Office of Research & Development

Voices of VA Research Podcast Series

Long-Term Study of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Mitch Mirkin of VA Research Communication interviews Dr. William Walker, of the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium, about a major study that will enroll at least 1,100 service members and Veterans who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. The goal is to learn more about mild traumatic brain injury and how it can be best evaluated, and perhaps prevented and treated. The study aims to track the outcomes of TBI, and related health issues, for at least 20 years. (3-15-17)

Listen(9:55), Transcript

Read more: VA-Defense study aims to track mild TBI over decades

Dr. William Walker is seen with Joe Montanari, who served in the Army from 1999 –2008, including duty in Iraq.  Montanari works as a research assistant at the Richmond VA Medical Center. The TBI study led by Walker will include blood tests to check for certain genetic factors, in addition to brain scans, exams, and many other measures. (Photo by Jason Miller)

Needs of Veterans with Traumatic Upper-Limb Amputations

Mike Richman of VA Research Communications interviews Dr. Linda Resnik, a research scientist at the VA Medical Center in Providence, Rhode Island, about her study on evaluating the needs of Veterans with traumatic upper-limb amputations. She has long been researching prosthetic technologies and the outcomes for upper-limb prosthesis users at VA and Defense medical sites—and in academia. DoD is funding Dr. Resnik's study, which will be the largest and most comprehensive study of Veterans and service members with upper-limb amputations. (3-2-17)

Listen(8:18), Transcript

Read more: Study to explore needs of upper-limb amputees

Dr. Linda Resnik

Substance Use Disorders in the Veteran Population

Erica Sprey of VA Research Communications speaks with Dr. Keith Humphreys, associate director for the Veterans Health Administration's Center for Innovation to Implementation in Palo Alto, California. Dr. Humphreys is a national expert on substance use disorders. In this interview, he discusses the prevalence of substance use disorders in the Veteran population and how they differ from those in the general population. (2-9-17)

Listen(7:20), Transcript

Read more: Improving care for Veterans with substance use disorders

Dr. Keith Humphreys

Biomarkers for Gulf War illness

Mike Richman of VA Research Communications interviews Dr. Apostolos Georgopoulos, head of the Brain Sciences Center at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System, about his team's work on Gulf War illness. The group has pinpointed genetic variants that appear to make Veterans more vulnerable to the illness. They also found that a certain type of brain scan can reliably distinguish between Vets with and without the condition. (1-30-17)

Listen(5:29), Transcript

Read more: Studies point to gene-based glitches in ill Gulf War Vets

(From left) Drs. Lisa James, Brian Engdahl, and Apostolos Georgopoulos (director) are with the Brain Sciences Center at the Minneapolis VA. They are seen here next to the center's MEG scanner. (Photo by April Eilers)

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