Volunteer for Research at NJ WRIISC - War Related Illness and Injury Study Center
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War Related Illness and Injury Study Center

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Volunteer for Research at NJ WRIISC

To Participate

Currently, the WRIISC has several important research studies for Veterans of the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, as well as other studies that are not deployment specific. These studies focus on airborne exposures, cognitive fatigue, physical fatigue, mild traumatic brain injury, among others. For more information on research studies at the WRIISC, please call 1-800-248-8005 and ask to speak to a Research Assistant.

    Open to Gulf War Veterans

    Gulf War StudiesIt has been 25 years and many Veterans who deployed to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm are still suffering from Gulf War Illness. There is a need to better understand Gulf War Illness and how to best treat it.

    The Veterans Affairs War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC) is focused on addressing Gulf War Illness. Our goal is to understand what might be underlying the symptoms as well as developing and testing treatments that will help those suffering from Gulf War Illness.

    To help achieve this goal, we are currently performing several research studies at the WRIISC and are partnering with top scientists from many institutions including Johns Hopkins and Harvard.

    How can you help?

    Become familiar with the research we are conducting. If you are a Veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, we need your help as a volunteer to be part of research. We need both Veterans who are suffering with Gulf War Illness as well as those who do not have Gulf War Illness. We are asking for the help of all Gulf War Veterans.

    For more information about these studies, please contact us at 1-800-248-8005.

    • Collaborative Specialty Care for Gulf War Illness

      Principal Investigator: Lisa McAndrew, PhD

      Description of study purpose and goals: We are conducting a research study to learn whether or not collaborative care among specialty providers can improve the health and quality of care that Gulf War Veterans receive. We are recruiting Veterans who served in the first Gulf War and experience symptoms of Gulf War Illness, like chronic pain, fatigue, trouble concentrating, etc. Veterans must have a VA health care provider at any VA health care facility throughout the United States. If you qualify and choose to take part in the study, you will be asked to do the following: complete 3 packets of questionnaires at different time points over a period of approximately 9 months. Receive either Problem-solving Treatment and Health Coaching and pain medication management from specialty providers OR treatment recommendations that will be provided to you and your primary care provider.

      Flyer

      Who can take part?:We are seeking Veterans who served in the Gulf War and who are currently enrolled in the VA Health Care System. We are enrolling Veterans from anywhere in the U.S., and Veterans can participate in the study in-person or completely remotely.

      To participate: Call 1-800-248-8005 and indicate interest in the "Symptom Clinic Study"

    • Predictors of Response to Insomnia Treatments for Gulf War Veterans

      Principal Investigator: Anays Sotolongo, MD

      Description of study purpose and goals: Randomized, parallel group study for Gulf War Veterans experiencing insomnia to compare the efficacy of Cognitive Therapy and Sleep Restriction Therapy in treating insomnia in Gulf War Veterans.

      Who can take part?: Gulf War Veterans who have had difficulty sleeping, or insomnia, for at least 3 months, and who are interested in participating in the VA’s CBT-I (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia) Program. If you are found eligible and choose to participate, you will be enrolled in an experiment comparing the efficacy of Cognitive Therapy and Sleep Restriction Therapy in treating insomnia in Gulf War Veterans. Participants will undergo an initial screening procedure, 6 treatment visits, and 1 follow up visit over 32 weeks.

      Flyer

      To participate: Call 1-800-248-8005 or Email: wriisc.nj@va.gov and ask for the "Gulf War Insomnia Study."

    • Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Gulf War Illness

      Principal Investigator: Michael J. Falvo, PhD

      Description of study purpose and goals: The purpose of the study is to determine if mitochondrial dysfunction is the main component of Gulf War Illness, due to essential role of mitochondria in energy production. Veterans will participate in at least one visit where they complete questionnaires and provide one blood sample (about 3-4 tablespoons). A Select number of veterans may be asked to make 2 more visits (at 6 weeks and at 12 weeks after the initial visit) to repeat the procedures.

      Who can take part?: Gulf War Era (deployed and non-deployed)

      Flyer

      To participate: Call 1-800-248-8005 or Email: wriisc.nj@va.gov and ask for the "Mitochondria Study."

