These are challenging times as 2020 is evolving into a very different year than any of us expected. We are living in a fearful world; and, as the coronavirus continues to spread, we are changing how we eat, shop, access healthcare and work. As we worry about physical contact, we are also changing how we interact with family, friends and our communities. I’d like to assure you the health and well-being of our staff, partners, the scientific community and people with brain health concerns are a priority for us. For this reason, our staff is operating remotely to continue our critically important work in brain health, while doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As leaders in brain research for mental health, we know stress can negatively impact the brain and possibly lead to longer-term consequences. We also understand how environmental factors, with the mounting threat of COVID-19, can heighten stress, reduce sleep quality and affect our mental and physical health. For these reasons, we are ensuring that we provide information and resources to those who are most vulnerable to coronavirus stress including people who suffer from anxiety, depression post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), among others. We are also sharing preventive strategies for people who want to protect their mental health in the face of this perplexing and persistent pandemic.
We are taking steps to support those we serve by:
- Sharing insights from our own experts about how the brain reacts under stress
- Providing well-researched mental health tips and coping strategies
- Aggregating coronavirus health information and resources from trusted partners, leading experts and institutions
We are taking steps to support the research community by:
- Exploring how research organizations are adapting to virtual working environments
- Sharing novel approaches for the continuation of research while in containment
Our Brain Health Advocacy and Awareness Continues
Our Veterans Advisory Council (VAC) is activated and advocating for brain health research and funding to support future discoveries. A key focus is PTSD and traumatic brain injury, which are the invisible wounds that often underlie suicide in veterans. Sadly, as many as 22 American soldiers and veterans continue to take their own lives daily. Read further for insights from our VAC Chair Frank Larkin and member John Mulholland.
Our Work Touches the Lives of Patients and Families
Marine Veteran Tristan Wimmer, who was inspired by our brain health research, BASE jumped 22 times at Camelback Mountain in honor of his brother and other veterans who commit suicide daily. Through this effort and the widespread support from family and friends, he raised money for brain health research at Cohen Veterans Bioscience.
A Roadmap to Advance Brain Health
Our organization is leading the development, advocacy and implementation of a Brain Trauma Blueprint (BTB) to help accelerate the progression towards a new generation of precision diagnostics and targeted therapeutics for trauma-related brain disorders.
The development of the Brain Trauma Blueprint is facilitated through a series of State of the Science Summits (SOSS) fostering collaboration across a multidisciplinary stakeholder community of academia, government, industry, military and research. Thought leaders assessed the scientific landscape, identified knowledge gaps and explored new evidence-based scientific and clinical models to fill these gaps. The outcomes of this effort will be prioritized recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of brain trauma to be published later this year.
Our Work Will Move Forward
These are trying times, but with so many colleagues, partners and supporters, I am confident we will persevere and move forward with our brain health advancements.
Magali Haas, MD, PhD
CEO & President
Cohen Veterans Bioscience