I have said it many times on the blog, the US Military has been ahead of the game on concussions. Not only their research but their sudden and correct actions of taking soldiers out of action after sustaining a concussion. In fact all military personnel who sustain a concussion are not only prescribed rest there is a mandatory 72 hour observation.
From the Defense Department, the US Army Leads the way in this science;
With $633 million and 472 active research projects on traumatic brain injury alone, the Army is driving the science behind this neglected public health problem that affects everyone from kids on the sports field to service members in Afghanistan.
TBI, and especially mild TBI, “is essentially a frontier of medicine,” Army Col. (Dr.) Dallas Hack, director of the Army’s Combat Casualty Care Research Program, said in a recent interview with American Forces Press Service.
From 2000 to 2011, just over 133,000 soldiers were diagnosed with TBI. For the Defense Department as a whole in that period, 220,000 service members were diagnosed, according to an Army behavioral health specialist.
Interestingly enough the Army concedes that fewer than 25% of concussion come as a result of battle, the vast majority coming from training accidents and other non-battle field incidents.
Research being funded includes a range of neuroimaging or brain scanning technologies; quantitative electroencephalography or brain mapping, blood tests for biomarkers of brain injury, and even drugs that may prevent injuries from mild brain trauma.
Brain imaging is “probably the current best we can do,” Hack said, but scientists often don’t have enough data to interpret mTBI scans.
“The fact is,” he added, “that on the milder injuries you don’t see physical defects but you can see functional issues.”
It is good to know someone somewhere is doing unbiased work. Also to note that the use of “mild” in this article is correct, as they are describing traumatic brain injury (TBI). Current nomenclature is a mild TBI (mTBI) is a concussion. This is different from a severe TBI which would be a kin to a crushed skull or brain bleed.