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Pentagon Starts Brain Bank To Study Combat Injuries

MRI of brain injury

Above: MRI of brain injury

The Department of Defense has created a brain bank to study Traumatic Brain Injury and other wounds suffered by service members.

USA Today reports the Department of Defense has teamed up with the National Institutes of Health to develop the Center for the Study of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. The brain bank is one part of the new $70 million center.

A recent study by Boston University found improvised explosive device (IED) blasts can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease, in the brains of service members. CTE has also been found in NFL players who've suffered repeated hits to the head.

Dr. Jonathan Woodson, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and Director, said of the new military brain bank:

“The whole idea is to understand not only what’s happening, but what magnitude of injury might precipitate this (brain damage) and how we might intervene.”

So far, the brain bank has only one brain. But researchers are hoping military families will be willing to donate the brains of loved ones who've served in combat.

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