PTSD/TBI Research | VISN 20 Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center - MIRECC / CoE
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PTSD/TBI Research | VISN 20 Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center

Current Research at VISN 20 MIRECC

Potential research volunteers! The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ranks as one of the nation's leaders in health research. The VISN 20 Northwest 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) 
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.


who have not had COVID-19 and who have had COVID-19

Ages 21-65, regardless of their COVID history

For more information,
or call 206-764-2581


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,
please 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,
please 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,
please 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,
please 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,
please 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:

who are


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,
please visit

Download Flyer

VA is the world's leading research and educational center of excellence on PTSD and traumatic stress.

PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. It's normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after this type of event.

If symptoms last more than a few months, it may be PTSD. The good news is that there are effective treatments.

    Explore Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center       


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.

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The Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (NW MIRECC) of the Veterans Integrated Services Network (VISN) 20 seeks to improve the mental health and well-being of Veterans through research and dissemination of information to providers both within the VA and the general public. The NW MIRECC mission is to contribute to better treatment of the unseen wounds of war (PTSD, mild traumatic brain injury, and their comorbidities). The VA VISN 20 Northwest Health Network consists of four states across three time zones; Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. The primary research center located in VA Puget Sound Health Care System is affiliated with the University of Washington. VA Puget Sound serves Veterans from a five-state area in the Pacific Northwest with two main divisions: American Lake and Seattle. In addition to the main medical centers, VA Puget Sound provides health care services in Washington state at six community-based outpatient clinics in Bellevue, Bremerton, Federal Way, Mount Vernon, Port Angeles, and Seattle. The research center located at VA Portland Heath Care System is affiliated with the Oregon Health and Science University. VA Portland serves Veterans from Oregon and Southwest Washington with two main divisions: Portland and Vancouver. In addition to the main medical centers, VA Portland Health Care System provides health care services in Oregon state at ten outpatient clinics in Bend, Fairview, Hillsboro, North Coast (Camp Rilea), Newport, Lincoln City, Portland, Salem, The Dalles, and West Linn. Vet 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.

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Veterans Crisis Hotline 1-800-273-8255 - If you are having a medical or mental health emergency, dial 911. If you are having thoughts of suicide, dial 1-800-273-8255, then press 1 at the prompt to reach the Veterans Crisis Line