A Virtual Bombshell

For some time the thought was that the mTBI, TBI and concussions suffered on a playing field were different from what was being experienced on the battle field.  The mechanisms may be different (collisions versus blast injuries) in nature but the resulting devastation may be similar.  Again we can look to the northeast to Boston University’s brain bank and researchers for this new finding;

Scientists who have studied a degenerative brain disease in athletes have found the same condition in combat veterans exposed to roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, concluding that such explosions injure the brain in ways strikingly similar to tackles and punches. […]

“Our paper points out in a profound and definitive way that there is an organic, structural problem in the brain associated with blast exposure,” said Dr. Lee E. Goldstein of Boston University’s School of Medicine and a lead author of the paper, which was published online Wednesday by the peer-reviewed journal Science Translational Medicine.

The paper provides the strongest evidence yet that some and perhaps many combat veterans with invisible brain injuries caused by explosions are at risk of developing long-term neurological disease — a finding that, if confirmed, would have profound implications for military policy, veterans programs and future research.

As I have stated before I feel the military has been on the cutting edge Continue reading

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Science Daily and its findings

Thanks to a friend and follower of the blog I have been looking at some traumatic brain injury (TBI) research.  Often you see TBI and concussion near each other; you can think of them as brother and sister.  They are cut from the same cloth, meaning it is the same mechanisms that cause both.  Concussions are referred to as minor traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) due to the lack of diagnostic (see imaging) findings with altered mental status or signs/symptoms.  Regardless traumatizing the brain is not something that is good for you on a consistent basis.

The first article is about the link between TBI and stroke;

If you suffer traumatic brain injury, your risk of having a stroke within three months may increase tenfold, according to a new study reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

“It’s reasonable to assume that cerebrovascular damage in the head caused by a traumatic brain injury can trigger either a hemorrhagic stroke [when a blood vessel bursts inside the brain] or an ischemic stroke [when an artery in the brain is blocked],” said Herng-Ching Lin, Ph.D., senior study author and professor at the School of Health Care Administration, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University in Taiwan. “However, until now, no research had been done showing a correlation between traumatic brain injury and stroke.”

It is the first study that pinpoints traumatic brain injury as a potential risk factor for subsequent stroke.

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The next article is about the link between TBI and Parkinson’s; Continue reading

Concussions Not Only The Field of Play, but…

On the field of battle.  Amy Davidson of the The New Yorker wrote a story about concussions in football and in battle.  More significantly our soldiers are not getting Purple Hearts for such injuries.

She went on to source a ProRebublica/NPR report that was directed at the military and their lack of apparent recognition of brain injures as valid injuries.

An even deeper issue, one that seems not to garner the press it should be getting is the trouble that most soldiers are having trying to readjust to civilian life.  PTSD has been the biggest “diagnosis” for most with issues, but possibly could it be the concussions sustained on the battle field?