DoD Study Tests Therapy to Treat Mild TBI

The work at the San Antonio Military Medical Center is aimed at finding the best treatment for combat veterans experiencing mild traumatic brain injury symptoms as much as two years after their injuries.

A study being done by a team at the San Antonio Military Medical Center is trying out cognitive rehabilitation therapy to improve chronic, mild symptoms of traumatic brain injuries. Such symptoms including difficulty with attention, concentration, and memory, Elaine Sanchez reported in a Jan. 12 news story for the American Forces Press Service.

Sanchez reported the Study of Cognitive Rehabilitation Effectiveness, or SCORE trial, will look for the best treatment methodology for combat veterans who experience symptoms from three months to two years after their injuries.

Douglas B. Cooper, the study's leader and a clinical neuropsychologist for the medical center's Traumatic Brain Injury Service, told Sanchez they have various ways of helping a TBI patient in the first few days after a concussion. However, there are fewer good interventions at their disposal six months, a year, or two years afterward, he said, according to her article. Cooper is the director of the Military Brain Injury Rehabilitation Research Consortium.

Cooper and colleagues will treat 160 patients in six-week cycles during a period of two to three years, using interventions that may include individual appointments, group sessions, computer treatments, or behavioral health, Sanchez reported. Her article says a DoD database shows more than 202,000 members of the U.S. military suffered a traumatic brain injury between 2000 and 2010 while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

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