Cifu to participate in Brain Injury Awareness Month Facebook Live event

In honor of Brain Injury Awareness month, CENC PI Dr. David Cifu will be taking part in a Facebook live event with VCU Health entitled: "So you’ve had a concussion or two: Am I really going to develop dementia?". The event is scheduled to occur at 1 pm ET on Thursday, March 15, 2018. Follow along with the event at the scheduled date and time here.
Abstracts now being accepted for Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS)

To submit abstracts to the 2018 MHSRS and learn more about the conference, visit https://mhsrs.amedd.army.mil/SitePages/Home.aspx. Date and location are still pending.
CENC Recommendation - Use caution when interpreting research and/or lay press claims about concussions, football, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy

In the NINDS/NIBIB consensus meeting to define histopathological criteria for diagnosing CTE, ten cases with presumed moderate-to-late stage severity CTE were examined. Of these more severe cases, 10% of the examinations by expert neuropathologists failed to diagnose CTE. In addition, 51% of the examinations were seen as having additional pathological diagnoses, such as Alzheimer's disease, hippocampal sclerosis, primary age-related tauopathy, progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple system atrophy, and other conditions. Similarly, in the presumed non-CTE tauopathies, 11% of the examinations resulted in comorbid CTE diagnoses. In our view, these findings call into question the reproducibility and validity of current histopathological diagnostic classifications.


Cifu testifies before U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services

CENC PI Dr. David Cifu testified before members of the Senate Committee on Armed Services on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 to provide an update to committee members on research, diagnosis, and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussion in Service Members. Cifu testified alongside other concussion/TBI experts from the military, VA, and civilian sectors. Watch the committee hearing here.
Cifu Provides Insight into Concussion Research and Brain Disorders

CENC PI Dr. David Cifu was featured recently in two news articles discussing the importance of research to better understand concussions and other brain disorders. The articles appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (RTD) and through VCU News. Read the RTD article here and the VCU News article here.
CENC Research Dissemination as of 31 OCT 2017

CENC Research Dissemination
Journals: American Journal of Public Health(1), American Journal of Epidemiology(1), Archives of PM&R(2), Brain(1), Brain Connectivity (1), Brain Imaging and Behavior(2), Brain Injury(9),Federal Practitioner(2), JAMA Neurology (3), Journal Head Trauma Research(2),Neurology(2), Journal Rehabilitation Research and Development(1), Journal of Neurotrauma(4), Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology (2), Frontiers of Neuroscience(2), Hearing Research(1),Neuroimaging (1), Technology and Innovation(1), Journal of Internat. Neuropsych Soc (1), Journal of Neuroimaging (1), Neurology(2), Military Medicine(1), Neurosurgery Clin. N. Am. (1)
CENC Otolith Dysfunction and Postural Stability study completes recruitment phase

Dr. Faith Akin and her team at the James H. Quillen VAMC in Mountain Home, TN officially finalized the recruitment and data gathering portion of their study in October 2017. The study’s goal was to determine the effect of inner ear balance (vestibular) dysfunction on balance, gait, and quality of life. A person’s inner ear helps keep vision steady when the body is in motion, and it also helps to maintain balance. If a person loses their inner ear function, they can experience dizziness and/or imbalance, increasing the risk of falling. Dr. Akin and her team enrolled 130 veterans to study their inner ear function. They now move onto data analysis and disseminating their findings. Way to go, Dr. Akin and team!
CENC attends VeteransAgainstAlzheimers event

Following a successful CENC Government Steering Committee meeting, researchers Dave Cifu and COL Sid Hinds participated in the VeteransAgainstAlzheimers Congressional kickoff event in Washington featuring Senator Susan Collins. Bipartisan support was clear for increasing Alzheimer's research, awareness, clinical care and caregiver supports for Veterans. CENC has pledged to collaborate to enhance Veterans involvement in research trials.
FY 17 Funding Opportunities for DoD Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (PH/TBI) Research Program and the Joint Program Committee 5/Military Operational Medicine Research Program Announced

Please visit the CDMRP website for more information. The announcement and general application instructions are anticipated to be posted to the grants.gov website in October.
McGuire VA Medical Center featured in PBS documentary

PBS released its new documentary, "Polytrauma Rehab in the VA: Compassionate Care", on September 14. It features footage and interviews from the CENC site at the McGuire VA and shines a bright light on the Richmond VA's efforts in polytrauma rehabilitation. A "World Premiere" occurred September 6 at the McGuire VA. View the full length documentary here.
Federal Interagency TBI Conference: June 2018

The fourth Federal Interagency Conference is scheduled for June 11-13, 2018, at the Washington Hilton. The last conference was held in 2011; this conference will provide an opportunity for TBI researchers to share the impressive advances in traumatic brain injury research that have occurred since the 2011 conference with providers, caregivers, and consumers.

