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NW MIRECC -Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) Research

Current Research at VISN 20 MIRECC

The VA Advanced Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment (MIRT) is a two-year postdoctoral training program. Over the course of the two-year program, fellows are trained in clinical and health systems research, advanced clinical care service delivery, and program administration in an interdisciplinary setting. The VA Portland Health Care System NW MIRECC Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship site is linked electronically to other national MIRECC sites for didactic, academic, and research efforts.The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ranks as one of the nation's leaders in health research. The VA Northwest Health Network (VISN 20) Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (NW MIRECC) research studies significantly contribute to advancements in understanding medical problems that lead to health improvements for Veterans and civilians alike. NW MIRECC operates to improve clinical care for Veterans. Although the center does not offer standard clinical services directly to Veterans, Veterans may be eligible to participate in clinical research projects. NW MIRECC research studies are currently enrolling Military Veterans, First Responders, Health Care workers, and Civilians who are willing to participate. NW MIRECC conducts research that seeks new ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent the following conditions in Veterans;

  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)
  • Chronic pain (post-concussive headaches) or other conditions that might start after an mTBI
  • Gulf War Illness
  • Dementia and neurodegeneration, including mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
  • Drug abuse and dependence
  • Pandemic stress

For information about specific research, please contact the number listed on the research study.

Study Topic

Research Study

Aim, What the study is about, and Technical Details

Who is Eligible and Study Contact

Payment, Number of Visits, Downloadable Flyer



Help us learn about Veterans with PTSD and the stimulant medication methylphenidate (Ritalin).

Test the benefit of methylphenidate (Ritalin) for
a) PTSD symptoms and
b) cognitive symptoms

The goal of this study is to understand if the stimulant medication methylphenidate is helpful for Veterans with PTSD who are experiencing problems with attention, memory or other aspects of cognitive functioning.


Veterans with PTSD and subjective cognitive symptoms (objective impairment not required)

  • Veterans age 18-65
  • PTSD and
  • Self-reported cognitive impairment
  • NO history of:
  • Bipolar 1, psychotic disorder
  • Severe TBI
  • Any stimulant abuse or moderate/severe SUD w/in 6mo
For more information:
Call (206) 475-9668 or (206) 768-5259. 

Up to $940

Up to 23 visits, most virtual (VVC and/or telephone) but some on-site, over approximately 5 months.


Download Flyer

TBI and Sleep Disruption


Defining the Role of Post-TBI Sleep Disruption in the Development of CTE and AD-Related Neuropathology

The TBI study seeks to learn how mTBI, as a result of blast trauma, may disrupt the sleep-wake cycle which can lead to an increased risk of the development of CTE and Alzeheimer’s related disease.

The research involves procedures at VA Puget Sound and the University of Washington, as well as tasks you 
can do at home. Participants will take part in procedures right after joining the study and again three years later.


Veterans age 45 and older who were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, and have had at least one combat deployment-related blast exposure.

  • History of mTBI due to blast trauma
  • No serious medical illness
  • No history of COVID infection requiring hospitalization and/or symptoms of long COVID

For more information:
Call (206) 277-3843
(206) 277-5566
or 1-800-329-8387 ext. 65566

Participants will receive up to $350/year ($700 total) in appreciation for their time and inconvenience. 

  • Collection of blood and urine
  • Medical and psychiatric questions
  • Cognitive and behavioral assessments
  • A brain scan (MRI)
  • Lumbar puncture
  • At-home sleep studies

Download Flyer



Noradrenergic Biomarkers in PTSD: Precision Medicine and Mechanisms

The PREDICT study seeks to learn whether simple tests can predict who will benefit from the medication prazosin as a treatment for PTSD.

The medication prazosin may work better for some people than for others. In this study, we will measure your personal response to prazosin. This may help us learn how other Veterans may respond to this medication

For technical details about PREDICT:


Veterans age 21 to 75 with PTSD who are willing to participate in a research study.

For more information:
Call (206) 768-5259 or 1-800-329-8387 ext 65259

Volunteers will receive up to $700 for completing the study.

  • Up to 20 visits to the Seattle or American Lake VA
  • Receiving the medication prazosin (phase 1)
  • Receiving a pill that will contain either prazosin
     or an inactive placebo (phase 2)
  • Taking part in a 1–2 day medical and mental health assessment

    Download Flyer

PTSD and Cannabis 


Pilot Study to Assess the Feasibility of Prazosin for Cannabis Use Disorder in Individuals with or without PTSD


The Reducing Cannabis Overuse With Prazosin (ReCOUP) study seeks to learn whether the medication prazosin can help people reduce or stop their use of cannabis.

Assess the feasibility of recruitment and retention of participants for a clinical trial using prazosin as a treatment of CUD.

Assess the feasibility of quantifying cannabis consumption by subjective self-report and objective urine and blood testing.

