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A global collaboration to study intimate partner violence-related head trauma: The ENIGMA consortium IPV working group

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Intimate partner violence includes psychological aggression, physical violence, sexual violence, and stalking from a current or former intimate partner. Past research suggests that exposure to intimate partner violence can impact cognitive and psychological functioning, as well as neurological outcomes. These seem to be compounded in those who suffer a brain injury as a result of trauma to the head, neck or body due to physical and/or sexual violence. However, our understanding of the neurobehavioral and neurobiological effects of head trauma in this population is limited due to factors including difficulty in accessing/recruiting participants, heterogeneity of samples, and premorbid and comorbid factors that impact outcomes. Thus, the goal of the Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium Intimate Partner Violence Working Group is to develop a global collaboration that includes researchers, clinicians, and other key community stakeholders. Participation in the working group can include collecting harmonized data, providing data for meta- and mega-analysis across sites, or stakeholder insight on key clinical research questions, promoting safety, participant recruitment and referral to support services. Further, to facilitate the mega-analysis of data across sites within the working group, we provide suggestions for behavioral surveys, cognitive tests, neuroimaging parameters, and genetics that could be used by investigators in the early stages of study design. We anticipate that the harmonization of measures across sites within the working group prior to data collection could increase the statistical power in characterizing how intimate partner violence-related head trauma impacts long-term physical, cognitive, and psychological health.

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KDO has been supported by the NIH/NINDS/NICHD (1U01NS086625–01). ELD has received grants from NIH/NINDS (K99NS096116). KBW is supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Center for PTSD (36C24118C0076). EAW received support from the Department of Veterans Affairs (B6812C; 5 I01 RX00162). FGH is supported by a PA Health Research Grant (SAP #4100077082). DJS is supported by the South African Medical Research Council. AL has been supported through the BWH Program for Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Women’s Brain Initiative. IKK is supported by the NIH (5R01NS100952, U01NS093334) and the European Research Commission (ERC Starting Grant 804326). PvD is supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (PJT-168863), the Canadian Department of Women and Gender Equality (GV-18385), and the Max Bell Foundation (MB-18-A-15). AI is supported by the NIH/NINDS (R01 NS 100973), by the US Department of Defense (W81XWH-18-1-0413) and by a Hanson-Thorell research scholarship. ADM is supported by the NIH, NICHD (1R01HD098172–01).

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Correspondence to Carrie Esopenko.

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AL co-founded the company BrainSpec and serves as a consultant to Moncton MRI. DJS has received research grants and/or honoraria from Lundbeck and Sun. IKK has received research funds and/or honoraria from Abbott and Expesicor. EDB receives royalties from Oxford University Press and provides forensic consultation. BEJ provides forensic consultation. DFT provides forensic consultation.

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Esopenko, C., Meyer, J., Wilde, E.A. et al. A global collaboration to study intimate partner violence-related head trauma: The ENIGMA consortium IPV working group. Brain Imaging and Behavior 15, 475–503 (2021).

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