The neuroscience portfolio leverages the latest scientific achievements and emerging technologies in prevention, diagnosis, and therapy to improve warfighter protection, treatment and outcomes after the nervous system injuries such as traumatic brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerve injury as well as the neuropsychologic effects of war. Diverse projects in the portfolio employ newest advances in prevention, diagnostics, therapeutics and rehabilitation from ongoing research in the academic, industry and government sectors. This portfolio is tightly coordinated with the Combat Casualty Care research program and in support of the objectives and requirements of the Defense Center of Excellence for TBI and Psychological Health.
Traumatic brain injury is considered a "signature injury" in the Global War on Terrorism. The effectiveness of modern body armor, combined with the devastating force of weapons used against the warfighter, has led to increased survivability but also concomitant increases in severe injuries to the central and peripheral nervous system. The portfolio uses multidisciplinary approaches to address disorders related to traumatic brain injury. Study of the pathophysiology of neurotrauma from the subcellular to whole body will enable the development of innovative therapies and preventive measures. Biomarkers and imaging technologies will be refined and developed to improve diagnostics and prognostics. Innovations in neuroprotection strategies, neural plasticity, regenerative medicine and materials science will enable retention or restoration of function. Advances in brain and nerve-machine interface technologies will enable the development of advanced neuroprosthetics to replace lost limbs, restore sensory function such as vision and replace damaged portions of the central and peripheral nervous system.