For technical details about ReCOUP:


Veterans and Civilians age 18 to 80 who use cannabis 

  • Veterans and non-Veterans
  • Diagnosis of PTSD (optional)
  • Have problems related to cannabis use
  • No problematic use of drugs other than cannabis or tobacco in the past 6 months
  • Good general health

For more information:
Call (206) 265-1311

Researchers at VA Puget Sound are conducting the ReCOUP study to learn if an investigational drug, prazosin, can help both those with and without PTSD in managing cannabis use.

Download Flyer



Help us learn about the long-term effects of COVID-19.

VA Puget Sound Healthcare System is studying the causes and patterns of long-term symptoms following a COVID-19 diagosis.

Persistent symptoms have been reported by many people who received a positive test for COVID-19, even those who did not experience severe illness. There may be multiple causes for these long-term symptoms. We are conducting a study to better understand the patterns of persistent symptoms following a COVID-19 diagnosis and to learn whether changes in your body's stress response system are a part of what is causing these symptoms.

VETERANS | CIVILIANS who have not had COVID-19 and who have had COVID-19

Ages 21-65, regardless of COVID history

If you are experiencing symptoms like fatigue, palpitations,  fast heart rate, muscle and joint pain, headaches, or digestive problems, you may be asked if you would like to participate in a longer study with monthly surveys.

For more information:
Call (206) 764-2581 or

If you choose to participate, you will be asked to complete a 30 to 60 minute online questionnaire 
and brief online cognitive assessment.


Download Flyer

NW MIRECC research studies may feature the following kinds of activities;

  • Questionnaires, interviews, or assessments of physical and mental health
  • Blood draws
  • Talk therapies, which may include psychotherapy or cognitive rehabilitation interventions
  • Tests that measure eye responses to light
  • Lumbar punctures, which are used to obtain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and which have been safely performed in the NW MIRECC for more than two decades
  • Scans of the brain, including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, fcMRI, or fMRI), and positron emission tomography (PET or FDG-PET) 
  • Prescriptions for prazosin, a medication that may be useful for a number of conditions
  • Wearing wristwatches or other devices that track physical activity or sleep patterns

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Use of these Materials and Finding VA Health Care

Please note that the health care information provided in these materials is for educational purposes only. It does not replace the role of a medical practitioner for advice on care and treatment. If you are looking for professional medical care, find your local VA healthcare center by using the VA Facilities Locator & Directory. This page may contain links that will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites.

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Disclaimer of Endorsement: Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.
Disclaimer of Hyperlinks: The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Veterans Affairs of the linked websites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized VA activities, the Department does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. All links are provided with the intent of meeting the mission of the Department and the VA website. Please let us know about existing external links which you believe are inappropriate and about specific additional external links which you believe ought to be included.
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Reference from this web page or from any of the information services sponsored by the VA to any non-governmental entity, product, service or information does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by the VA or any of its employees. We are not responsible for the content of any "off-site" web pages referenced from this server.
Disclaimer: The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products or services on the part of the VA.

NW MIRECCSpanning 23% of the US land mass, VA Northwest Health Network (VISN 20) is the largest geographic region of VA. In the Pacific Northwest, VISN 20 serves Veterans in 135 counties in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Operating across three time zones over 817,417 square miles, VISN 20 is home to 273 federally recognized American Indian and Alaskan Native tribes. VISN 20 also serves Veterans in Del Norte and Siskiyou counties of California and Lincoln County Montana. Veterans may be eligible to receive care from a community provider when VA cannot provide the care needed. Veterans Community Care Program (VCCP) provides health care for Veterans from providers in the local community. VCCP includes General Community Care, Urgent Care, Emergency Care, Foreign Medical Care, Home Health and Hospice Care, Indian and Tribal Health Services, In Vitro Fertilization, State Veterans Home, and Flu Shots.

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Vet Centers in VISN 20

VA Vet Center LogoVet Centers in the VISN 20 Health Care Network are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible Veterans, active-duty Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Space Force service members, including National Guard and Reserve components, and their families. 1-877-WAR-VETS is an around the clock confidential call center where Veterans, service members and their families can talk about their military experience or any other issue they are facing in transitioning after military service or trauma and get connected to their nearest Vet Center.

Vet Centers provide counseling to make a successful transition from military to civilian life or after a traumatic event experienced in the military. Individual, group, marriage and family counseling is offered in addition to referral and connection to other VA or community benefits and services. If you can’t make it to a nearby Vet Center, VA offers satellite Vet Center locations and Mobile Vet Centers that may be closer to you.


