Thursday, 21 June 2012

Subtle Brain Injuries Expose Veterans to Risk of PTSD

Extremely mild brain injuries that occur during combat can often expose veterans to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.  These brain injuries are so mild, that they can only be detected through an ultrasensitive imaging test.
According to a new study that has been conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center, veterans who have suffered these injuries do not always lose consciousness.  In fact, the researchers believe that such subtle brain injuries can occur even without loss of consciousness.  However, these injuries, even though subtle, have been linked to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans.
The researchers asked each veteran in the study about his PTSD symptoms of, as well as his exposure to blasts, and mild concussions.  In addition, the researchers measured the level of combat stress in each veteran by questioning them about the intensity of their duties during deployment, and severe combat experiences like blasts and vehicle accidents
The researchers found that out of the 52 veterans in the study, 30 had suffered at least one mild traumatic brain injury, and 60% of the veterans had been exposed to multiple blasts.  All 52 veterans in the study showed symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.  Out of these, 15 met the formal criteria for PTSD.  The presence of PTSD symptoms was directly proportional to the amount of injury to the neurons.
California veteran benefits’ lawyers believe that the results of the study will be helpful in differentiating between symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injury, especially when it comes to symptoms that are very similar in both of these conditions.
The US Department Of Veterans Affairs funded the study, and the results of the study have been published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.

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