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Monday, August 17, 2015

VA Establishes Nation’s First “Brain Bank”

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental disorder and a major health concern for veterans. In 2013 alone, 533,720 veterans with a diagnosis of PTSD were treated at VA medical facilities, and this figure has continued to increase over the past two years.

In order to further understand and better treat this prevalent condition, the VA National Center for PTSD has established the nation’s first brain tissue repository (or ‘brain bank’) to research the causes, progression, and treatment of PTSD in veterans.

Veterans who volunteer to participate in the brain bank agree to donate their brain and other body tissues after they die. This donated tissue, in addition to the veteran’s health history, will be used to further understand PTSD. Researchers hope to find potential indicators of who might be more likely to suffer from PTSD as well as how the brain responds to the illness and its various treatments. They also hope that this information will lead to new, more effective treatments.

The brain bank is seeking veterans both with and without PTSD to volunteer for participation in order to create a study group and a control group to compare the effects of stress, trauma, and PTSD on brain tissue. In addition to donating their tissues after they die, participants will have their health monitored throughout their life. Since this research will be an ongoing, long-term program, you yourself may not directly benefit from participating, however, your willingness to volunteer may help reduce the impact that PTSD has on our veterans in the future.


If you are interested in participating in the brain bank, call 1-800-762-6609 or go to www.research.va.gov/programs/tissue_banking/PTSDdefault.cfm.

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