Military Personnel with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury



Yoga Based Treatment for Veterans

It is well known that military personnel are returning from recent conflicts with notable rates of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and associated persistent post-concussive symptoms (PCS), including headaches and emotional distress. Such symptoms can negatively impact the performance of those on Active Duty, throughout deployment, in and post-combat, as well as following discharge (Veterans). Because of these far-reaching effects, mTBI and associated comorbidities pose a significant challenge and burden to Service Members/Veterans, their families, the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and local, regional and national resources including, health care, educational, and vocational systems.

Optimally, an intervention for those with chronic post-concussive headaches (PCH) would show efficacy at reversing post-mTBI adversity, and be able to be utilized with minimal stigma. In addition, the intervention should be highly accessible, low cost, be able to be self-sustaining (e.g., portable) and with minimal side effects.

One potential intervention is yoga, a practice involving physical postures, breath awareness and exercises, and mindfulness meditation.

As such, the goal of this study is to learn more about a yoga-based treatment for Veterans with mTBI and Post-Concussive Headaches.

This project is being funded by the Colorado Traumatic Brain Injury Trust Fund (part of Mindsource Brain Injury Network), Contract IHEA #101374

 Yoga Mindsource Brain Injury Network 

Our Team

Photo of Dr. Betthauser

Lisa Betthauser MBA, PhD

Assistant Professor
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (SOM)

Dr. Lisa M. Betthauser obtained a PhD in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in Health Psychology, from the University of Colorado, Denver. Prior to her doctorate, she earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Health Administration from the University of Colorado, Denver, in 2006. She also holds a Certificate of Neuroscience from the University of Colorado, Boulder, completed in 2003. She completed a pre-doctoral internship at the Denver VA Medical Center, Eastern Colorado Health Care System in June 2016. Upon completion of her internship, Dr. Betthauser joined the staff of the Rocky Mountain Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center as a Research Psychologist. Dr. Betthauser's primary research interests include examining the impact of stress, resiliency, mild traumatic brain injury, and suicide on relationships and health and well-being outcomes. In addition, she is interested in the acceptability and feasibility of complementary alternative medicine interventions for PTSD, traumatic brain injury and associated psychiatric outcomes such as suicide.

Yoga as a Complementary Health Approach

Yoga is a practice involving physical postures, breath awareness and exercises, and mindfulness meditation. Yoga is increasingly being used as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) intervention for those experiencing physical and psychological distress.