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War Related Illness and Injury Study Center

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Research Studies

Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and Operation New Dawn (OND) Veterans

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

    • Chronic Pain and Traumatic Brain Injury: A Program Review of iRest Yoga Nidra at DC WRIISC (DC)

      Principal Investigator: Julie Chapman, PsyD

      Goal of Study: The study aims were to evaluate the effectiveness of relaxation training (iRest Yoga Nidra) for chronic pain management in OEF/OIF Veterans who had sustained a brain injury. The primary objective was to examine self-report measures of pain (numeric rating scale) in Veterans before and after participation in an 8-week relaxation training program as compared to routine symptom management. In order to provide a more comprehensive assessment of chronic pain, other measures assessed included pre- and post-study changes in 1) self-perceived pain and mood state; 2) neuroendocrine (urinary cortisol) and immune function (interleukin-6); and 3) cognitive functioning (TOVA). Long-term objectives were to determine if iRest Yoga Nidra may be a viable treatment for chronic pain in Veteran populations. Study recruitment is complete, and results are being analyzed. For questions about this study, please contact Dr. Tom Nassif at 202-745-8249.

    • Markers for the Identification, Norming, and Differentiation (MIND) of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in OEF/OIF Veterans (CA, DC, NJ)

      Principal Investigator: Julie C. Chapman, PsyD and Aaron Schneiderman, PhD

      CA WRIISC Site PI: J. Wesson Ashford, MD, PhD

      NJ WRIISC Site PI: Drew Helmer, MD, MS

      This study was designed to address the overwhelming need for diagnostic validity of TBI and PTSD, as well as the development of rapid and reliable markers for each. By using advanced imaging, cognitive, and biological methodologies we hope to find previously unknown similarities and differences between these two distinct diagnoses.

    • Personalized Medicine in Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries (NJ)

      Principal Investigator: Gudrun Lange, PhD

      Funding Source: DoD

      Statement of Problem: Some Veterans returning from Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF; Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) report head injuries related to combat or blasts. There are no currently available biomarkers (proteins in the blood) that enable us to identify which Veterans are likely to have chronic problems as a result of such head injuries.

      Goal of Study: The goal of this study is to identify biomarkers from blood specimens that can be used to help correctly identify occurrence of traumatic brain injury earlier after a deployment than is currently possible. In addition, having defined biomarkers may help us to determine appropriate treatments for Veterans with concussive head injuries.

      Findings:

      • Outcomes from our study suggest that additional applications of the clinically accessible small non-coding RNA biomarkers to current diagnostic criteria may lead to improved mTBI detection and more sensitive outcome measures for clinical trials.

      Product:

  • Other OEF/OIF/OND Veteran Studies

    • Environmental Exposures Assessment Tool (EE-Tool) for OIF and OEF Veterans (DC)

      Principal Investigator: Aaron Schneiderman, PhD, MPH, RN

      This project will use qualitative and quantitative methods to develop an instrument to measure the environmental exposure experience and related concerns among combat Veterans of OIF and OEF. Multiple data sources will be used during development, including historical focus group data, clinical data, published Department of Defense Post Deployment Health Assessment findings, and literature review. A formal review of the draft instrument will be conducted by a panel of Subject Matter Experts in environmental health and survey research. A secondary review will include a series of cognitive interviews with OIF and OEF Veterans to further refine the instrument.

    • Prospective Study of Functional Status in Veterans at Risk for Unexplained Illness (HEROES) (NJ)

      Principal Investigator: Lisa McAndrew, PhD

      Funding source: VA HSR&D

      Statement of Problem: The 1991 Gulf War highlighted the importance of unexplained illness and its signature feature, non-specific physical symptoms. Non-specific physical symptoms (NSPS) are a significant problem in civilian and veteran populations with patients who have significant NSPS having twice the healthcare costs. After prior wars combat veterans were especially likely to experience NSPS. Previous research on NSPS was limited by retrospective and cross-sectional designs and by primarily studying treatment seeking populations. This study addressed these methodological problems.

      Goal of Study: 1. To determine pre-deployment and immediate post-deployment factors that predict later physical health symptoms and poor functional status, 2. To improve on previous methodological problems in studies of physical health problems 3. To identify risk factors for declining post-deployment functional status and health problems, 4. To identify protective or resilience factors of post-deployment functional status and health problems.

