The US House of Representatives included $500 million for the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in an FY2010 Department of Defense (DoD) appropriations bill passed shortly before the congressional August recess.
This important appropriation, which has been pursued heavily by Academy member and Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Forum (PALF) graduate, Tesha Monteith, MD, will address all levels of brain injury and psychological health issues experienced by military members and their families after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Provisions in the appropriation include counseling to service members who live in locations that are a significant distance away from military treatment facilities, development and operation of the Defense Center of Excellence (DCoE), and funding for continued medical research and development on TBI and psychological health.
"My PALF initiative was to develop headache centers of excellence and headache research within the DOD and VA. To that end, I have spent the last year educating Congress about the need for research funding to address post-deployment headache," said Dr. Monteith. "The vast majority of disabled troops will ultimately return to communities that could be far removed from specialized headache centers. This makes the identification of local services crucial to an appropriate rehabilitation plan."
TBI and PTSD have emerged as significant issues for troops fighting in the Middle East. The DoD Appropriations bill now goes to the US Senate for consideration.
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