The CNRM broadly involves multiple coordinated avenues to improve TBI recovery. The CNRM views a highly collaborative team approach to be of most benefit and aims to stimulate innovative research developed from the collective expertise within and among research programs. Further, the CNRM capitalizes on its unique collaborative opportunity to develop a set of six mutually reinforcing research programs among the DOD and the NIH to focus on the needs for diagnosis and treatment of service members in the National Capital Area.
Diagnostics & Imaging Program will characterize each patient's injury to optimize diagnosis and inform the plan of treatment from among the available options. Advanced neuroimaging techniques will go beyond standard imaging parameters to interpret injuries from novel combinations of structural measures, metabolic parameters, and indicators of circuitry function and dysfunction.
Biomarkers Program will identify molecules with physiological relevance or that can be used as surrogate indicators along with diagnostic and neuroimaging criteria to further improve patient assessment and personalize treatment options, when applicable.
Neuroprotection & Models Program will address ways to preserve tissue structure and function, which is especially important relative to the secondary damage in TBI. Limiting the extent of tissue damage is the primary means to preserve functional capacity.
Neuroregeneration Program will develop approaches to address damage and dysfunction that cannot be prevented. Neuroregenerative approaches will include stimulation of the repair capacity of existing neural stem and progenitor cell populations, tissue modifications to reduce environmental factors that inhibit repair, and stem cell transplantation paradigms.
Neuroplasticity Program will focus on processes that maximize function from existing neural cells as a critical component of promoting recovery from TBI. Neuroplasticity studies will also assist the development of neuroregenerative strategies since newly generated cells must establish the appropriate neuron-glial interactions and/or integrate into the appropriate circuitry to contribute to the recovery of function.
Rehabilitation & Evaluation Program will develop strategies to more accurately characterize the injury progression across the spectrum of TBI and will apply rehabilitative medicine approaches to then intervene to prevent disability and enhance functional capacity on an individual basis.
Active Clinical Studies - are developing more effective assessments across the continuum of TBI and PTSD, advancing neuroimaging to "see the injury," and testing treatment strategies for TBI and PTSD patients.