EDMONTON, Nov. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, and the Honourable
Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, highlighted the Harper
Government's support for research that will benefit Canadian Armed
Forces personnel and Veterans who suffer concussions in combat or
experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
"Our Government is committed to promoting injury prevention and helping
improve the care and recovery of Canadians who suffer injuries," said
Minister Ambrose. "In light of Remembrance Day, I am pleased to say
that we are supporting research focused on improving the health of the
brave Canadian men and women who have been injured in their service to
our great country."
The Government recently funded three research projects that will advance
our understanding of mild traumatic brain injuries, more commonly known
as concussions, suffered by soldiers in military operations as the
result of exposure to the blast force of explosive devices.
Dr. Yu Tian Wang at the University of British Columbia will study the
biological changes that take place in the brain following an injury
induced by an explosive device and test whether a new drug can restore
brain cells affected by this kind of trauma.
Dr. Ibolja Cernak at the University of Alberta will look for a link
between cerebellum damage and the chronic balance, memory and behaviour
problems resulting from exposure to a blast.
Dr. Andrew Baker at St. Michael's Hospital will develop a blood-based
test to determine whether an individual exposed to a primary blast has
endured mild traumatic brain injury.
These projects will produce new tools and treatments to better diagnose
and treat concussions. They will also help better understand the
long-term effects of these injuries and ultimately improve the care of
Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans.
The projects are funded through a partnership between the Canadian
Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Defence Research and
Development Canada, an agency of the Department of National Defence.
They are among 19 concussion research projects announced by Minister
Ambrose on November 4, 2013, representing a total investment by the
Government of $4.3M.
"Supporting the health, well-being and care of Canada's Veterans is a
responsibility that our Government takes very seriously," said Minister
Fantino. "Our men and women who have served in uniform put themselves
on the line to defend us. It's only fitting that we work to gather
cutting-edge information to ensure that injured Veterans can get the
medical support that they deserve."
PTSD is another serious health concern for Canadian Armed Forces
personnel and Veterans. It carries substantial health, personal and
societal costs. However, effective treatments are available.
The Government is helping provide Canadian Veterans with greater access
to an effective PTSD therapy. Through CIHR, the Government is
supporting a research project that involves a partnership between a
researcher and expert in psychotherapy for PTSD at Ryerson University
in Toronto and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). Together they have
trained mental health professionals working in VAC's operational stress
injury clinics across the country to provide cognitive processing
therapy, a type of psychotherapy that has proven to be highly effective
in treating PTSD. The project will assess the skills of the mental
health professionals in delivering the therapy and its impact on the
symptoms of Veterans accessing this therapy through the clinics.
This project is one of several funded through CIHR that specifically
focus on helping Canadian Armed Forces personnel and Veterans and their
families overcome the challenges of PTSD. The funding for this work is
part of an overall investment of $10.2M in research related to the
prevention, diagnosis and treatment of PTSD since 2006.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's
mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its
translation into improved health, more effective health services and
products, and a strengthened health care system for Canadians. Composed
of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than
14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada.
SOURCE: Canadian Institutes of Health Research
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health
Canadian Institutes of Health Research