      Status: Data analysis. The study assessed 790 National Guard and Reserve Army enlisted personnel pre-deployment, immediately post-deployment, 3-months, and 1 year post-deployment.

      Findings:

      • OEF/OIF Veterans report concerns about exposure to multiple potentially toxic environmental exposures while deployed.
      • Both PTSD and Chronic Multisymptom illness are associated with increased mental, physical, and emergency room health care use.

      Products:

      • McAndrew L, Teichman R, Osinubi O, Jasien J, Quigley Q. (In Press). Environmental Exposure and Health of OEF/OIF Veterans. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
      • McAndrew LM, D'Andrea EA, Engel C, Yen C, Batorsky B, and Ackerman AJ,; Quigley , KS. (2012). Prospective Longitudinal Study of Health Care Utilization among OEF/OIF Service Members with PTSD and Chronic Multisymptom Illness. HSR&D National Conference.
    • Welcome Home 2010: Factors Associated with Treatment Utilization among Returning Service Members (DC)

      Principal Investigator: Richard Amdur, PhD, Kelly McCoy, PsyD

      This study aims to investigate mental health symptoms, treatment utilization, perceptions of stigma and attitudes toward VA health care in OEF/OIF/OND Veterans recently separated from active duty. Data was collected at a 2010 Welcome Home event, and chart reviews of VA treatment utilization were completed one year later. The research team is currently analyzing data and drafting a report of the findings.

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Gulf War Veterans

  • Autonomic Functions of Gulf War Veterans with Unexplained Illness (DC)

    Principal Investigator: Mian Li, MD, PhD

    This population-based clinical study is a VA Merit Review funded study designed to identify clinical autonomic disorders among deployed Gulf War 1 Veterans with a cluster of specific neurological symptoms. The specific parameters of autonomic testing for this study were: a) Heart Rate Variability (HRV), b) Responses to Tilt Table Test, c) Quantitative sensory threshold, and d) Quantitative sweat responses. We compared the autonomic testing results from these ill Gulf War Veterans to deployed controls to determine if neurological symptoms are associated with abnormal testing of autonomic nervous system. Recruitment and data analyses are complete. Results have been published.

    Product:

  • Examination of Cognitive Fatigue in Gulf War Illness Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NJ)

    Principal Investigator: Glenn Wylie, DPhil

    Funding source: Gulf War Merit Review

    Statement of Problem: Fatigue is a serious and potentially disabling symptom of Gulf War Illness (GWI). Current estimates from the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illnesses are that 25% of all Gulf veterans (GVs) have GWI with fatigue being a primary symptom. The importance of gaining a better understanding of fatigue is illustrated by the fact that a primary complaint of those reporting chronic fatigue is that their fatigue is worsened by the physical and cognitive demands of daily life resulting in a significant number of military personnel that are no longer able to perform their duties. It is precisely this fatigue that is exacerbated by mental and physical demands of the day—cognitive fatigue—that has remained understudied and that is the focus of the current proposal.

    Goal of Study: The overall objective of this study is to establish the network of brain areas underlying cognitive fatigue in persons with GWI. This will be done by looking at cognitive fatigue as a trait of GWI, and by looking at cognitive fatigue as a state that individuals with GWI are more prone to than healthy veteran controls. Aims of the current study are: 1)To establish fMRI as an objective measure of cognitive fatigue in GVs with GWI. 2)To examine the relationship between the objective measure of cognitive fatigue with valid self-report measures of fatigue. 3)To use Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) methods to determine both whether white matter tract integrity differs between veterans with GWI and healthy veteran controls, and whether these differences are related to functional brain imaging and self-report fatigue outcomes.

    Status: Pre-start-up

  • Motor Neuron Function of Gulf War Veterans with Excessive Fatigue (DC)

    Principal Investigator: Mian Li, MD, PhD

    This study is a VA Merit Review funded innovative pilot study to use a biological marker to assess the neurodegeneration in Gulf War 1 Veterans with a cluster of specific neurological symptoms by a neurophysiologic method called “Motor Unit Number Estimation”. The primary objective is to compare the motor unit number estimates of deployed ill Gulf War Veterans with a specific set of neuromuscular symptoms to deployed controls. The secondary objective is to compare mitochondrial function of ill Gulf War Veterans to controls.

  • Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) for the Treatment of Chronic Pain in Gulf War I Veterans (CA)

    Principal Investigator: J. Wesson Ashford, MD, PhD

    Co-Investigators: Maheen Adamson, PhD, Ansgar Furst, PhD, and Allyson Rosen, PhD

    This study is a Merit Review funded project to determine if repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS, FDA approved for treating depression) will benefit Veterans of the first Gulf War who have chronic pain. This treatment has shown benefits for several types of similar pain problems. This project will evaluate the efficacy, safety, durability of benefits and cost-effectiveness of rTMS in the rehabilitation of Veterans with chronic pain in the context of multiple GWI symptoms. Care will be taken to account for common conditions associated with GWI, including fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, dermatologic problems, respiratory problems, cognitive dysfunction, depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and PTSD. It is the intent of this study to determine if the newly FDA-approved treatment for depression, rTMS, may have some benefit to patients with GWI. The data from this study could be used to inform further research in this area.

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Vietnam Veterans

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

    • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in Vietnam Veterans with PTSD (CA)
      Principal Investigator: Jerome Yesavage, MD
      Co-Investigator: Lisa M. Kinoshita, PhD and Maheen M. Adamson, PhD

      This project is an extension of a Merit Review project examining PTSD and sleep apnea in Vietnam Veterans. Researchers associated with the WRIISC are further evaluating the histories of the participating Veterans for TBI. This project will estimate the incidence of TBI in Vietnam Veterans with PTSD.

  • Women's Health Studies

    • CSP 579, Health Views: Health of Vietnam Era Veteran Women's Study (DC)

      Principal Investigator: Kathy Magruder MPH, PhD, Han Kang PhD, and Amy Kilbourne PhD (Matthew Reinhard PsyD Co-investigator)

      The VA CSP No. 579 Health ViEWS study represents the most comprehensive examination of a group of women Vietnam Era Veterans to date. This study was designed to evaluate the long-term mental and physical health effects of military service during the Vietnam Era (July 4, 1965 - March 28, 1973) in women. Results are being analyzed and manuscripts are being prepared for submission. For questions regarding this study, please contact Dr. Matthew Reinhard at 202-745-8249.

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Other Veteran Studies

  • Cognition

    • Neurocorrelates of Cognition in Veterans Seen by the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC)(CA)

      Principal Investigator: Maheen M. Adamson, PhD

      Co-investigator: Keith Main, PhD

      This project is collecting structural brain data (including Diffusion Tensor Imaging), functional brain data (including task-related and resting state fMRI pilot data on working memory, emotional-regulation, and memory tasks) in Veterans that participate in the clinical WRIISC program and non Veteran subjects in the community. We would like to establish research based protocols that will help provide answers to the complex problems our Veterans face (such as PTSD & TBI) and help focus research questions for future grants. We are also collaborating with Santa Clara Brain Injury Center for this study.

    • PTSD, Sleep-Disordered Breathing and APOE Genotype: Effects on Cognition (CA)

      Principal Investigator: Jerome Yesavage, MD

      Co-Investigator: Lisa Kinoshita, PhD

      The study objective is to examine whether sleep-disordered breathing, APOE status, increasing age and their interactions will predict rate of cognitive decline in veterans who have PTSD, a population already at risk for cognitive deficits.

    • Age Associated Cognitive Decline in Aircraft-Pilot Performance (CA)

      Principal Investigator: Jerome Yesavage, MD

      Co-Investigator: Joy L. Taylor, PhD

      The Aviation Safety Laboratory was established in 1983 primarily to test the adverse effects of various drugs and medications of pilots' performance. Over the past decade we have tested such effects using compounds such as marijuana, alcohol and nicotine. Studies have been funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, the National Institute of Aging and private industry. Most recently we are funded by the National Institute of Aging to examine the effects of age on pilot performance. This study is being conducted to shed light upon the "Age-60 Rule". This controversial FAA rule requires the retirement from pilot-in-command duties of air-transport pilots when they reach age 60.