    • Examining Sources Delayed Onset Physical Fatigue after Exercise in Gulf war Illness

      Principal Investigator: Michael J. Falvo, PhD

      Description of study purpose and goals: Veterans with Gulf War Illness commonly report symptoms that span several different body systems. These symptoms (especially fatigue) tend to be made worse after a bout of  exercise, or some kind ofstrenuous exertion. The goal of this study is to understand the source of symptoms in those different body systems. This study involves neuroimaging (MRI) and ultrasound techniques to examine different aspects of a Veteran’s nervous system and immune function and how those functions are affected by exercise.

      Who can take part?: Gulf War Veterans.

      Flyer.

      To participate: Call 1-800-248-8005 or Email: wriisc.nj@va.gov and ask for the "Gulf War Illness Brain Study."

    Open to Other Veterans

    Gulf War StudiesThe War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC) in East Orange, NJ is currently conducting studies to understand the symptoms and conditions in veterans that were caused by combat participation or during deployment. We also have studies to develop or modify treatments for these symptoms or conditions.

    An example of some the conditions that we study include chronic fatigue, chronic pain, cognitive difficulties, sleep issues, dizziness, difficulty breathing, and gastrointestinal problems. Subjects who participate in our research contribute to the future care of our veterans.

    To help achieve this goal, we are currently performing several research studies at the WRIISC and are partnering with top scientists from many institutions including Johns Hopkins and Harvard.

    For more information about these studies, please contact us at 1-800-248-8005.

        • Pulmonary Vascular Dysfunction after Deployment-Related Exposures

          Principal Investigator: Michael Falvo, PhD

          Description of study purpose and goals: Veterans exposed to burning trash, dust, sand, and air pollution during deployment have reported difficulties breathing and exercising. For some veterans, the results of traditional breathing tests come back normal, despite continuing to experience symptoms. The purpose of this study is to better understand what contributes to these symptoms, even if traditional breathing tests are found to be normal. This study will require one to three visits to our research center, each visit will last about 2-3 hours.

          Who can take part?: OEF/OIF/OND Veterans

          Flyer.

          To participate: Call 1-800-248-8005 or Email: wriisc.nj@va.gov and ask for the "Pulmonary Vascular Study."

        • Health Coaching for Chronic Multi-symptom Illness (CMI)

          Principal Investigator: Lisa McAndrew, PhD

          Description of study purpose and goals: Chronic pain is one of the most common healthcare issues that Veterans face. We are conducting a study where we hope to learn whether a remote-delivered health coaching intervention will reduce disability and impairment caused by chronic pain compared to receiving attentional control. Veterans who qualify and choose to take part in the study will receive 12, ~1 hour remote-delivered sessions of either Health Coaching Treatment or Attentional Control with a Study Provider and complete 4 questionnaire packets over a 6-month period.

          Who can take part?: We are seeking Veterans who experience chronic pain, such as muscle/joint pain or widespread pain. We are enrolling Veterans from anywhere in the U.S., and Veterans can participate in the study in-person or completely remotely.

          Flyer.

          To participate: Call 1-800-248-8005 and indicate interest in the "Health Coaching CMI Study".

        • Health Coaching for Chronic Multi-symptom Illness – Click here for study documents
          1. Health Coaching Research Study Flyer
        • Suicide Prevention for Patients with Chronic Pain

          Principal Investigator: Lisa McAndrew, PhD

          Description of study purpose and goals: Chronic pain is one of the most common healthcare issues that Veterans face. We are conducting a study where we hope to learn whether a remote-delivered problem-solving treatment will reduce disability and impairment caused by chronic pain and feelings of self-harm compared to receiving attentional control. Veterans who qualify and choose to take part in the study will receive 12, ~1 hour remote-delivered sessions of either Problem-Solving Treatment or Attentional Control with a Study Provider and complete 4 questionnaire packets over a 6-month period.

          Who can take part?: We are seeking Veterans who experience chronic pain, such as muscle/joint pain or widespread pain and thoughts of self-harm. We are enrolling Veterans from anywhere in the U.S., and Veterans can participate in the study in-person or completely remotely.

          Flyer.

          To participate:Call 1-800-248-8005 and indicate interest in the "PST Hope Study".

        • Suicide Prevention for Patients with Chronic Pain –
          1. Click here for Veteran study documents
          2. Click here for Support Person study documents