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As we live longer lives, we should all be concerned with the greatest human asset—our mental capacity.

Dianne Cash, BrainHealth Leadership Council

Military Service Members and the Brain

The Center for BrainHealth and Brain Performance Institute are committed to empowering one of our greatest national assets – military service members. Warrior initiatives at the Center for BrainHealth and Brain Performance Institute aim to arm veterans and current service members with the necessary tools to achieve successful, enriching and fulfilling personal and professional lives by proactively optimizing brain performance, building resilience in cognitive brain function, and reversing losses in cognitive capacity. By removing barriers and building bridges, we are helping America’s brave fighting men and women, both in and out of uniform, successfully reintegrate into civilian life and enjoy the quality of life they so courageously defend.

The Center for BrainHealth and Brain Performance Institute offer two programs specific to military service members.

Warrior Research Initiatives


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Study

The Center for BrainHealth is studying the efficacy of a novel, innovative therapeutic approach to treat veterans diagnosed with PTSD. In a study funded by the Department of Defense, the Center for BrainHealth team combined cognitive processing therapy (CPT) with magnetic stimulation therapy, repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), to reduce the symptoms associated with PTSD. The research team hypothesizes the combination of techniques will help minimize hyperemotional recall of life-threatening or fearful memories of war that disrupt post-combat everyday life. The threatening feelings once triggered are lessened by rTMS treatments and cognitive therapies during periods when patients are not overly emotional, leading to hope that patients will no longer react dysfunctionally to commonplace events. The Department of Defense awarded the Center $3 million to further this research and apply it specifically to service members returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. The study is in its final phase and only recruiting OIF/OEF veterans without a clinical or major neurological diagnosis at this time. To see if you are eligible to participate, click here.

See one veteran's experience with the PTSD study.

 

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Study and Decision Making Study

Peer-reviewed research from the Center for BrainHealth has shown that guided brain training significantly improves higher-order cognitive performance in civilian adults with traumatic brain injury. Through a Department of Defense funded grant, Center researchers implemented the cognitive training program to determine whether service members with TBI similarly benefit from the intervention through enhancement of cognitive capacity and brain function. Findings from this research were publised in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation in May 2015 and its impact shows improved cognitive performance and psychological and neural health in veterans following the strategy based training . Learn more here.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Virtual Training Study

Brain and Cognition Virtual Training Study for veterans and active duty military service members ages 19-65. Learn more.

See more about how the Center is working with veterans through TBI research.

High Performance Brain Training at the Brain Performance Institute

The Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training (or SMART) program, developed at the Center for BrainHealth, is based on more than 30 years of neuroscience research. The brain-training program equips veteran service members with an essential toolkit to become strategic learners, deeper-level thinkers and innovation generators. Outcome measures on veterans who have participated in the
high performance program show improvement in mood, improvement in trained cognitive areas as well as real-life improvement in untrained areas, including:

  • Managing finances,
  • Sustaining an active social life,
  • Maintaining a home,
  • Retaining organizational skills,
  • Successfully retaining a job.

For more information, contact Warrior Training Team member and veteran, Mike Rials at 972-883-3416 or mike.rials@utdallas.edu.

Military Spouses and Caregivers: Thanks to a partnership with La Quinta Inns & Suites we are able to offer this top-tier training to military spouses and caregivers. For more information, contact Cheryl Endres cheryl.endres@utdallas.edu or 580-284-9522.

See how the program has benefitted other warriors.