Our Research

The Brain Tissue Repository is at the forefront of scientific research on traumatic brain injury.

Our scientists and physicians are among the best in their field. Check back often as we update this page with new findings, events, and featured press coverage.

Female in the lab
USU Logo and BTR Graphic

Our Findings

Our scientists compare injured and uninjured brain tissue to better understand the effects of traumatic brain injury on brain health. We have discovered a unique scarring pattern that may explain post-blast symptoms like headache, memory issues, sleep problems, and post-traumatic stress.

Researchers interested in collaboration or use of our facilities for your research, please contact us.

Image comparing Impact TBI to Blast TBI

60 Minutes: How IEDs may be physically causing PTSD

Dr. Daniel Perl’s research on blast-related traumatic brain injury in the military highlighted on “60 Minutes,” watch the video here.

Press Coverage

Our work has been covered by the New York Times, National Geographic, 60 Minutes, and many other news and media outlets. Articles may require a subscription.

Dr. Perl research

The New York Times Magazine: What if PTSD Is More Physical Than Psychological?

A new study supports what a small group of military researchers has suspected for decades: that modern warfare destroys the brain.

Soldiers face

The New York Times: Research Traces Link Between Combat Blasts and PTSD

Research traces link between combat blasts and PTSD

Impacts of TBI

National Geographic: ‘Shell Shock’ – The 100-Year Mystery May Now Be Solved

A landmark study sheds new light on the damage caused by “blast shock” – the signature injury of wars for more than a century.

National Geographic cover image

National Geographic: Healing Soldiers

Brain trauma from blast force is the signature injury of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, afflicting hundreds of thousands of U.S. combat personnel. Although unseen, the damage strikes deeply into a soldier’s mind and psyche.

Partner with us

We work with many organizations that support military families. Education is a major part of our mission. To help us raise awareness, please share our brochure and website.

Publications

Our team has published many research papers, including:

Benjamini D, Priemer DS, Perl DP, Brody DL, Basser PJ. Mapping astrogliosis in the individual human brain using multidimensional MRI. Brain. 2022.

Lee MH, Perl DP, Steiner J, Pasternack N, Li W, Maric D, et al. Neurovascular injury with complement activation and inflammation in COVID-19. Brain. 2022;145(7):2555-68.

Fernandez-Castaneda A, Lu P, Geraghty AC, Song E, Lee MH, Wood J, et al. Mild respiratory COVID can cause multi-lineage neural cell and myelin dysregulation. Cell. 2022;185(14):2452-68 e16.

Priemer DS, Iacono D, Rhodes CH, Olsen CH, Perl DP. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in the Brains of Military Personnel. N Engl J Med. 2022;386(23):2169-77.

Edlow BL, Bodien YG, Baxter T, Belanger HG, Cali RJ, Deary KB, et al. Long-Term Effects of Repeated Blast Exposure in United States Special Operations Forces Personnel: A Pilot Study Protocol. J Neurotrauma. 2022.

Ameen-Ali KE, Bretzin A, Lee EB, Folkerth R, Hazrati LN, Iacono D, et al. Detection of astrocytic tau pathology facilitates recognition of chronic traumatic encephalopathy neuropathologic change. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2022;10(1):50.

Fernandez-Castaneda A, Lu P, Geraghty AC, Song E, Lee MH, Wood J, et al. Mild respiratory SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause multi-lineage cellular dysregulation and myelin loss in the brain. bioRxiv. 2022.

Priemer DS, Perl DP. A Commentary on “Delayed-Onset Neuropathological Complications From a Foramen Magnum & Occipital Crest Focused Traumatic Brain Injury of the Vietnam War” Parts I, II, and III. Mil Med. 2022;187(7-8):938-40.

Smith DH, Dolle JP, Ameen-Ali KE, Bretzin A, Cortes E, Crary JF, et al. COllaborative Neuropathology NEtwork Characterizing ouTcomes of TBI (CONNECT-TBI). Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2021;9(1):32.

Bieniek KF, Cairns NJ, Crary JF, Dickson DW, Folkerth RD, Keene CD, et al. The Second NINDS/NIBIB Consensus Meeting to Define Neuropathological Criteria for the Diagnosis of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2021;80(3):210-9.

Lee MH, Perl DP, Nair G, Li W, Maric D, Murray H, et al. Microvascular Injury in the Brains of Patients with Covid-19. N Engl J Med. 2021;384(5):481-3.

Perl, DP.  2021 Neurotrauma: 2021 update.  Free Neuropathology 2 (4), 2021

Shively SB, Priemer DS, Stein MB, Perl DP. Pathophysiology of Traumatic Brain Injury, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, and Neuropsychiatric Clinical Expression. Psychiatr Clin fgNorth Am. 2021 Sep;44(3):443-458. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2021.04.003. Epub 2021 Jul 7. PMID: 34373000.

Benjamini D, Iacono D, Komlosh ME, Perl DP, Brody DL, Basser PJ. Diffuse axonal injury has a characteristic multidimensional MRI signature in the human brain. Brain. 2021 Apr 12;144(3):800-816. doi: 10.1093/brain/awaa447. PMID: 33739417; PMCID: PMC8041044.

