical Center. We expect the NIH investigators have the expertise to take maximal advantage of this technology by designing novel neuroimaging protocols and molecular probes that can significantly improve how TBI research is performed."

Experimental treatment studies include cognitive rehabilitation using a computer interface, balance therapy using an oral device, aerobic exercise therapy, bright light therapy, and transcranial direct current stimulation.

A new study is enrolling healthy service members who have returned from deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan within the last 6 weeks. The goal of the research is to identify objective predictors of PTSD and post-concussive syndrome (PCS), so service members who are at higher risk of developing these conditions can be treated earlier, perhaps even before showing symptoms.

Studies currently take place at multiple military and civilian sites, including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), Madigan Army Medical Center (MAMC), Fort Campbell, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Suburban Hospital, and Washington Hospital Center. CNRM is actively seeking collaborative arrangements with military treatment facilities, units, deployment programs and other military organizations around the country to support enrollment of service members and veterans. 

In the spring of 2011, the CNRM launched a website, (, several social media portals, and a toll-free telephone number to reach out directly to the TBI community (both military and civilian) and the general public. The website provides information in layman's terms about the CNRM, TBI and PTSD, currently-enrolling studies, and links to relevant resources. 

For more information, visit the website, send an email to, or call 855-TBI-CNRM (855-824-2676).

1 comment:

  1. It is nice to see that there is more awareness and recognition for those with tbi. This is something that has been around as long as we have been alive. Well misunderstood left to the wayside. It is so important to realize that with a tbi or minor concussion, other behavorial, cognitive & emtotional side effects occur. It is necessary for the medical community to not just start to see this final frontier but to dive into it and see that it has effected so many for so long.
    Thank you for doing this research. Every little bit helps.
    Jessica LeBlanc
    TBI/Brain Cancer Survivor
    Burlington, Vermont