Casual Conversations 22: #PINKbrainPledge, VA's Olivia DeJoie & Kendall Carr

CC #22: June 3, 2021
Brain Donation with the VA
Olivia DeJoie and Kendall Carr

The Essential Role of Female Veterans and Nonveterans in PTSD and TBI Research

A “Casual Conversation” on the Importance of Brain Donation by women

Please join us as Olivia DeJoie and Kendall Carr presents an update from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Biorepository Brain Bank (VABBB) and the National Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Brain Bank (PTSD Brain Bank).

We will discuss:
– The imperative role of female veterans and nonveterans in research related to PTSD and TBI
– The success and impact of the PINK Concussions recruitment campaign – #PINKbrainPledge.
– The Plan for the future of PINK Concussions recruitment.

Olivia DeJoie has been the PTSD Brain Bank Coordinator for a little over a year now. She plans to attend graduate school for clinical psychology in the coming years and remain active in the world of mental health research and awareness.

Kendall Carr has been a research assistant at the PTSD Brain Bank for almost a year now.
She is hoping to go onto medical school in the near future. She is thankful for the commitment our participants have to the Brain Bank and future PTSD research.

From January 2018

VA’s National PTSD Brain Bank Collaborates With PINK Concussions

Women Veterans Urged to Donate Brains for Research

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a collaboration between its National Center for PTSD and the nonprofit organization PINK Concussions, encouraging women to donate their brains for the purpose of research of the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“In the past, the focus of TBI and PTSD brain research has primarily been based on male brains — without any active recruitment for women,” said Dr. Carolyn Clancy, executive in charge of VA’s Veterans Health Administration. “We have a lot to learn about how the female brain deals with TBI and PTSD, which makes this effort long overdue.”

Katherine Snedaker, founder and executive director of PINK Concussions, and a brain injury survivor, also applauded the collaboration.

“We are so grateful to partner with VA to launch the first active recruitment of female Veterans, as well as active-duty members and civilian women to be a part of brain injury and PTSD research,” Snedaker said. “VA continues year after year to be one of our most valued partners in our ongoing mission to improve pre-injury education and post-injury care for women with brain injury.”

While there is postmortem brain tissue available for study of injury in men, there has been almost none for women. There is also a lack of research on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, also known as CTE, in women. In all published literature on CTE, only two peer-reviewed journal articles (both published in the early 1990s) have focused on women.

Women Veterans interested in participating in the brain bank may take the PINK Concussions pledge. Though tissue donation may occur many years or decades from now, enrollment will allow researchers to learn as much as possible about the health of an enrolled female participant and how things may change over the years.

For more information about the effort, visit For more information about the VA’s National PTSD Brain Bank, visit or call 800-762-6609.

Source: Youtube