Deployment Trauma: Insights from the TRACTS Cohort of the Effects of mTBI and Blast Exposure in OEF/OIF Veterans
Regina McGlinchey is a Supervisory Health Scientist at the VA Boston Healthcare System and Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is the Principle Investigator and Director of the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development National Center for Traumatic Brain Injury Research called the “Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders” (TRACTS). She and her team of TRACTS collaborators are working toward the development of innovations in the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury and in understanding the impact of deployment-related trauma on the physical and mental health of military Service Members and Veterans. The research conducted at TRACTS includes a comprehensive longitudinal evaluation of over 500 OEF/OIF/OND Veterans that encompasses assessment of physical health (cardiovascular health, GWAS, neuro-steriod/endocrine function), neuropsychological and clinical/psychiatric function, lifetime assessment of brain injury, and innovative structural and functional neuroimaging. TRACTS investigators have begun to uncover clinical phenotypes that may represent syndromic conditions in Veterans that are associated with long-term functional disability, as well as evidence of long-lasting alterations to the brain’s white matter and functional connectivity, regardless of whether the exposure resulted in a classically defined traumatic brain injury.