VISN 20 MIRECC | PTSD, TBI and Other Research Activities - MIRECC / CoE
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VISN 20 MIRECC | PTSD, TBI and Other Research Activities

PTSD, TBI and Other Research Activities at the VISN 20 MIRECC

Overview of the PTSD research, TBI research and other research activities at the at the Veterans Affairs' Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical CenterThe VISN 20 Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (NW MIRECC) improves the health and well-being of Veterans by developing, evaluating, and disseminating novel effective treatments for military posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its complex comorbidities or co-occurring diagnoses. The most prominent of these co-occurring difficulties faced by Veterans are traumatic brain injury (mTBI), alcohol use disorder (AUD), chronic pain (in particular, post-concussive headaches), cognitive impairment, while others face an increased risk for neurodegenerative disorders (chronic traumatic encephalopathy [CTE] and Alzheimer's disease [AD]).

The Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center approaches research in two ways: clinical and translational. In many instances, NW MIRECC partners with Veteran and non-Veteran volunteers as clinical research subjects to develop and evaluate effective treatments for military PTSD and its associated conditions, including mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), substance use disorders, chronic pain, and dementia.

Clinical Research

Through careful design and implementation of clinical research studies and with the help of volunteers in a wide range of research protocols, the Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center conducts cutting-edge measurements of brain structure to analyze their implication on behavior, --and engages volunteers in in-depth analysis of psychological, social and environmental factors that contribute to the maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder and symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury. NW MIRECC investigators are leaders in the performance of research lumbar punctures and in the innovative use of a common blood pressure medication (i.e., prazosin (link prazosin to 4/8/19 write-up)) for trauma-related nightmares, anxiety, and other behavioral symptoms that affect many Veterans with PTSD.

Translational Research

Another route to identifying potential treatments for PTSD and its associated conditions (specify associated conditions) is through laboratory studies that do not require the enrollment of Veterans. The nationally acclaimed NW MIRECC translational neuroscience program is a multidisciplinary research program dedicated to understanding and treating these disorders. Through basic discovery science and the development of innovative treatment strategies. Together, teams of clinicians and scientists work side-by-side to characterize and model the key features of these clinical problems, including the co-existing conditions of TBI and neurodegenerative disorders, and to then translate our findings from scientific theory or animal models into practical applications for Veterans.

NW MIRECC investigators collaborate with researchers and clinicians across the University of Washington, University of Utah, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Oregon Health and Science University, Department of Defense, and Veterans Affairs, as well as a host of academic, government, and industry partners around the world.

Call for Research Volunteers:

The NW MIRECC is looking for volunteers who have not served in the military and for Veterans who served at a variety of times and who have experienced a variety of service-related conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), posttraumatic headaches, neurodegeneration and dementia, unseen injuries, and Gulf War Veterans’ illness. Visit the Current Research Homepage to read about volunteer opportunities.

 


NW MIRECC Research Articles:   In Press | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

    Explore Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center       

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The Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (NW MIRECC) of the Veterans Integrated Services Network (VISN) 20 seeks to improve the mental health and well-being of Veterans through research and dissemination of information to providers both within the VA and the general public. The NW MIRECC mission is to contribute to better treatment of the unseen wounds of war (PTSD, mild traumatic brain injury, and their comorbidities). The VA VISN 20 Northwest Health Network consists of four states across three time zones; Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. The primary research center located in VA Puget Sound Health Care System is affiliated with the University of Washington. VA Puget Sound serves Veterans from a five-state area in the Pacific Northwest with two main divisions: American Lake and Seattle. In addition to the main medical centers, VA Puget Sound provides health care services in Washington state at six community-based outpatient clinics in Bellevue, Bremerton, Federal Way, Mount Vernon, Port Angeles, and Seattle. The research center located at VA Portland Heath Care System is affiliated with the Oregon Health and Science University. VA Portland serves Veterans from Oregon and Southwest Washington with two main divisions: Portland and Vancouver. In addition to the main medical centers, VA Portland Health Care System provides health care services in Oregon state at ten outpatient clinics in Bend, Fairview, Hillsboro, North Coast (Camp Rilea), Newport, Lincoln City, Portland, Salem, The Dalles, and West Linn. Vet Centers in the VISN 20 Health Care Network are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible Veterans, active-duty Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Space Force service members, including National Guard and Reserve components, and their families.

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