    • Neural correlates of Decision Making in Older Pilots (CA)

      Principal Investigator: Maheen M. Adamson, PhD

      Co-Investigator: Anna-Clara Milazzo, PhD

      This project evaluates the role of age-related changes in the frontal brain network on decision-making during performance of a real-world skilled task: a pilot's crucial decision to land or not under difficult weather conditions. The project is currently using a novel landing decision task that simulates real-world risk-taking to evaluate the relationship between the 'aging' frontal brain network and risky decision making. We are also seeking to examine subcortical regions as mediators of the association between frontal network activity and risky decision-making in older pilots.

    • Eye movements During Landing Decisions Made by Aging Pilots (CA)

      Principal Investigators: Maheen M. Adamson, PhD and Quinn Kennedy, PhD

      The long-term goal of Dr. Yesavage's longitudinal aviator project is to track age-related changes in flight performance among pilots, and to determine moderators and mediators of age-related decline in flight performance, such as flight expertise, cognitive ability, and attention allocation strategy. This project adds the eyetracking technology to detect age and/or flight expertise differences in attention allocation strategies during simulated aviation decision making tasks.

    • Screening for Memory Studies (CA)

      Principal Investigator: J. Wesson Ashford, MD, PhD

      The purpose of this protocol is to advertise, recruit, and do a preliminary screen for various clinical trials. Information collected will be entered in a database available to researchers connected with the Stanford/VA Aging Clinical Research Center, located at VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto Division.

  • Complementary and Integrative Medicine

    • A Pilot Study of the Integrative Healthcare and Wellness (IHW) Program (DC)

      Principal Investigator: Amanda Hull, PhD

      Background:The WRIISC Integrative Healthcare and Wellness (IHW) Program is a comprehensive complementary and alternative medicine clinic. The goal of this pilot study wasis to systematically evaluate patient outcomes and satisfaction for those enrolled in the IHW Program.

      Purpose: The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether physical and mental health outcomes improve for Veterans enrolled in the IHW Program and to see if these Veterans are satisfied with their care. A secondary goal was to use the pilot results to design a well-controlled intervention study. Veterans were administered clinical questionnaires at baseline (before participation in the Program) and at 4, 8, and 12 weeks from baseline; and 6, 9, and 12 months from baseline. Results from this study are being used to provide clinicians and researchers with a better understanding of the mental and physical health outcomes and patient satisfaction for Veterans enrolled in the IHW Program.

      Products:

      • Hull, A., Brooks Holliday, S., Eickhoff, C., & Reinhard, M. (submitted). The Integrative Health and Wellness (IHW) Program: Development and utilization of a complementary and alternative medicine clinic for veterans. Medical Care.
      • Brooks Holliday, S., Hull, A., Lockwood, C., Eickhoff, C., Sullivan, P., & Reinhard, M. (submitted). Physical health, mental health, and utilization of complementary and integrative services among Gulf War veterans. Medical Care.
      • Hull, A., Brooks Holliday, S., Jecmen, M., Allen, N., & Reinhard, M. (accepted). Integrative Healthcare and Wellness (IHW) Program: Baseline characteristics of a veteran sample. International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine & Health.
      • Brooks Holliday, S., Hull, A., Eickhoff, C., Sullivan, P., & Reinhard, M. (accepted). OEF/OIF/OND veteran participation in an Integrative Healthcare and Wellness Program. International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine & Health.
      • Brooks Holliday, S., Hull, A., Eickhoff, C., Sullivan, P., & Reinhard, M. (accepted). Physical health, mental health, and utilization of complementary and integrative services among Gulf War Veterans. International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine & Health.
      • Hull, A., Reinhard, M., Jecmen, M., Akhter, J., Duncan, A., & Soltes, K. (May, 2013). A Pilot Study of the Integrative Healthcare and Wellness (IHW) Program. Poster session presented at 2013 DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center Research Week, Washington, DC.
      • Hull, A. (2012, October). A pilot study of the Integrative Healthcare and Wellness (IHW) Program: a postdoctoral fellowship project. Poster session presented at the 2012 International Congress for Educators in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Washington, DC.
    • Yoga and Mind/Body Therapies for Treatment of War Related Illnesses and Injuries (CA)

      Principal Investigator: Louise Mahoney, MS

      Pilot project looking at stress disorders, chronic pain, functional ability, sleep, and fatigue. These are common complaints of post-deployment Veterans and traditional medical treatments have not provided long-term relief for many. This pilot project determined the feasibility and benefits of a mind/body therapy program in the VA setting and continues to collect data to determine best areas to pursue in future controlled studies.

