Cutting-edge clinic gets national attention

Secretary of Veteran Affairs Bob McDonald is taking and aggressive approach to combat traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The VA is bringing together some of the best and the brightest brain researchers from around the country.

They hope the collaboration can bring relief to the more than 327,000 veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries, and that's just since the year 2000.

Prominently included in the state-of-the-art conference is a private North Texas company that FOX 4 introduced viewers to last year.     

FOX 4 first told you about the Irving-based Cerebrum Health Centers in November of last year, and while it sounded too good to be true, the testimonials from the combat veterans we interviewed made it clear that this company could play a huge role in helping hundreds of thousands of veterans. 

Dr. Cagan Randall is the head clinician at Cerebrum Health Centers in Irving. 

He's passionate because he's been able to help his brother, who suffered after multiple tours of combat duty. 

Retired U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell is perhaps Randall’s most famous patient. He was featured in a campaign highlighting the unique treatment.

"We're able to treat these conditions at a cheaper rate than the industry currently is doing,” said Randall. “We’re able to achieve clinical outcomes at a faster rate, so we are able to return people back to normal lives much faster."

FOX 4 News interviewed other combat veterans, like former Navy SEAL Mike Day, who was shot 27 times by Al-Qaeda operatives in 2007.

After only a week of treatment, he says he was sleeping five hours a night, only waking once or twice, as opposed to one to two hours of sleep and waking up 25 to 35 times a night.     

“If we can tap into the healing components of the brain, then the outcomes of those patients are much more effective as it relates to seeing improvement,” said Randall.

Kara Williams is the veteran military affairs coordinator of the program, and she sees promise.

"I've seen veterans get more sleep,” she said. “They start remembering things more, they have more confidence. And in turn, that helps them be a better father, a better husband, a better employee, a better citizen. It makes their transition into civilian life easier. And I've seen people get their families back and get hope back for the future."

Dr. Cagan says he's encouraged that the V.A. secretary is making this a priority.

Cagan says it’s a race against time. There are more than 327,000 veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury by military estimates, but many medical professionals believe that number is much higher.

Twenty-two veterans take their own lives every day to end the suffering.

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