Schwerin SC, Chatterjee M, Hutchinson EB, Djankpa FT, Armstrong RC, McCabe JT, Perl DP, Juliano SL. Expression of GFAP and Tau Following Blast Exposure in the Cerebral Cortex of Ferrets. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2021 Jan 20;80(2):112-128. doi: 10.1093/jnen/nlaa157. PMID: 33421075; PMCID: PMC8453607.

Smith DH, Dolle JP, Ameen-Ali KE, Bretzin A, Cortes E, Crary JF, et al. COllaborative Neuropathology NEtwork Characterizing ouTcomes of TBI (CONNECT-TBI). Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2021;9(1):32.

Bieniek KF, Cairns NJ, Crary JF, Dickson DW, Folkerth RD, Keene CD, et al. The Second NINDS/NIBIB Consensus Meeting to Define Neuropathological Criteria for the Diagnosis of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2021;80(3):210-9.

Lee MH, Perl DP, Nair G, Li W, Maric D, Murray H, et al. Microvascular Injury in the Brains of Patients with Covid-19. N Engl J Med. 2021;384(5):481-3.

Schwerin SC, Chatterjee M, Hutchinson EB, Djankpa FT, Armstrong RC, McCabe JT, et al. Expression of GFAP and Tau Following Blast Exposure in the Cerebral Cortex of Ferrets. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2021;80(2):112-28.

Kovacs GG, Robinson JL, Perl DP, Lee VM, Trojanowski JQ. Thorn-shaped astrocytes in the depth of cortical sulci in Western Pacific ALS/Parkinsonism-Dementia complex. Acta Neuropathol. 2020;140(4):591

Logsdon AF, Schindler AG, Meabon JS, Yagi M, Herbert MJ, Banks WA, et al. Nitric oxide synthase mediates cerebellar dysfunction in mice exposed to repetitive blast-induced mild traumatic brain injury. Sci Rep. 2020;10(1):9420.

Pas K, Komlosh ME, Perl DP, Basser PJ, Benjamini D. Retaining information from multidimensional correlation MRI using a spectral regions of interest generator. Sci Rep. 2020;10(1):3246

Perl, DP.  Top ten discoveries of the year: Neurotrauma.  Free Neuropathology 1: 2020.

Murphy EK, Iacono D, Pan H, Grimes JB, Parks S, Raiciulescu S, Leonessa F, Perl DP. Explosive-driven double-blast exposure: molecular, histopathological, and behavioral consequences. Sci Rep. 2020 Oct 15;10(1):17446. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-74296-2. PMID: 33060648; PMCID: PMC7566442.

Meabon JS, Cook DG, Yagi M, Terry GE, Cross DJ, Muzi M, Pagulayan KF, Logsdon AF, Schindler AG, Ghai V, Wang K, Fallen S, Zhou Y, Kim TK, Lee I, Banks WA, Carlson ES, Mayer C, Hendrickson RC, Raskind MA, Marshall DA, Perl DP, Keene CD, Peskind ER. Chronic elevation of plasma vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) is associated with a history of blast exposure. J Neurol Sci. 2020 Oct 15;417:117049. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2020.117049. Epub 2020 Jul 18. PMID: 32758764; PMCID: PMC7492467.

Iacono D, Lee P, Edlow BL, Gray N, Fischl B, Kenney K, Lew HL, Lozanoff S, Liacouras P, Lichtenberger J, Dams-O’Connor K, Cifu D, Hinds SR, Perl DP. Early-Onset Dementia in War Veterans: Brain Polypathology and Clinicopathologic Complexity. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2020 Feb 1;79(2):144-162. doi: 10.1093/jnen/nlz122. PMID: 31851313; PMCID: PMC6970453.

Murphy EK, Iacono D, Pan H, Grimes JB, Parks S, Raiciulescu S, et al. Explosive-driven double-blast exposure: molecular, histopathological, and behavioral consequences. Sci Rep. 2020;10(1):17446.

Griffin AD, Turtzo LC, Parikh GY, Tolpygo A, Lodato Z, Moses AD, et al. Traumatic microbleeds suggest vascular injury and predict disability in traumatic brain injury. Brain. 2019;142(11):3550-64.

Munger EL, Edler MK, Hopkins WD, Ely JJ, Erwin JM, Perl DP, et al. Astrocytic changes with aging and Alzheimer’s disease-type pathology in chimpanzees. J Comp Neurol. 2019;527(7):1179-95.

Snyder HM, Carare RO, DeKosky ST, de Leon MJ, Dykxhoorn D, Gan L, et al. Military-related risk factors for dementia. Alzheimers Dement. 2018;14(12):1651-62.

