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What it does 

HR 5528, the Speed Warrior Outcomes, Research, Detection and Diagnosis (SWORDD) Act of 2018, would require the development of a plan to accelerate research on detecting, diagnosing, and treating post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries. Directed at the Defense Health Agency, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Veteran Affairs, this act calls for increased collaboration and coordination among those agencies, universities, and private firms to accelerate research on breakthrough therapies.

This act builds on prior work such as the Federal Interagency Traumatic Brain Injury Research, the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium, and the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium of the Army

Relevant Science 

Traumatic brain injury occurs from brain injury due to sudden trauma. Little can be done to reverse the initial brain damage, and symptoms vary based on the degree of damage. Prognosis also varies widely, but commonly results in disabilities such as impaired cognition, communication, and changes in behavior and mental health.

Post-traumatic stress is a short- to long-term disorder consisting of the reactions to a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. Symptoms include flashbacks, feeling tense, losing interest in enjoyable activities, or staying away from places or objects that remind the individual of the traumatic experience. These symptoms may resolve within six months but could also become chronic in some individuals.


On April 17, 2018, HR 5528 was introduced in House and referred to the House Committee on Armed Services.

Primary Author 
Jacqueline Robinson-Hamm, PhD Candidate
Andrew Pericak, MEM
Recommended Citation 

Duke SciPol, “First Look: Speed Warrior Outcomes, Research, Detection and Diagnosis Act of 2018 (HR 5528, 115th Congress)” available at (04/27/2018).

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