    • Qigong for Symptom Management and Function in Veterans with Fatiguing Illnesses (NJ)

      Principal Investigator: Anna Rusiewicz, PhD, MS

      Statement of Problem: Veterans seen at the WRIISC report higher than expected levels of pain and fatigue. Treatments recommendations for pain and fatigue often include exercise, but these Veterans report difficulty implementing standard exercise programs.

      Goal of Study: The purpose of this study is to compare the effect of two types of physical exercise on the quality of life and health of veterans with chronic multisymptom illness (CMI). The two types of physical exercise will be Standard Exercise and Qigong. Qigong is an ancient form of exercise that is the foundation for tai chi and other forms of martial arts.

      This study is currently on hold.

  • Mood Disorders

    • Affect Recognition and Memory for Facial Expressions in Combat PTSD (DC)

      Principal Investigators: Barbara Schwartz,PhD, Kelly McCarron, PsyD

      Purpose: The primary objective of this study was to assess whether Veterans with combat PTSD display deficits in perceiving and remembering the emotional expressions of other people. The study also explored the relationships between emotion perception, PTSD symptoms clusters, and perceived social support in daily life. Data collection is complete, and results are being analyzed. For more details on this study, please contact Dr. Kelly McCarron at 202-745-8000.

    • Bipolar I Disorder (CA)

      Principal Investigator: Trisha Suppes, MD, PhD

      This study is designed to evaluate the efficacy of lurasidone compared with placebo in preventing recurrence of affective symptoms (mania, mixed mania, hypomania and depression) in subjects with bipolar disorder I who have demonstrated a stable response to acute treatment with lurasidone in combination with either lithium or divalproex.

    • A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Ziprasidone in Bipolar Disorder with Comorbid Lifetime Panic or Generalized Anxiety Disorder (CA)

      Principal Investigator: Trisha Suppes, MD, PhD

      The objective of this study is to evaluate functional outcomes for persons with a current diagnosis of bipolar disorder (BDI, BDII, or BDNOS) with co-morbid lifetime panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder and current at least moderately severe anxiety treated with ziprasidone monotherapy in comparison to placebo.

    • Bipolar Depression: Lithium, SSRI or the Combination (CA)

      Principal Investigator: Trisha Suppes, MD, PhD

      The objective of this study is to conduct a multi-institutional collaborative research project to investigate the impact of mood stabilizer monotherapy, antidepressant monotherapy and mood stabilizer/antidepressant combination therapy in treating bipolar II depression.

    • Divalproex and Placebo, Lithium, or Quetiapine for Mania (CA)

      Principal Investigator: Trisha Suppes, MD, PhD

      The purpose of this study is to compare the use of divalproex ER plus placebo, slow release lithium cabonate, or quetiapine. This research is being conducted because some studies suggest divalproex ER may be effective in the treatment of bipolar I disorder and in combination with either lithium or quetiapine may be even more beneficial for patients with bipolar I disorder with hypomanic or manic episodes.

    • Major Depressive Disorder with Mixed Features (CA)

      Principal Investigator: Trisha Suppes, MD, PhD

      The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of lurasidone (20, 40, and 60 mg/day, flexibly dosed) compared to placebo for the treatment of subjects with major depressive disorder (MDD) with mixed features.

  • PTSD

    • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Research Study Using EEG (CA)

      Principal Investigator: Maheen M. Adamson, PhD

      Co-Investigators: Linda Isaac, PhD and Peter J. Bayley, PhD

      This project is an extension of a Neurocorrelates of cognition in Veterans seen by the WRIISC. The purpose of this study is to better understand the neurophysiological (brain electrical activity) changes that occur after PTSD. This technique may provide critical information that will inform both diagnosis and treatment of PTSD. The goal of this study is to evaluate the brain’s network of neurons in both PTSD and healthy controls.

    • PTSD, Sleep-Disordered Breathing and APOE Genotype: Effects on Cognition (CA)

      Principal Investigator: Jerome Yesavage, MD

      Co-Investigator: Lisa Kinoshita, PhD

      The study objective is to examine whether sleep-disordered breathing, APOE status, increasing age and their interactions will predict rate of cognitive decline in veterans who have PTSD, a population already at risk for cognitive deficits.