Edlow BL, Keene CD, Perl DP, Iacono D, Folkerth RD, Stewart W, Mac Donald CL, Augustinack J, Diaz-Arrastia R, Estrada C, Flannery E, Gordon WA, Grabowski TJ, Hansen K, Hoffman J, Kroenke C, Larson EB, Lee P, Mareyam A, McNab JA, McPhee J, Moreau AL, Renz A, Richmire K, Stevens A, Tang CY, Tirrell LS, Trittschuh EH, van der Kouwe A, Varjabedian A, Wald LL, Wu O, Yendiki A, Young L, Zöllei L, Fischl B, Crane PK, Dams-O’Connor K. Multimodal Characterization of the Late Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury: A Methodological Overview of the Late Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury Project. J Neurotrauma. 2018 Jul 15;35(14):1604-1619. doi: 10.1089/neu.2017.5457. Epub 2018 May 3. PMID: 29421973; PMCID: PMC6016096.

Kenney K, Iacono D, Edlow BL, Katz DI, Diaz-Arrastia R, Dams-O’Connor K, Daneshvar DH, Stevens A, Moreau AL, Tirrell LS, Varjabedian A, Yendiki A, van der Kouwe A, Mareyam A, McNab JA, Gordon WA, Fischl B, McKee AC, Perl DP. Dementia After Moderate-Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: Coexistence of Multiple Proteinopathies. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2018 Jan 1;77(1):50-63. doi: 10.1093/jnen/nlx101. PMID: 29155947; PMCID: PMC5939622.

Edler MK, Sherwood CC, Meindl RS, Munger EL, Hopkins WD, Ely JJ, et al. Microglia changes associated to Alzheimer’s disease pathology in aged chimpanzees. J Comp Neurol. 2018;526(18):2921-36

Agoston D, Arun P, Bellgowan P, Broglio S, Cantu R, Cook D, et al. Military Blast Injury and Chronic Neurodegeneration: Research Presentations from the 2015 International State-of-the-Science Meeting. J Neurotrauma. 2017;34(S1):S6-S17.

Sours C, Hinds SR, 2nd, McKee AC, Perl DP, Leggieri MJ, Jr. Brain Banks and Tissue Repositories for Blast-Related Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Research. J Neurotrauma. 2017;34(S1):S4-S5.

Schindler AG, Meabon JS, Pagulayan KF, Hendrickson RC, Meeker KD, Cline M, et al. Blast-related disinhibition and risk seeking in mice and combat Veterans: Potential role for dysfunctional phasic dopamine release. Neurobiol Dis. 2017;106:23-34.

Iacono D, Shively SB, Edlow BL, Perl DP. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: Known Causes, Unknown Effects. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2017;28(2):301-21.

Shively SB, Perl DP. Viewing the Invisible Wound: Novel Lesions Identified in Postmortem Brains of U.S. Service Members With Military Blast Exposure. Mil Med. 2017 Jan;182(1):1461-1463. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-16-00239. PMID: 28051958.

Shively SB, Edgerton SL, Iacono D, Purohit DP, Qu BX, Haroutunian V, Davis KL, Diaz-Arrastia R, Perl DP. Localized cortical chronic traumatic encephalopathy pathology after single, severe axonal injury in human brain. Acta Neuropathol. 2017 Mar;133(3):353-366. doi: 10.1007/s00401-016-1649-7. Epub 2016 Nov 24. PMID: 27885490; PMCID: PMC5325841.

Dugger BN, Perl DP, Carlson GA. Neurodegenerative Disease Transmission and Transgenesis in Mice. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2017;9(11).

Logue OC, Cramer NP, Xu X, Perl DP, Galdzicki Z. Alterations of functional properties of hippocampal networks following repetitive closed-head injury. Exp Neurol. 2016;277:227-43. 33.

McKee AC, Cairns NJ, Dickson DW, Folkerth RD, Keene CD, Litvan I, et al. The first NINDS/NIBIB consensus meeting to define neuropathological criteria for the diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Acta Neuropathol. 2016;131(1):75-86

Shively SB, Horkayne-Szakaly I, Jones RV, Kelly JP, Armstrong RC, Perl DP. Characterisation of interface astroglial scarring in the human brain after blast exposure: a post-mortem case series. Lancet Neurol. 2016 Aug;15(9):944-953. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(16)30057-6. Epub 2016 Jun 9. PMID: 27291520.

Diaz-Arrastia R, Perl D. Cognitive dysfunction and contact sports. JAMA Neurol. 2013;70(3):301-2.

Qu BX, Gong Y, Sinclair D, Fu M, Perl D, Diaz-Arrastia R. cPLA2alpha knockout mice exhibit abnormalities in the architecture and synapses of cortical neurons. Brain Res. 2013;1497:101-5.

Shively S, Scher AI, Perl DP, Diaz-Arrastia R. Dementia resulting from traumatic brain injury: what is the pathology? Arch Neurol. 2012 Oct;69(10):1245-51. doi: 10.1001/archneurol.2011.3747. PMID: 22776913; PMCID: PMC3716376.

Shively SB, Perl DP. Traumatic brain injury, shell shock, and posttraumatic stress disorder in the military–past, present, and future. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2012 May-Jun;27(3):234-9. doi: 10.1097/H

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