In August 2012, President Obama issued an Executive Order to develop a National Research Action Plan (NRAP) to address traumatic brain injury (TBI) as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions for improved prevention, diagnosis and treatment. An area of particular concern was the high prevalence of mild TBI (mTBI) among veterans of recent military conflicts, including Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF, Afghanistan), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF, Iraq), and their follow-on conflicts like Operation New Dawn (collectively OEF/OIF). A combined Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) competitive consortium grant was created and ultimately awarded to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 2014.
The mission of the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC) is to fill the gaps in knowledge about the basic science of mTBI (also termed concussion or mild TBI), determine its effects on late-life outcomes and neurodegeneration, identify service members most susceptible to these effects, and identify the most effective treatment strategies. CENC is a multi-center collaboration linking premier basic science, translational, and clinical neuroscience researchers from the DoD, VA, academic universities, and private research institutes to effectively address the scientific, diagnostic, and therapeutic ramifications of mTBI and its long-term effects.
CENC has a dedicated Knowledge Translation Center tasked with sharing CENC research results and ongoing findings with our participants as well as military and veteran health care professionals, mTBI researchers and the general public.