    • PTSD in Animal Models

      • Studying the Structural and Functional Effects of Fear Extinction in Rat Models for PTSD (CA)

        Principal Investigator: Jahmad Salehi, MD, PHD

        Co-Investigator: Van Dang, PhD

        In collaboration with Dr. Rene Garcia, Chairman of the French PTSD Research-Network and A professor of neurobiology at the University of Nice, France, Dr. Ahmad Salehi of WRIISC-PA continues research on the molecular mechanisms of PTSD in mouse models.

        The new results indicate that stimulation of the pre-frontal cortex-hippocampus pathway can play a significant role in forming new synapses in the hippocampus and improves the rate of fear extinction in mouse models, experiencing a traumatic experience.

        At the present time, Drs. Salehi and Dr. Dang are testing new modalities in stimulating cortical neurons to improve fear extinction in PTSD.

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

    • Social Cognition Rehabilitation in Veterans with TBI and PTSD: Intervention Development (DC)

      Principal Investigator: Kelly McCoy, PsyD

      Psychosocial functioning plays a significant role in both readjustment after brain injury and in recovery from PTSD. This intervention development project focused on establishing a treatment curriculum for TBI and PTSD that addresses the ability to process and effectively respond to the unpredictable, variable stimuli involved in social interaction. A treatment workbook was developed and is being disseminated to health care providers. Results of initial feasibility/pilot data indicate patient satisfaction with the group treatment, improved performance on objective social cognition assessment measures, and improvements in self-reported mental health and quality of life.

  • Unexplained Symptoms/Illnesses

    • Prospective Study of Functional Status in Veterans at Risk for Unexplained Illness (HEROES) (NJ)

      Principal Investigator: Lisa McAndrew, PhD

      Funding source: VA HSR&D

      Statement of Problem: The 1991 Gulf War highlighted the importance of unexplained illness and its signature feature, non-specific physical symptoms. Non-specific physical symptoms (NSPS) are a significant problem in civilian and veteran populations with patients who have significant NSPS having twice the healthcare costs. After prior wars combat veterans were especially likely to experience NSPS. Previous research on NSPS was limited by retrospective and cross-sectional designs and by primarily studying treatment seeking populations. This study addressed these methodological problems.

      Goal of Study: 1. To determine pre-deployment and immediate post-deployment factors that predict later physical health symptoms and poor functional status, 2. To improve on previous methodological problems in studies of physical health problems 3. To identify risk factors for declining post-deployment functional status and health problems, 4. To identify protective or resilience factors of post-deployment functional status and health problems.

      Status: Data analysis. The study assessed 790 National Guard and Reserve Army enlisted personnel pre-deployment, immediately post-deployment, 3-months, and 1 year post-deployment.

      Findings:

      • OEF/OIF Veterans report concerns about exposure to multiple potentially toxic environmental exposures while deployed.
      • Both PTSD and Chronic Multisymptom illness are associated with increased mental, physical, and emergency room health care use.

      Products:

      • McAndrew L, Teichman R, Osinubi O, Jasien J, Quigley Q. (In Press). Environmental Exposure and Health of OEF/OIF Veterans. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
      • McAndrew LM, D'Andrea EA, Engel C, Yen C, Batorsky B, and Ackerman AJ,; Quigley , KS. (2012). Prospective Longitudinal Study of Health Care Utilization among OEF/OIF Service Members with PTSD and Chronic Multisymptom Illness. HSR&D National Conference.
  • Unique Veteran Studies

    • Clinical Data Collection for Patients Seen in the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (CA)

      Principal Investigators: J. Wesson Ashford, MD, PhD and Maheen Adamson, PhD

      The purpose of this on-going project is to study and make recommendations regarding treatment of deployment related injuries and illnesses. One of the objectives of the WRIISC is to evaluate Veterans with multiple unexplained symptoms and/or treatment resistant symptoms and educate other health providers about war related illnesses and injuries. We collect and store data from WRIISC patients for analysis in order to provide information to clinicians treating combat veterans. Stored data includes brain scans, neuropsychological tests, and other information from the patient's clinical evaluation.

    • Cognitive and Radiological Correlates of Type 2 Diabetes Study (DC)

      Principal Investigator: Julie C. Chapman, PsyD

      Background: This study assessed the possible neurological effects of Type II Diabetes. Veterans with and without Diabetes are invited to the Washington, DC VA for assessment with cognitive tests and Diffusion Tensor Imaging, a type of MRI.

