mTBI – ‘stealth’ brain trauma

April 22, 2009 · Filed Under This & That 

 

Unlike all other wars, body armor has kept most soldiers alive, improvised explosive devices (known as IEDs) cause up to 60% of American military injuries in Iraq. ied-blast

Multiple IED blast exposures. What does that mean? Improvised (made up…) explosives, clusters of anti-tank explosives jolting a Humvee off the road; buried IEDs; IED propelled shrapnel, nails, objects; RPGs (rocket-propelled grenade).

Symptoms of a mild Traumatic Brain injury: (with or without PTSD): concussion, headaches, nausea, garbled hearing, insomnia, memory lapses. Concussion symptoms usually supposed to clear up in a few weeks or months, but can continue on one, two, three years later and more.

Statistics, during 2006 – among the 2,500 soldiers who returned from 12 month tours, 62 % reported 2 or >2 explosions (blasts), 2 %, suffered gunshot wounds.

Researchers have been looking at an unaccounted-for mechanism in the blast itself that appears to be causing hidden brain injuries.

Ibolja Cernak, neuroscientist and medical director, Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory believes that blasts have more effect than only to the head. In a blast, shock waves also compress the torso causing pressure waves to ripple through blood vessels …rushing into the brain and damaging tissue.

Colonel Geoffrey Ling, Army neurologist, concurs there is probably more to war-zone head trauma than the blunt forces that occur similarly during an automobile accident or football collision. His theory pinpoints specifically, electromagnetic pulses as one possible culprit. Dr. Ling contends that blasts emit intense magnetic fields that may damage brain cells.

In 2008 the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke called together more than 100 doctors, neuroscientists, physicists and biomechanical engineers to review ‘blast-related’ brain injuries.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa, has been investigating blast brain injuries and their effects, led by Col. Ling, from chemical and structural alterations to the resulting behavioral symptoms.

The question in debate … does damage to the head, whether direct or indirect result in long-term neurological problems? There are so many young vital lives waiting for us to uncover the answers.

LEARN MORE ABOUT TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES, MILD TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES:

**all links will open in a new window.

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury:

This 29-minute video, introduced by General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), offers an introduction to TBI, a health issue affecting at least 1.4 million Americans each year. It features the recovery journeys of several service personnel and their families. VIDEO TRANSCRIPT [pdf]


fulltext1CLICK Here to view NEW References! 


epoint “The Wounds Within” Dept. of Defense Video – War Trauma (PTSD/TBI). 

WARNING: The video contains real combat footage which some viewers may find disturbing! 

 CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO CLIP **THIS WILL TAKE YOU OUT OF THE PARENTS ZONE SITE.   


yellow-82nd-ribbon Karen, Proud Army Airborne Mom

“H-Minus”

Karen Estrada, MS  

Military Health Matters Resource Center

 

 

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