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PTSD/TBI Research | Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center

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 Network 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. Research studies at NW MIRECC are currently enrolling Military Veterans, First Responders, Health Care workers, and Civilians in Seattle, Washington. NW MIRECC conducts research that seeks new ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent the following conditions in Veterans;

  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), which is also called a concussion
  • Headaches or other conditions that might start after an mTBI or concussion
  • Dementia and neurodegeneration, including mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
  • Gulf War Illness
  • Drug abuse and dependence
  • Stresses related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic

Research studies may feature the following kinds of activities;

  • Questionnaires, interviews, or assessments of physical and mental health
  • Talk therapies, which may include psychotherapy or cognitive rehabilitation interventions
  • Wearing wristwatches or other devices that track physical activity or sleep patterns
  • Prescriptions for prazosin, a medication that may be useful for a number of conditions
  • Blood draws
  • 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) 

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

Topic Research Study What is the study about? Who can volunteer? Downloadable 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.

had COVID-19 and who have had COVID-19

Ages 21-65, regardless of their COVID history

For more information.
Call 206-764-2581 or


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.

For technical details about PREDICT:

Veterans age 21 to 75 with PTSD

For more information,
Call 206-768-5259 or 1-800-329-8387 ext 65259.

Download Flyer
PTSD and Cannabis ReCOUP

Pilot Study to Assess the Feasibility of Prazosin for Cannabis Use Disorder in Individuals with or without PTSD
The ReCOUP study seeks to learn whether the medication prazosin can help people reduce or stop their use of cannabis.

For technical details about ReCOUP:

Civilians and Veterans age 18 to 80 who use cannabis

For more information,
Call 206-265-1311

Download Flyer

Prazosin and CSF Biomarkers in mTBI
Trauma may lead to a buildup of harmful proteins in CSF. The PoND 1 study seeks to learn whether the medication prazosin can decrease this buildup of proteins.

For technical details about PoND 1:

Veterans age 21 and over with combat-related PTSD or mTBI

For more information,
Call 206.277.5061 or 1.800.329.8387 ext. 65061

Download Flyer

mTBI and Biomarkers of Neurodegeneration
The TBI study seeks to learn whether the blast trauma that causes mTBI also causes long-term changes in the brain. This research may contribute to future treatments or preventions for such brain changes.

For technical details about TBI:

Veterans age 18 and older who were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, including Veterans with and without mTBI

For more information,
Call 206.277.5566, 206-277-1272, or 1.800.329.8387 ext. 65566

Download Flyer
TBI and Chronic Headaches PTH

Chronic Post-concussive Headache: A Placebo-Controlled Treatment Trial of Prazosin
The PTH study seeks to learn whether the medication prazosin might be an effective treatment for posttraumatic headaches.

For technical details about PTH:

Veterans age 18 and older with bothersome headaches that started or worsened after an mTBI

For more information,
Call 206.277.3491 or 1.800.329.8387 ext. 63491

Download Flyer
Dementia PoND 2

Prazosin and CSF Biomarkers in Cognitively Normal Persons, MCI, and Early AD
A buildup of harmful proteins in CSF may be linked with the development of dementia. The PoND 2 study seeks to learn whether the medication prazosin can decrease this buildup of proteins.

PoND 2 is a VA Puget Sound R&D Seed grant with no publicly available technical details.

Civilians and Veterans age 45 and over who do not have combat-related PTSD

For more information,
Call 206.277.1491 or 1.800.329.8387 ext. 61491

Download Flyer
Pandemic Stress ATTEND

ATTEND for Health Care Workers and First Responders
The ATTEND study seeks to learn about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health care workers and first responders who are on the front lines.

For technical details about ATTEND:

Health care workers and first responders nationwide who are experiencing increased stress in their workplace due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Health care workers and first responders who are eligible for care at VA Puget Sound may qualify for an optional drug trial

For more information,

Download Flyer


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VA VISN 20 consists of four states across three time zones; Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The primary research center located at VA Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS) is affiliated with University of Washington (UW). VAPSHCS serves Veterans from a five-state area in the Pacific Northwest with two main divisions: American Lake and Seattle. Veterans in Washington are also served by VA Medical Centers in Spokane, Vancouver, and Walla Walla. In Washington, there are VA Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC's) located in Bellevue, Bremerton, Chehalis, Edmunds, Everett, Federal Way, Mount Vernon, Olympia, Port Angeles, Puyallup, Richland, Renton, Silverdale, Seattle, Wenatchee, and Yakima. The research center located at VA Portland Heath Care System (VAPORHCS) is affiliated with Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). VAPORHCS serves Veterans from Oregon and Southwest Washington with two main divisions: Portland and Vancouver. Veterans in Oregon are also served by VA Medical Centers in Roseburg and White City. In Oregon, there are CBOC's located in Bend, Boardman, Brookings, Enterprise, Eugene, Fairview, Grants Pass, Hines, Hillsboro, Klamath Falls, LaGrande, Lincoln City, Newport, Portland, Salem, The Dalles, Warrenton, and West Linn. VA provides health care for Veterans from providers in your local community outside of VA. Veterans may be eligible to receive care from a community provider when VA cannot provide the care needed.

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.

Veterans Crisis Hotline 988 - If you are having a medical or mental health emergency, dial 911. If you are having thoughts of suicide, dial 988, then press 1 at the prompt to reach the Veterans Crisis Line

Veterans Crisis "988" - The Military Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource for all service members, including members of the National Guard and Reserve, and Veterans, even if they’re not enrolled in VA benefits or health care. Call 988 then Press 1 If you are a Veteran, service member, or any person concerned about one who is hard of hearing, you can connect with professional, caring VA responders through online chat and text message (838255). 

In Europe
Call 00800 1273 8255 or DSN 118

In Korea
Call 080-855-5118 or DSN 118

In Afghanistan
Call 00 1 800 273 8255 or DSN 111

In the Philippines
Call #MYVA or 02-8550-3888 and press 7

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.


VA has a variety of mental health resources, information, treatment options, and more — all accessible to Veterans, Veterans’ supporters, and the general public. Explore the pages below to learn more about a specific mental health topic. Each of these pages includes resources, information on treatment options, and more.

Stories of Support

Telehealth Therapy

For Daniel, Don, and Jennifer, convenient video counseling made it easier to put their health first. Adjusting from military service to civilian life can be both exciting and challenging. Make the Connection

Dial 988 then press 1

Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Veterans Crisis Line is free and confidential. Support doesn't end with your conversation. Our responders can connect you with the resources you need.

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