Extensive New Research on Veterans’ Brain Injuries

Last month, Misti Crane of The Columbus Dispatch reported on an Ohio-based research study funded by the Resurrecting Lives Foundation. This recently organized nonprofit has been designed to “encourage better treatment of and more research into brain injuries.” This newly funded research is being conducted by Michael L. Lipton, M.D., PhD, the associate director of the Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the director of magnetic resonance imaging for the Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

Details of Lipton’s Brain Injury Study

The study, both unique and particularly extensive, will include a total of 50 male participants. Dr. Lipton will compare and analyze 25 veterans’ injured brains with the healthy brains of 25 of their close male relatives. Among other things, he is looking to explore short-term memory, attention spans, impulsivity, post-traumatic stress, and vulnerability to related issues based on genetic predisposition and upbringing.  Given the number of veterans who have these symptoms after military service in Iraq and Afghanistan, this type of research is extremely important.

Dr. Lipton is not exclusively studying veterans who have suffered from extreme physical trauma; “[e]ven mild injuries can lead to actual brain-tissue injury and long-term problems,” he says. Though 8 out of 10 people recover from both mild and major brain injuries, this has led to minimized focus on “this miserable minority of people who will have long-term problems.”

Crane interviewed some of the participants and writes, “[Participant Mike] Strahle said Lipton is thorough and passionate about his work, and he’s eager to see what comes of the research. It’s his hope that it will lead to more identification of veterans with milder, but still significant, injuries.”

Dr. Chrisanne Gordon, the leader of the Resurrecting Lives Foundation, expects that the testing phase of this research will be complete by December 2013.  To learn more about Dr. Lipton’s research and to read more detailed stories from other veteran participants, you can find Ms. Crane’s full article from The Columbus Dispatch here.

More Information About Brain Injuries

If you want more information about traumatic brain injuries, please take a look at our blog posts on the link between brain injury and PTSD and the VA’s new rule on secondary illnesses related to traumatic brain injuries.  If you have more questions and want a free consultation with an attorney about veterans’ benefits, feel free to contact Jason Perkins or Travis Studdard by calling the phone number at the upper right of this page or completing the “Need Help” form.