U.S. Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli and ‘One Mind for Research’ to team with UC and Mayfield Clinic to address invisible wounds of war

Public discussion and reception scheduled for August 30 in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI – General Peter W. Chiarelli, former Vice Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army and CEO of One Mind for Research, has named the University of Cincinnati (UC) and affiliated institutions, including the Mayfield Clinic, as one of eight U.S. academic partners in One Mind’s promotion of collaboration and sharing in a global quest to cure brain disease and eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and brain injury.

The Seattle-based One Mind for Research, co-founded by former Congressman Patrick Kennedy and mental health advocate Garen Staglin, is an independent, non-profit organization that aligns health care providers, researchers, scholars and the healthcare industry to cure traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and other neurological conditions.

As Vice Chief of Staff for the Army, General Chiarelli, who retired in January 2012, worked to reduce suicide rates in the Army and to eliminate the stigma associated with the invisible scars left by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars’ signature wounds: traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He has proposed changing the word "disorder" in PTSD to "injury" to further reduce stigma, which prevents many service members and veterans from seeking the treatments they need. The web site www.1mind4research.org identifies the condition as post traumatic stress, or PTS.

General Chiarelli and UC and Mayfield researchers will kick off their partnership at a public discussion of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, August 30, at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. The discussion and reception are free and open to the public, but those wishing to attend are asked to make a reservation by calling (513) 792-2165.

General Chiarelli said UC and its affiliates were selected as academic partners because of "the expansive research efforts" underway at UC, the Mayfield Clinic, the UC Neuroscience Institute, UC Health’s University Hospital, the Cincinnati VA Medical Center, and the Lindner Center of HOPE. "Cincinnati also has a quiet reputation as a major financial supporter of wounded veterans," General Chiarelli said.

Other academic partners of One Mind include the Harvard University-affiliated Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Michigan Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics Department, and the Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Ga.

"The Mayfield Clinic and University of Cincinnati are honored to partner with One Mind for Research," said Mario Zuccarello, MD, the Frank H. Mayfield Professor and Chairman of the UC Department of Neurosurgery. "Our physicians and basic science researchers are deeply involved in research related to traumatic brain injury and neurological disease, and we look forward to opportunities to collaborate and share our ideas and knowledge in new ways."

Research currently underway in the UC Department of Neurosurgery includes:

  • Development of the clinical science for monitoring tiny electrical disruptions known as "brain tsunamis" that often occur after brain trauma or stroke

  • Development of a "smart sensor" that is capable of continuously monitoring multiple physiological parameters in brain tissue

  • Studies of mild traumatic brain injury, the mechanisms of second concussion syndrome, and point-of-care diagnostic methods for "concussed" athletes at or near the field

Traumatic brain injury, PTSD and depression afflict millions of people across the spectrum of life, from those injured in vehicle accidents to survivors of domestic violence to the 14 million U.S. adults who suffer from depression.¹ Each year approximately 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury, the leading cause of death and disability among people aged 16 to 45.² The suicide rate in America, at 11.5 per 100,000 population,³ has gone unchanged during the last 40 years and is the 11th leading cause of death, overall and among the top 5 in young people.

But no segment of society has paid a greater price than those serving in America's military. While TBI and PTSD emerged as the defining injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of soldiers have struggled with the invisible and often chronic aftermath of these injuries. Many have resisted treatment for fear of compromising their potential for advancement or for appearing weak.

The highest costs have been reflected in suicide statistics. During the first five months of 2012, suicides among active-duty soldiers averaged nearly one a day, the highest rate during America's 10 years of war. In 2008 and 2009, suicide totals exceeded the number of U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan.

General Chiarelli has argued that scientific knowledge about the brain’s function "is 30 to 40 years behind the rest of medical science," mostly because of cultural stigma, but also as a result of poor diagnostic tools and a lack of funding. He hopes that One Mind for Research can break through those barriers by serving as the catalyst that promotes the sharing of knowledge and ideas.

"My goal is to advance the vision of One Mind’s founders to eliminate stigma and accelerate our understanding of the last frontier of the human body – the brain – so that we can provide effective cures for those suffering and their families," General Chiarelli said.

In Los Angeles in September, One Mind will hold its first major fundraiser, hosted by Tom Hanks, General Chiarelli, David Feinberg, MD, Garen Staglin, and Patrick Kennedy.

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One Mind for Research
One Mind for Research is an independent, non-profit organization that is committed to curing diseases of the brain and eliminating the stigma and discrimination they cause.  Through collaboration with partners in science, advocacy and corporations, One Mind for Research is working to advance a 10-year plan to cure the diseases of the brain by creating change in the way scientists, health care professionals, NGO and government partners think about and conduct scientific and translational research, and by advancing mental health related public policy.

The Mayfield Clinic
The Mayfield Clinic is recognized as one of the nation's leading physician organizations for clinical care, education, and research of the spine and brain. Supported by 21 neurosurgeons, six neurointensivists, an interventional radiologist, and a pain specialist, the Clinic treats 20,000 patients from 35 states and 13 countries in a typical year. Mayfield's physicians have pioneered surgical procedures and instrumentation that have revolutionized the medical art of neurosurgery for brain tumors and neurovascular diseases and disorders.

UC Department of Neurosurgery
The University of Cincinnati Department of Neurosurgery, an affiliate of the Mayfield, is one of the leading neurosurgery residency training programs in the country, with divisions in epilepsy, functional neurosurgery, neuro-oncology, neurocritical care, pediatric, research, skull base and spine. The department provides broad-based education for medical students and residents and continuing medical education for neurosurgeons worldwide. The department supports technical, clinical, and basic science research in the neurosciences.

¹ National Institute of Mental Health
² Centers for Disease Control
³ National Institute of Mental Health

One Mind for Research

General Peter W. Chiarelli

General Peter W. Chiarelli

Join us for a public discussion of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, August 30, at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. The discussion and reception are free and open to the public, but those wishing to attend are asked to make a reservation by calling (513) 792-2165.

Download Event program (.pdf)

August 16, 2012

CONTACT: Tom Rosenberger, APR
Communications Department

Cindy Starr, MSJ
Communications Department