Please visit the conference website:

Proposals for symposia are due October 13; proposals for papers and posters are due Oct. 31.
CENC PI Dr. David Cifu, MD, presents at The Answer Brewpub

On Wednesday, August 30, CENC Principal Investigator Dr. David Cifu, MD, entertained and educated local science-enthusiasts at The Answer Brewpub as he offered his expertise on PTSD during an event coordinated by SciencePubRVA. Covering a range of topics including PTSD diagnosis, prevention and treatment, Dr. Cifu captivated the audience with an interactive presentation titled “Beyond Battlefields: PTSD Research for Recovery”, which was followed by a lively Q&A session. Thanks to all who came out to learn more about this important topic!

Pictures of the event can be found here: Image 1, Image 2
Richmond CENC sites host Dr. Stuart Hoffman, PhD

On Tuesday, August 22, the CENC teams at VCU and the McGuire VA had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Stuart Hoffman, PhD, co-chair of our Government Steering Committee and Scientific Program Manager for Brain Injury, Rehabilitation Research and Development Service and Senior Scientific Advisor for Brain Injury in the Office of Research and Development for the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Hoffman met with the Dean of the VCU School of Medicine, Peter F. Buckley, M.D., toured the facilities, gave presentations about VA research to researchers at both sites and experienced a day in the life of a CENC research participant. Thanks for visiting, Dr. Hoffman!
CENC 4th Annual Network Meeting

On Friday, August 11, 2017 the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC) held its 4th Annual Meeting at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Led by Consortium Director and Principal Investigator, Dr. David X. Cifu, MD, as well as COL Sid Hinds, MD, and Dr. Rick Williams, PhD, CENC serves as the premiere comprehensive research network focused on the long-term effects of combat-related and military-relevant traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Jointly supported by the Department of Defense and the Veterans Affairs Administration through a 62.2 million dollar grant, CENC is part of President Obama’s 2009 National Research Action Plan. This year’s annual meeting was attended by 100 of the nation’s leading investigators and researchers specializing in the areas of Veteran and Service Member concussion, TBI and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Principal investigators presented their most recent findings, shared implications for clinical practice guidelines and explored future collaborations during the highly productive meeting.

Pictures of the event are available on Facebook, Twitter, and the CENC Instagram page.
Combat PTSD Conference Registration Open

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2nd Annual Combat PTSD Conference. Similar to last year, this will be a 2-day conference taking place in San Antonio, TX October 18-19, 2017. Conference topics will cover emerging outcomes and ongoing scientific research on the assessment and treatment of combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and comorbid conditions.

See flyer for additional details including information on our Rapid Poster submission.

Please visit http://www.combatPTSDconference.com for registration.
Longitudinal Study surpasses 1,000 participants

The CENC Longitudinal Study recruited its 1,000th participant this week in the study’s continued efforts to follow the long-term effects of concussion. They are well on their way to reaching their goal of 1,100 Service Members and Veterans. Congratulations to our Study 1 team, and thank you to each and every participant for dedicating their time to the study.
Coordination becomes reality as the first Service Member from Fort Gordon participates in CENC

In February, the leadership of CENC visited Eisenhower Army Medical Center located at Fort Gordon, Ga. in hopes of extending CENC’s collaborative efforts within the Department of Defense. Fort Gordon houses the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, the Army’s Signal Regiment, and various other units from each branch of the military. After several months of coordinating efforts, our first Service Member from Fort Gordon recently traveled to the CENC Study 1 site in Richmond, Va. to participate in the Longitudinal Study. Service Members from Fort Gordon have volunteered to participate in our studies at various different sites, and we are very grateful to them for their time. Their willingness to volunteer will allow our researchers to further understand concussions and better treat the nation’s Service Members and Veterans.
Richmond Study 1 Site Holds Participant Retention Event

The Longitudinal Study site located in Richmond, Va. celebrated its participants with a retention event on Friday, June 2. Participants in attendance were updated on study progress and the importance of their participation in the study, along with future directions for research. They were also able to enjoy trivia and refreshments while socializing. Many thanks to everyone who came out!
CENC Researchers Release New TBI Text

CENC's David Cifu and Blessen Eapen have brought together some of the world's best TBI researchers, clinicians, and authors, including CENC researchers Kirsty Dixon, Mike McCrea, Dan Perl, Heather Belanger, and Erin Bigler, for this just released state-of-the-art mini-text on TBI. It includes great sections on the special needs of Service Members and Veterans, concussion care, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and cutting edge research. This text was supported through the work of the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium.
Brain Injury Professional - CENC

Brain Injury Professional, vol 14, issue 1. Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium article, read here.
CENC Attends Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill

On Wednesday, March 22, COL Hinds, Alison Molitor and Lauren Nagasugi represented CENC at Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill presented by the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. Brain injury advocates from across the country attended the event to discuss the effects of brain injury, research being conducted to study it, and resources available for survivors and their families.