Anchorage Vet Center (Anchorage, AK)

Anchorage Satellite Vet Centers in Anchor Point and Homer

Fairbanks Vet Center (Fairbanks, AK)

Fairbanks Satellite Vet Centers in Fort Greely and Fort Wainwright

Kenai Vet Center Outstation (Soldotna, AK)

Wasilla Vet Center (Wasilla, AK)


Central Oregon Vet Center (Bend, OR)

Eugene Vet Center (Eugene, OR)

Eugene Satellite Vet Centers in Florence and Reedsport 

Grants Pass Vet Center (Grants Pass, OR)

Grants Pass Satellite Vet Center in Cave Junction and Grants Pass Mobile Vet Center

Portland, OR Vet Center (Portland, OR)

Portland Satellite Vet Centers in Oregon City, St. Helens, and Vancouver, Washington

Salem Vet Center (Salem, OR)

Salem Mobile Vet Center


Boise Vet Center (Boise, ID)

Boise Satellite Vet Center in Ontario, Oregon and Boise Mobile Vet Center

Spokane Satellite Vet Centers in Couer d'Alene, Kootenai, Post Falls, Fairchild AFB, and Newport, Washington


Bellingham Vet Center (Bellingham, WA)

Everett Vet Center (Everett, WA)

Federal Way Vet Center (Federal Way, WA)

Lacey Vet Center Outstation (Lacey, WA)

Seattle Vet Center (Seattle, WA)

Spokane Vet Center (Spokane, WA)

Spokane Satellite Vet Centers in Fairchild AFB, Newport, Post Falls and Couer d'Alene, Idaho

Spokane Mobile Vet Center

Tacoma Vet Center (Tacoma, WA)

Tacoma Mobile Vet Center

Vancouver Vet Center - Washington State University, Clark County (Vancouver, WA)

Walla Walla Vet Center (Walla Walla, WA)

Yakima Valley Vet Center (Yakima, WA)

Yakima Satellite Vet Center in Ellensburg

Veterans Crisis "988" - The Military Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource for all Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Space Force service members, including members of the National Guard and Reserve, and Veterans. You're not alone—the Veterans Crisis Line is here for you. For immediate help in dealing with a suicidal crisis, contact the Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 988 then Press 1. You don't have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to call.

The Military Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource for all Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force and Space Force service members, including members of the National Guard and Reserve, and Veterans. You're not alone—the Veterans Crisis Line is here for you. For immediate help in dealing with a suicidal crisis, contact the Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 988 then Press 1. You don't have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to call.

Call +1 844-702-5495 (off base) or DSN 988 (on base)

Southwest Asia:
Call +1 855-422-7719 (off base) or DSN 988 (on base)

Call +1 844-702-5493 (off base) or DSN 988 (on base)

A Veteran overseas may contact the Veterans Crisis Line via the chat modality at If the Veteran prefers a phone call, they can request this within the chat venue. For TTY users: Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255. Are you looking for clinical care or counseling? Assistance with benefits? No matter what you’re experiencing, we’re here to connect you with resources and support systems to help. The Veterans Crisis Line is free and confidential. When you call, chat, or text, a qualified responder will listen and help. You decide how much information to share. Support doesn't end with your conversation. Our responders can connect you with the resources you need.

Find out if you can get VA health care as a Veteran

The following four categories of Veterans are not required to enroll but are urged to do so to permit better planning of health resources:

  1. Veterans with a service-connected (SC) disability rated at 50% or more.
  2. Veterans seeking care for a disability the military determined was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, but which VA has not yet rated, within 12 months of discharge.
  3. Veterans seeking care for a SC disability only or under a special treatment authority.
  4. Veterans seeking registry examinations (ionizing radiation, Agent Orange, Gulf War/Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) depleted uranium, airborne hazards, and Open Burn Pit Registry).

Find out how to apply for VA health care benefits as a Veteran or service member. For other mental health services, contact a VA medical center for information on eligibility and treatment options.

Plan your trip to VA

In 1946, Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) was established by law to provide comfort and well-being to America’s Veterans. With our many retail stores, cafés and coffee shops across the country, we serve those who have served our country. Our Canteens are whole health spaces for Veterans to connect, relax, share and care for themselves in an environment that is their benefit. We are proud to Serve America’s Veterans and those who provide for their care.

VCS operates over 200 Patriot Stores in Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Centers nationwide. Many of our stores have been recently updated and expanded to provide our customers with a modern, clean and comfortable shopping experience. Our stores welcome our customers with wider aisles, wood-like floors, enhanced lighting and directional signage. PatriotStores have expanded hours of operation to provide service for customers on weekends at most locations.

The Patriot Cafe is the best place in the VA Medical Center to enjoy delicious, freshly prepared breakfast or lunch served hot or cold each weekday. Providing Veterans, their families, VA employees, volunteers and visitors a place to relax and enjoy a meal or take-out for their convenience. With a wide variety of food from traditional comfort food, specialized menu selections and a large assortment of healthy choices; there is something for everyone's taste buds.

Hospital Service Directory

To find out whether there is a van near you use the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Hospital Service Coordinator Directory to contact your nearest HSC for information or assistance. Please remember that the DAV Transportation Network is staffed by volunteers; therefore, it is unable to cover every community.

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