BUFFALO, N.Y. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been identified as the "signature injury" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
TBI is known to cause deficits in memory, attention and decision-making and often occurs in conjunction with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety disorders and substance abuse.
An estimated 150,000 U.S. veterans have been diagnosed with TBI, based on statistics gathered by the Veterans Administration's (VA) Quality Enhancement Research Initiative, known as QUERI.
While the numbers are relatively easy to assemble, the long-term cognitive and affective consequences of TBI and the effect on veterans' quality of life are not well understood, according to the VA, and evidence-based guidelines for diagnosis and treatment are limited. To be prepared to meet the needs of these veterans over time, the VA's Health Services Research & Development Unit is funding a $1.4 million, four-year prospective cohort study of Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans, headed by University at Buffalo researchers at the Buffalo VA Medical Center. The results will be used nationwide.
VA medical centers in Albany, Syracuse, Bath and Canandaigua/Rochester also will participate in the study. Kerry T. Donnelly, Ph.D., UB adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, is principal investigator.
The Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology is in the UB Graduate School of Education, while the Department of Psychiatry is part of the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
"This project began here at the Buffalo VA in June 2008," said Donnelly. "While the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have worked well in concert to address the needs of service members with major injuries, such as limb loss or severe TBI, veterans who might have more subtle co
|Contact: Lois Baker|
University at Buffalo