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CAF Mental Health Research

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Re: CAF Mental Health Research

Post by Paranoidandroid on Sat 21 May 2016, 02:42

I went in last week to have a brain scan done, but I believe it was just an MRI. This is great news!

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Location : Ontario
Registration date : 2016-05-07

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CAF Mental Health Research

Post by Guest on Tue 17 May 2016, 05:39

Canadian Armed Forces invests in access to brain imaging technology for mental health research
May 16, 2016 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) today announced a collaboration with The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre at an event marking an investment in brain imaging technology.  

The CAF has invested $2.65 million over a four-year period for this collaboration. Together, the organizations have entered into an agreement in which the CAF will acquire access to the state-of-the-art PET/fMRI scanner – the only one of its kind in Canada devoted entirely to brain and mental health research.

This collaboration is one of a number of CAF initiatives aimed at improving mental health services to military personnel and their families.

“Contributing to mental health research is one of the many ways the Government of Canada is demonstrating its commitment to the mental health needs of Canadian Armed Forces members and their families. This partnership is an example of how we are collaborating with our civilian counterparts to benefit our men and women in uniform.”

The Honourable Kent Hehr, Associate Minister of National Defence
“This partnership will see experts at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre and our military mental health professionals working together towards a common goal of developing a new understanding of the effects of mental illness on brain functions. I see this as a key investment in helping our Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans who are fighting to overcome mental health issues.”

General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff
“Investment in research is critical to our understanding of mental illness, and to finding new and more effective treatments. This partnership – especially our investment in the PET/fMRI system – will provide Canadian Forces Health Services with access to state-of-the-art
technology to advance mental health care for our members and veterans.”

Brigadier General H.C MacKay, Surgeon General

“The Royal and the Canadian Armed Forces share a strong dedication to the well-being of our soldiers, veterans, and their families and we are proud to be expanding our research collaboration. Mental health injuries can be extremely debilitating but this research will be a game-changer. With a better understanding of how PTSD and Operational Stress Injuries affect the brain, we aim to rewrite the stories of suffering into stories of recovery."

George Weber, President and CEO of The Royal
Quick Facts
The Positron Emission Tomography, or PET scan, identifies which parts of the brain are metabolically active using specially labeled molecules. Functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, is a technique for measuring brain activity by detecting the changes in blood oxygenation and flow that occur in response to neural activity.
The combined use of these two technologies will allow clinicians and scientists from Canadian Forces Health Services and The Royal to examine the effects of various drugs used to treat depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses on brain functions.
The research that will be conducted may lead to more personalized treatment for those suffering from mental illness including PTSD.

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811

Armed Forces to invest in brain-imaging scanner to study PTSD

The Department of National Defence will use a state-of-the-art medical imaging machine recently acquired by an Ottawa hospital to study the ways brains are altered by mental disorders, including depression and PTSD, that are associated with military service.

Kent Hehr, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, announced on Monday that the Armed Forces will spend $2.65-million over the next four years for access to the Royal Ottawa Hospital’s new PET-fMRI scanner – the only one of its kind in Canada that is devoted entirely to brain and mental-health research.

The investment comes as the scope of mental-health challenges associated with military service, particularly for soldiers who have been deployed on combat missions, is becoming widely known. Nearly one in 10 of the Canadian military personnel who took part in the war in Afghanistan are now collecting disability benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder, and a Globe and Mail investigation has found that at least 62 soldiers and veterans have taken their lives since returning from deployment to that country.

“We know that the mental health issues in our military are real and present challenges to the men and women who serve, and their families,” Mr. Hehr told the small crowd of hospital and military personnel who gathered to hear the announcement in a hospital atrium.

The $8-million PET-fMRI scanner was installed last week after a lengthy community fundraising campaign.

The additional money announced by the federal government will allow the military to conduct its own research into the ways the brains of soldiers and veterans change when they are affected by mental illness. Colonel Rakesh Jetly, the chief psychiatrist for the Canadian Forces and NATO’s first chair in mental health, will oversee the studies in collaboration with the hospital experts.

Georg Northoff, a philosopher, neuroscientist and psychiatrist who is the Canada Research Chair in Mind, Brain Imaging and Neuroethics, said the scanner will look at neuronal electrical activity as well as the bio-chemical reactions within the brains of people with mental disorders. “The beauty of this machine is that you can measure them simultaneously,” Dr. Northoff said.

The brains of people suffering from mental issues light up differently than those of the healthy population, but the images of the traumas do not look the same from one patient to the next, he said. The research will allow doctors to test which treatments are effective and to tailor them to the individual.

Soldiers and veterans are expected to be among those who will reap the most benefit from the findings.

“PTSD is such a major issue within the military,” Dr. Northoff said. “It is starting to be recognized more and more, and this is a long-term project.”

General Jonathan Vance, the Chief of Defence Staff, said the brain-imaging research that will be conducted on the PET-fMRI scanner will be a “game-changer” in how the medical community approaches illnesses such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Through access to this incredible technology, we will gain a better understanding of what is happening in the brain of those who are suffering from these psychological injuries,” Gen. Vance said.


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