nationwide study to understand the mechanism behind post-traumatic stress
disorder has been launched in the United States.
University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) School of Medicine will lead
a $60 million, five-year, 10-site Clinical Consortium funded by the Department
of Defense Psychological Health/Traumatic Brain Injury Research Program (DoD
PH/TBI) to conduct studies leading to the prevention and treatment of
posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), two
prevalent but poorly understood battlefield-related disorders that affect
millions of individuals, both military and civilian.
B. Stein, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Psychiatry and Family and Preventive
Medicine at UC San Diego and Staff Psychiatrist at the Veterans Affairs San
Diego Health System (VASDHS), will direct the multi-center Clinical Consortium.
Ronald G. Thomas, Ph.D., Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine and
Neurosciences and Director of the Division of Biostatistics at UC San Diego, is
co-principal investigator of the Consortium.
nationwide network of study sites will test new therapies to prevent illness
and enhance recovery in individuals at risk for adverse psychological,
emotional and cognitive outcomes resulting from a traumatic injury, and for
individuals who have already developed chronic neuropsychiatric problems
because of an injury. The program will also focus on the short- and long-term
symptoms caused by mild head injuries, which Stein says are not well understood
in the treatment of military or civilian populations. The multi-center project
is part of a $300 million commitment by the DOD to "prevent, mitigate, and
treat the effects of traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury on function,
wellness, and overall quality of life for service members as well as their
caregivers and families."
research has its roots in medical disciplines that study brain function, brain injury,
and changes in cognition and behavior, each using very different methods," said
Director of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, Captain E.
Melissa Kaime, M.D. "The DOD PTSD/TBI Clinical Consortium will bring
neurologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists and psychologists together pooling
their best tools and information to considering the full spectrum of clinical
care needed for recovery of our service men and women."
recent report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) lamented the lack of
efficacious treatments for PTSD, and the same could be said for TBI. The
Clinical Consortium aims to contribute substantially to help fill these gaps,"
said Stein. "We will bring together specialists at academic research centers,
VA hospitals, and active military sites nationwide to help us understand what
happens to people who suffer traumatic injuries, including mild head injuries
such as concussions. This will help us design treatments that can most
appropriately address the needs of people who develop PTSD and TBI... and,
hopefully, even find ways to prevent them."
addition to overseeing the Clinical Consortium, UC San Diego Medical Center is
also one of the participating study sites, with Raul Coimbra, M.D., Ph.D.,
professor of surgery and director of the UC San Diego Division of Trauma, Burns
and Critical Care leading the San Diego TBI/PTSD Clinical Research Center. The
nine other participating centers are based at academic, Veterans Affairs, and
military centers at Dartmouth College, Duke University, Madigan Army Medical
Center, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Medical
University of South Carolina/University of South Carolina, Spaulding
Rehabilitation/Brigham Women's/Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston,
University of Cincinnati, University of Maryland, and University of Washington.
is an exciting opportunity to do not only cutting edge clinical research but to
make a difference in the lives of the many individuals and families in our own
community who have been devastated by the consequences of injury in general and
TBI and PTSD in particular," said Coimbra
men and women who have bravely served our country deserve the highest quality
of care, including those veterans who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder
and traumatic brain injuries," said U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA).
"This $60 million in federal grant funding will help launch a clinical
research center formed by the University
of California, San Diego
School of Medicine -- designed to improve our understanding and treatment of
PTSD and TBI. This new clinical research center will serve as an important
resource for the thousands of active-duty service men and women and the more
than 250,000 veterans located in the San