DENVER, Nov. 9 U.S. Rep. Harry E. Mitchell today joined members of an inter-organizational Military TBI Task Force by endorsing a paper highlighting the important role that neuropsychology plays in treating combat-related traumatic brain injury.
The paper, The Role of Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Psychology in the Evaluation, Management and Research of Military Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury, is currently in press and an executive summary will be released Nov. 13 at a press conference at the National Academy of Neuropsychology's 27th Annual Conference. The Military TBI Task Force, led by Drs. Neil Pliskin and Mike McCrea, were comprised of members from the American Psychological Association Divisions 40 (Neuropsychology) and 22 (Rehabilitation Psychology), the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, and the National Academy Neuropsychology (NAN).
"Traumatic brain injury is one of the signature injuries of the current war," said Mitchell, who has held hearings on the trouble facing troops returning from war. "Better field medicine is bringing more of our troops home alive, but they are suffering from combat-related TBI or PTSD in greater numbers than in past wars. We owe it to them to invest in this kind of research that will help improve their quality of life in the years to come."
Earlier this year, Mitchell voted for and the House passed the single-largest increase in veterans' health care funding in the 77-year history of the VA. The measure provides $600 million more than the President's request for mental health, PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury and makes five polytrauma centers and three Centers of Excellence for Mental Health and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) fully operational this year to care for those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, including those with TBI.
Many brain injury survivors have long-term disabilities including difficulties with memory and problem-solving, as well as stress and anger issues. "The hidden effects of brain injuries can surface long after the physical scars have healed," says Dr. William Perry, President of NAN. "People can experience behavioral, cognitive and even physical changes over time, which can be confusing for not only the individual, but for those close to them as well. Receiving assistance from professionals specializing in brain injury is key to understanding how best to help these military personnel and their families."
NAN is a professional association founded in 1975 to advance Neuropsychology as a science and health profession, to promote human welfare and to generate and disseminate knowledge of brain-behavior relationships. NAN has become a vibrant organization of the world's leading scientist-practitioners, academics, clinicians and researchers in the field of brain functioning. The association's current membership is over 3500 with representation by seventeen countries. The Annual Conference is attended by an average of 1500 neuropsychologists, neuroscientists, and neurologists.
SOURCE National Academy of Neuropsychology