Polytrauma Fellowship Seminar Series

Previous VA Polytrauma Talks 2022

March 2022

The March 2022, VA Polytrauma Fellowship Seminar featured Dr. Megan Moore, Associate Professor in Direct Practice in the School of Social Work and Core Faculty at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Washington. Dr. Moore's talk was titled "Disparities in Traumatic Brain Injury Care.

The talk focused on developing strategies to reduce disparities in traumatic brain injury (TBI) care and outcomes from a life course and social justice perspective.

The underlying causes of disparities in TBI care are complex, but include genetics, access and quality of care, language barriers, health behaviors, environmental factors (e.g., exposure to toxins, poor air quality) community resources and limitations (e.g., including poverty, lack of access to healthy foods, violence, and lack of social support). 

February 2022

The February 2022, VA Polytrauma Fellowship Seminar featured Dr. John P. Coetzee, Postdoctoral Scholar in Psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Dr. Coetzee's talk was titled "Brain Aging and Traumatic Brain Injury."

The talk focused on people with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) as they are at increased risk for developing dementia and tend to develop dementia at earlier ages than the general population. While the source of this increased vulnerability is not well understood, there is evidence that it may involve accelerated aging processes in the brain.Dr. Coetzee reviewed the evidence for a connection between heightened dementia risk in TBI, and accelerated aging in the brains of TBI patients, and will consider whether these processes can be measured effectively by applying brain age algorithms to structural MRI scans, a procedure which may eventually allow us to identify individuals at heightened risk in order to target them for early interventions.

Previous VA Polytrauma Talks 2021

December 2021

The December 2021, VA Polytrauma Fellowship Seminar featured Dr.  Dawn Neumann, PhD from the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital. 

Dr. Neuman's talk was titled "Negative Attributions and Anger after Brain Injury: Risk Factors, Assessment, and Early Efficacy of a New Intervention." 

The presentation reviewed a series of studies examining negative attributions after traumatic brain injury (TBI), including relationships with anger and aggression after TBI; negative attribution bias (e.g., severity of attributions is disproportionate to situation); risk factors for negative attributions after TBI; and assessment tools for evaluating negative attributions after TBI.  Dr. Neumann then presented fresults rom a study that explored the early efficacy of an intervention that teaches participants with TBI perspective-taking skills to reduce negative attributions, and the effect of this intervention on anger and aggression.

November 2021

The November 2021, VA Polytrauma Fellowship Seminar featured Dr.  Marc A Silva, PhD from the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital. 

Dr. Silva's talk excellent talk covered:

1. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

2. The characteristics of OSA

3. Frontline and alternative OSA treatments

4. The health benefits OSA treatment

5. Define persistent airway pressure (PAP) adherence and identify rates of nonadherence in veterans with TBI

6. Demonstrate awareness of interventions designed to improve OSA treatment adherence

October 2021

The October 2021, VA Polytrauma Fellowship Seminar featured Flora Hammond, MD from the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Dr. Hammond talk was titled  "Evidence-based Management of Brain Injury Irritability and Aggression" a copy of her slides are available to download. Her excellent talk covered identifying:

  1. Factors believed to contribute to irritability and aggression after TBI
  2. Pharmacologic interventions that may reduce irritability and aggression following TBI
  3. Non-pharmacologic interventions that may reduce irritability and aggression following TBI

September 2021

The September 2021 Polytrauma Seminar featured Dr. Kirsten Cherian and Dr. John Coetzee with a  talk titled "Safety Profile Study of Ibogaine for Treating Chronic TBI Symptoms."

They presented on a study that they are currently conducting: An observational pre-post study evaluating safety of a naturally occurring psychoactive compound of the tabernanthe iboga plant.

The focus of the study is on individuals with a history of TBI, particularly Special Operations Veterans who have had multiple blast exposures.

Many Special Operations Veterans experience a plethora of health and psychiatric difficulties following their service. Many of them have not received benefit from the treatments available to them.

Ibogaine has shown promise in facilitating significant improvement in multiple symptoms including cognitive, psychological, and physical. They are working to identify a safety profile for this substance, that is currently Schedule 1 in the US, through psychological and neuropsychological testing, and functional imaging.