      Purpose: The goal of this VA-funded study was to utilize advanced imaging methods to identify potential early brain abnormalities in middle-aged Veterans with controlled Type II Diabetes. A second goal of this study was to examine the relationship between any brain abnormalities identified through neuroimaging with functional impairments demonstrated on neurobehavioral tests. For updates on this study, please contact Dr. Chapman at 202-745-8000.

    • Ecological Momentary Assessment Study (NJ)

      Principal Investigator: Lisa McAndrew, PhD

      Statement of Problem: Physical symptoms may make it difficult for Veterans to complete everyday tasks, such as doing laundry and socializing with friends. Conversely, Veterans who are able to maintain their daily routine may have less physical symptoms. Our goal is to better understand this relationship in order to develop new treatments and improve existing treatments.

      Goal of Study: This study seeks to understand the relationship between physical symptoms and daily behaviors in Veterans. Veterans who participate will be asked to fill out a questionnaire packet and answer questions prompted from a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) four times a day for ten days. After the ten day period, veterans will return to the center to fill out a final questionnaire packet. Results from this study will provide clinicians and researchers with a better understanding of the daily lives of Veterans.

      Status: Data analysis.

    • Role of Cerebral Blood Flow in Nausea and Motion Sickness (NJ)

      Principal Investigator: Jorge Serrador, PhD

      Funding Source: NIH/NIDCD

      Statement of Problem: Motion sickness is a problem that affects many people, including Veterans and military personnel, and can negatively impact job performance in those personnel with frequent exposure to transport (e.g., naval vessels, airplanes, tanks, Humvees, etc.). Participants come to the NJ WRIISC for an assessment of brain blood flow using a non-invasive ultrasound device while they are rotated on a special chair on loan from NASA. Results of this study are expected to help us better understand physiological mechanisms that contribute to symptoms of nausea and motion sickness. Understanding the mechanisms underlying motion sickness will allow us to develop new treatments as well as improve current treatment paradigms.

      Goal of Study: Participants come to the NJ WRIISC for an assessment of brain blood flow using a non-invasive ultrasound device while they are rotated on a special chair on loan from NASA. Results of this study are expected to help us better understand physiological mechanisms that contribute to symptoms of nausea and motion sickness. Understanding the mechanisms underlying motion sickness will allow us to develop new treatments as well as improve current treatment paradigms.

      Status: Data analysis

      Findings: Our findings show a significant decrease in brain blood flow prior to symptoms of motion sickness.

      Products: Abstracts Presented at conferences

      • Blatt M, Falvo MJ, Jasien JJ, Wood SJ and Serrador JM. Cerebral Blood Flow Decreases Prior to Nausea during Off-Vertical Axis Rotation. 7th Congress of the International Society for Autonomic Neuroscience (ISAN) and 22nd Symposium of the American Autonomic Society (AAS). Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, 12-16 Sept 2011.
      • Serrador JM, Black FO, Schlegel TT, Lipsitz LA and Wood SJ. Impaired Vestibular Function affects Orthostatic Cerebral Blood Flow Response. International Academy of Astronautics Humans in Space Symposium. April 11-15, Houston, TX, 2011.
      • Falvo M, Wood SJ, Blatt M, Deegan B, Jasien J and Serrador JM. Role of Otolith Inputs in Cerebral Blood Flow & Blood Pressure Regulation. International Academy of Astronautics Humans in Space Symposium. April 11-15, Houston, TX, 2011.
      • Serrador JM. Post Suborbital Flight Orthostatic Intolerance: A possible health concern. Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, Orlando, FL 2011.
      • Serrador JM, Falvo M, Blatt M, Deegan B, Jasien J, Wood SJ. Role of Otolith Inputs in Cerebral Blood Flow & Blood Pressure Regulation. Association for Research in Otolaryngology, Baltimore, MD, 2011.
      • Serrador JM, Falvo M, Blatt M, Jasien J, Wood SJ. Cerebral Blood Flow Decreases Prior to Nausea during Off-Vertical Axis Rotation. Eighth Symposium on the Role of the Vestibular Organs in Space Exploration, Houston, TX, 2011.