Long-term effects of battle-related 'blast plus impact' concussive TBI in US military

April 17, 2014
©2014 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

U.S. military personnel who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and suffered "blast plus impact" concussive traumatic brain injury (TBI) were compared to military personnel without TBI who were evacuated for other medical reasons. Differences in measures of overall disability, cognitive function, post-traumatic stress, and depression 6-12 months after injury are reported in an article in Journal of Neurotrauma.

Christine MacDonald, PhD, Ann Johnson, Elliot Nelson, MD, Nicole Werner, PhD, and David Brody, MD, PhD, Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, MO), and Col. Raymond Fang, MD and Col. (ret) Stephen Flaherty, MD, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (Germany), found that overall disability among the study participants recovering from concussive TBI was surprisingly high. The authors explore the possible factors related to differences in outcomes between the two groups in the article "Functional Status after Blast-Plus-Impact Complex Concussive Traumatic Brain Injury in Evacuated United States Military Personnel".

John T. Povlishock, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Neurotrauma and Professor, Medical College of Virginia Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, notes that "This is an intriguing study conducted in a relatively unique cohort of military patients who sustained blast plus other forms of . The finding in this patient population of sustained morbidity at 6 and 12 months post-injury, together with a dramatically increased incidence of post-traumatic stress disorders, is striking and must be considered as we move forward in our evaluation of blast-injured ."

Dr. Povlishock continues, "While the authors strike the appropriate cautionary notes in terms of sample size and other limitations, these extremely important prospective observational studies should clearly inform decision-making processes in current and future populations who have sustained such injuries."

Explore further: Should hyperbaric oxygen therapy be used to treat combat-related mild traumatic brain injury?

More information: The article is available free on the Journal of Neurotrauma website at http://www.liebertpub.com/neu

Related Stories

Should hyperbaric oxygen therapy be used to treat combat-related mild traumatic brain injury?

November 13, 2012
The average incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among service members deployed in Middle East conflict zones has increased 117% in recent years, mainly due to proximity to explosive blasts. Therapeutic exposure to a ...

US Army identifies six critical research targets for improving outcomes in traumatic brain injury

January 6, 2014
The U.S. Department of Defense funds more than 500 neurotrauma research projects totaling over $700 million. Yet there remains a large unmet medical need for effective treatments of traumatic brain injury (TBI), a major cause ...

Does genetic variability affect long-term response to traumatic brain injury?

October 17, 2013
An individual's recovery months after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is difficult to predict, and some of the variability in outcomes may be due to genetic differences. Subtle variations in genes that regulate a person's ...

Can traumatic brain injury impair a child's working memory?

September 26, 2013
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) during childhood can have long-term effects on cognitive and psychosocial functioning, including poor academic achievement. Pediatric TBI can cause significant deficits in working memory, as demonstrated ...

Disability caused by traumatic brain injury in children may persist and stop improving after 2 years

September 18, 2012
A child who suffers a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) may still have substantial functional disabilities and reduced quality of life 2 years after the injury. After those first 2 years, further improvement ...

Blast-related injuries detected in the brains of US military personnel

June 1, 2011
An advanced imaging technique has revealed that some U.S. military personnel with mild blast-related traumatic brain injuries have abnormalities in the brain that have not been seen with other types of imaging.

Recommended for you

Scientists capture first image of major brain receptor in action

July 24, 2017
Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have captured the first three-dimensional snapshots of the AMPA-subtype glutamate receptor in action. The receptor, which regulates most electrical signaling in the brain, ...

Research identifies new brain death pathway in Alzheimer's disease

July 24, 2017
Alzheimer's disease tragically ravages the brains, memories and ultimately, personalities of its victims. Now affecting 5 million Americans, Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and a cure ...

Eye test could help diagnose autism

July 24, 2017
A new study out in European Journal of Neuroscience could herald a new tool that helps physicians identify a sub-group of people with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The test, which consists of measuring rapid eye movements, ...

Illuminating neural pathways in the living brain

July 24, 2017
Using light alone, scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried are now able to reveal pairs or chains of functionally connected neurons under the microscope. The new optogenetic method, named Optobow, ...

Study suggests link between autism, pain sensitivity

July 24, 2017
New research by a UT Dallas neuroscientist has established a link between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and pain sensitivity. 

The neural codes for body movements

July 21, 2017
A small patch of neurons in the brain can encode the movements of many body parts, according to researchers in the laboratory of Caltech's Richard Andersen, James G. Boswell Professor of Neuroscience, Tianqiao and Chrissy ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.