Effects of Repeated Traumatic Brain Injuries in a Combat Setting
Final rept. 1 June 2010 30 November 2011
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Traumatic brain injury TBI is considered one of the signature wounds of the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Compared to previous wars and because of advancements in battlefield medical care and personal protective equipment, many casualties survive these wounds and are returned to duty. However, those service members who return to duty following mild TBI, or concussion, are at risk for repeated injury. The effects of repeated TBI among U.S. service members have not been examined. This study for the first time described the occurrence of repeated TBI among military deployed personnel, and identified time between repeated TBI events. The median time between repeated TBI events was 40 days. Severity of the 2nd event, but not 1st event, was predictive of adverse neurological and psychological outcomes. Results of the aforementioned analysis have been published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development MacGregor, 2011. An analysis is currently underway that is examining repeated TBI events compared with single TBI events and an injured, non-TBI control group. The results of this study may have a direct impact on military policy, as guidelines are currently being considered to address the management of combat-related TBI.
- Medicine and Medical Research