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In 2008 – after a resurgence in Veterans health research funding and growing concerns about the effect of traumatic brain injury on the physical and mental health of combat Veterans – NCIRE convened its first The Brain at War conference.

Scientists, health care providers, military leaders, policy makers and Veterans gathered to discuss new research and emerging health needs of Veterans, including the hundreds of thousands returning home from war.

Over the years, the conference has addressed combat Veterans’ high risk of brain injury which may lead to post traumatic stress, dementia, depression, sleep disorders and heart disease as they age.

As research advanced, the conference expanded topics to include biomarkers for post traumatic stress, biological disruptions throughout the body, and innovative mental health care for Veterans and their families.

In 2012, the conference included a session on the special health care needs of women Veterans. Last year, researchers discussed new software and digital tools to retrain the brain to ward off symptoms of traumatic brain injury, and also explored the impact of brain trauma and its effect on bone repair and tissue damage.

Now in its eighth year, The Brain at War has become the leading national conference on the neurocognitive consequences of war.

While research progresses, the conference evolves. But it stays focused on its objective: sharing knowledge by a wide group of experts and leaders who together can improve the health care of our Veterans.

The Brain at War is a registered trademark of NCIRE – The Veterans Health Research Institute