Brain injuries are becoming a common place thing with troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Returning military personnel are facing depression, dementia and other health care problems.
Researchers admit they have no idea how high the risks are for returning troops. With 22 percent of the troops with some form of brain injury doctors are having to make precise steps in seeing the care these men and women face in later years.
The Associated Press reports:
“I don’t think we really knew how big a hole in scientific knowledge there is about blast-induced brain injuries,” said Dr. George Rutherford of the University of California, San Francisco, the report’s lead researcher.
“If you have a gunshot wound to some specific part of your brain, I can tell you the consequences,” Rutherford said. But with blast concussions, it’s not even possible to say “if you have six of these, are you six times more likely to have something bad happen to you than if you’ve had one?”
Many of those returning have reported headaches, dizziness, memory loss, confusion, irritability, insomnia and depression. If you ask the military most will recover with treatment.
Dig deeper and you will discover that patients with even mild TBI have higher than average risks to developing Alzheimer’s-like dementia and Parkinson’s-like seizures. These symptoms hinder social function and add to unemployment.
Depression and acting out aggressively are also behaviours linked to mild TBI.
The report is requesting that every soldier that has been exposed to a blast should be screened for TBI.