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Posted: 11/7/2012

Note to Reporters: Veteran’s Day is Nov. 11. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is a leader in research that can benefit the men and women in our military and veterans. If you need additional information about the following research, please call the office of Public Affairs and Media Relations, 614-293-3737
 
OSU RESEARCH MAY LEAD TO TREATMENT FOR BLAST INJURIES
Soldiers suffering from the most common primary blast injury- tympanic membrane perforation- which often results in an inability to serve, may have a new treatment option that not only restores hearing, but also keeps them out of the operating room. Dr. D. Bradley Welling is utilizing a grant from the Department of Defense to study whether fibroblast growth factor 1, which has been shown to triple healing rates in the ulcers of diabetic mice, will encourage cell growth leading to the closure of perforations. If proven effective, the 15 minute outpatient procedure will eliminate the need for surgery, as well as the risks and costs associated with the procedure.
 
STUDYING THE LIFE-LONG EFFECTS OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are among those from 16 centers around the country awarded a grant to study the life-long effects of traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injury is a major cause of death and disability, particularly in military action. John Corrigan, director of the division of rehabilitation psychology, said the ongoing research is important on many levels. “Traumatic brain injuries impact the lives of people of all ages and the recovery period can be lengthy,” said Corrigan, who also is the principal investigator of the Ohio Regional TBI Model system. “Other medical and behavioral conditions sometimes set in after the initial recovery and they can place a strain on relationships and the patient’s overall quality of life.”
 
IMPROVED GARMENTS MAY REDUCE BURN SCARS AND HEALING TIME
Dr. Heather Powell is seeking to answer a medical debate that could one day benefit troops suffering from burn injuries. Currently, the medical community is divided as to whether or not compression garments are effective in reducing robust scarring following burn injuries. Even proponents of the treatment are unsure of the optimal level of pressure and how many hours a day the garments should be worn to reduce scarring. In addition to answering these questions, Powell believes her work will lead to a new type of compression garment that increases patient comfort and adherence, as well as reduces the time needed to reduce scarring.
 
ELECTRIC IMPULSES MAY HELP TREAT TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES
Deep-brain stimulation (DBS), also known as a brain pacemaker, has been proven safe and effective for the treatment of several movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, tremor, dystonia, and severe obsessive compulsive disorder. Researchers at Ohio State are also investigating the use of DBS for treating patients with traumatic brain injury. The goal is to use deep-brain stimulation in these patients to improve their function and control, according to Dr. Ali Rezai, professor of neurological surgery at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. Ohio State has completed surgery on patients with traumatic brain injury and is compiling the data on its effectiveness.