In a press release (found on Digital Journal with a lawyers op-ed at the end, forget the source understand the implications) research is showing that war veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are not showing improvement of traumatic brain injury (TBI) symptoms;
A brain health organization recently announced the results of a study of traumatic brain injuries. By looking at 500 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the research concluded that brain injury symptoms did not subside over the course of eight years. Instead, the veterans reported slightly worse conditions over the course of time. This research draws more attention to traumatic brain injuries as “invisible wounds.” Even though veterans with brain injuries may look completely whole and healthy on the outside, painful and frustrating consequences can continue to make post-service life extremely difficult.
Brain injury symptoms include severe headaches, memory problems, impulsivity or impaired judgment, and even depression. Taken as a group, these symptoms are often called post-concussive syndrome. At least 253,000 American servicemen and women were diagnosed with brain injuries in the last twelve years.
Study’s Results Show Bad News For Brain Injury Victims The new study looked at symptoms of post-concussive syndrome over a period of time. Researchers evaluated veterans with brain injuries during the first four years after a brain injury and then again in the next four years after that. Over the course of eight years, the researchers found that symptoms still had not diminished. Almost 50 percent of the surveyed veterans reported continuing headaches. Forty-six percent said that their headaches were still “severe” up to four years after an injury. Fast forward another four years and the numbers were even worse: 51 percent of respondents said that they suffered from severe headaches.
Researchers also said that a similar pattern appeared in other brain injury symptom categories like depression, impulsive decision-making, and coordination. Because brain injuries can be cumulative, veterans who suffered multiple concussions also seemed to experience even worse symptoms.
I will be efforting the actual study, but it is worth the note that concussions/TBI’s are often forgot after the fact because they are invisible to everyone, except for the person suffering (I have extensive experience in this as well).
Although the study concludes worsening symptoms over time, I would like to interject something here. I would venture to guess that most if not the vast majority of the TBI’s in the study were not handled/managed correctly. If you go back eight years the treatment of this injury was way wrong, and often never allowed the brain to fully heal.
This study really hammers home the need for proper management, remember that the elephant in the room is not the injury, rather the mismanagement of the injury. I can confidently state that in 2004 concussions were mismanaged and now we are seeing some results of this. Moreover, this should justify removing anyone with a TBI/concussion from activity until fully recovered; sports, military or life in general.