VA seeking 1 Million Veterans to Provide DNA for National Research
A nationwide DNA database is in the works and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is looking for a million veterans to participate.
What may be the largest scale effort of its kind, the million-veteran blood sample goal hopes to provide researchers with an extensive bank of DNA and personal data to trace genetic development of diseases. The VA was chosen as an optimal group of donors because of their 8 million enrollees in the VA health system who have extensive medical records already available.
So far the research team has obtained the cooperation of 51,000 veterans after a mailed request campaign at the end of 2011. More than 40 VA health centers are participating in the collection efforts, which involve the blood draw and a series of questions. As the efforts continue the team’s goal of a million veterans hopes to be complete within 5 to 7 years with the samples being used in studies as soon as possible.
The allure of a genetic information bank of a million samples is attracting research proposals from numerous organizations. Many of the diseases being targeted are disabling conditions seen in our veterans including post traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and Lou Gherig’s disease.
With more research on how genetics play into the occurrence of disabling conditions doctors may be able to identify soldiers who are at a higher risk of developing these diseases as a result of combat stresses and exposure. If you already suffer from a disabling condition you may qualify for veterans’ disability benefits.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability representative from Disability Help Group is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veteran’s disability rights firm today – 1-(800)-800-3332.