The day centered around an awareness fair, where attendees had the opportunity to interact with TBI survivors and families, along with other organizations dedicated to studying and improving quality of life for TBI survivors. Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), founder and co-chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, was on hand to meet with attendees and answer their questions. Guests also had the opportunity to hear from a panel of TBI experts in research, policy, programming, and advocacy. The day concluded with a reception for attendees.

The Congressional Brain Injury Task Force is designed to promote the funding of the TBI Act, as well as other brain injury research. To learn more about the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, visit https://pascrell.house.gov/issues/brain-injury-task-force.
CENC visits Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center

CENC leaders traveled to meet with leaders at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Ft. Gordon recently to discuss potential collaboration opportunities. The two are working together to send Service Members from Ft. Gordon to participate in the CENC Longitudinal Study.
CENC participants show dedication to research

CENC study participants go above and beyond in their dedication to our research. A participant who had relocated since entering the longitudinal study recently traveled across country to complete his in-person follow-up visit. While CENC covered the travel costs, the participant took several days out of his busy life so that he would not miss his scheduled assessment. Thanks to the dedication and commitment of our study participants, we are able to get important scientific data even if they move. This allows us to continue rigorously studying the lasting effects of neurotrauma and ultimately better treat our nation’s Service Members and Veterans.
Happy Holidays from CENC!

Happy holidays from all of us here at CENC! 2016 was a great year for the Consortium. All of our studies continued their successful research to better care for Veterans and Service Members with concussions. Numerous papers published and many talks (link the word papers and the word talks to presentations page) were given about the ground-breaking research of our CENC investigators. Our Longitudinal Cohort Study reached an important milestone, as they recruited their 700th participant this year. Additionally, the first CENC study to be completed – ADAPT/EVOLVE – concluded enrollment with 94 participants. We could not have done this without your support, and we look forward to a successful 2017 and beyond!
ADAPT Study Completes Recruitment

Dr. Christine Mac Donald’s ADAPT study officially finalized recruitment in August 2016. The study recruited two groups of subjects – those who sustained a concussion during deployment and those without a history of blast exposure and no diagnosis of brain injury from deployment. This study was a follow up to previous efforts that looked at Service Members who were between zero and 90 days post-concussion. Through follow up visits with a subset of those participants, Mac Donald’s goal was to investigate advanced MRI and clinical outcome measures three to five years after their initial concussion. Learn more about the study here.
Longitudinal Study Expands to Four New Sites

The CENC Longitudinal Study has added four new sites to recruit participants. VA Medical Centers at Minneapolis, Minn., Boston, Mass., and Portland, Ore. are set to begin recruitment later this year. The new site at Ft. Belvoir, Va. is actively recruiting participants now. To join a CENC Study, contact us at cenc@vcuhealth.org, or call 804-828-4230..
Dr. Cifu to participate in TBI and CTE panel with Dr. Bennet Omalu and VA Office of Health Equity

Join Consortium Director and PI of CENC, Dr. David Cifu, on June 30 from 3-4 p.m. EST, as he participates in a cyberseminar panel with Dr. Bennet Omalu, the researcher whose work inspired the 2015 movie, Concussion, and other Veterans Affairs TBI and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) experts. The panelists will focus on TBI-related morbidity and mortality amongst vulnerable Veteran groups.

For more information, and to register, click here.
Dr. Cifu and Dr. McKee speak before U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee

Dr. David Cifu, consortium director and PI of CENC, and Dr. Ann McKee, head of the CENC Neuropathology Core, participated in a roundtable discussion on concussion research and treatment in Washington, D.C. on March 14. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hosted the roundtable with experts from a variety of fields including the medical, military, athletic, and research communities. You can read more about the discussion and watch the forum here.
Longitudinal Study reaches recruitment milestones

Scientists know a great deal about what happens to a person immediately following a traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, not much is known about the effects of mild TBI (mTBI) later in life, making the CENC Longitudinal Study an important one. This study’s goal is to follow a group of Service Members who have sustained at least one mTBI and a smaller group of Service Members with no history of mTBI over the period of five years to examine the potential long-term effects of mTBI on physical and mental health.

Subject recruitment began in late 2014 and is ongoing across four sites: Richmond, Va., Tampa, Fla., Houston and San Antonio, with additions of Ft. Belvoir, Va. and Portland, Ore. planned for later in 2016. To date at the beginning of April, 345 participants have been enrolled in the study, putting the study team well on pace to reach their recruitment goal of 1,100 on time or ahead of schedule. In March of 2016, the four currently active study sites broke all previous months’ records for recruitment.

To learn how you can participate in this study, e-mail cenc@vcu.edu, and for more information on the project, please visit the Longitudinal Study webpage or the CENC Facebook page.