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The AURORA study is a major national research initiative that is working to improve the understanding, prevention, and recovery of individuals who have experienced a traumatic event.

Post-traumatic stress, depression, pain and symptoms of traumatic brain injury are epidemic among veterans as well as the millions of people who experience traumatic events, such as motor vehicle collisions, natural disasters, sexual assault, and the unexpected death of a loved one. In recent years, the volume and rates of PTS diagnosis have dramatically risen.

Sadly, the existing methods of diagnosing PTS as well as the understanding of the biological underpinnings that cause the illness remain limited.

In response, in September 2016 the National Institute of Mental Health put forth $21 million to support and launch the AURORA study. Led by scientists at the University of North Carolina and Harvard, AURORA is applying the latest tools in physiology, genomics, neuroimaging, and wearable technology to achieve a quantum leap in knowledge relating to post-traumatic stress. Enrolling its first study participant in September 2017, AURORA intends to collect and analyze data from 5,000 trauma patients during a 5-year period, enrolling study participants at 30 emergency department recruitment sites located throughout the United States. As a result, AURORA will become the largest, most comprehensive trauma study ever performed.

AURORA clinical site mapThe goals of the AURORA Study are:

  • To deliver tools for clinicians to make informed decisions about patients’ risk and care after a traumatic experience.
  • To identify new intervention targets which will give rise to mechanism-informed treatments based on individual needs.

Although the NIMH funding provides tremendous support, significant gaps in the original financial support prevent the participating investigators from fully exploiting and accelerating the opportunity this large cohort of patients represents.

Knowing that these are opportunities that could fundamentally change the paradigm of care for those who suffer from PTS related disorders, and wanting to accelerate the outcomes of the AURORA study, in 2017 One Mind set forth the goal of raising an additional $7.9 million in donor-generated funds over a 5-year period to be given to the study (As of Dec 2018, One Mind has given $2 million to AURORA). Our financial support is making a difference, but more needs to be done to help those who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress! Please make a donation to One Mind today to help us support the AURORA study.

See the progress that is being made by viewing our June 2018 AURORA study update.

For more information, please visit the AURORA website.

“One Mind’s combination of passionate patient-centeredness, science, and regulatory “street smarts” make them unique. The resources, focus, and expertise of One Mind have been game-changing in altering the design and trajectory of the AURORA study to deliver clinical decision tools, biomarkers, and new treatments to patients.”

Samuel McLean, MD, MPH
Director, University of North Carolina Institute of Trauma Recovery
Organizing Principal Investigator, the AURORA Study

Watch Dr. McLean’s Music Festival for Brain Health Presentation

AURORA study - Dr. Sam McLean