Blast-induced TBI and PTSD are diagnoses of particular concern in the United States because of the volume of affected servicemen and women from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. A 2008 Rand Report estimates that 300,000 (18.3%) of 1.64 million military service members who have deployed to these war zones have PTSD or major depression and 320,000 (19.5%) have experienced a TBI. Overall, approximately 546,000 have TBI, PCS, or PTSD and 82,000 have symptoms of all three.
Evidence-based treatment for PTSD exists, but problems with access to and quality of treatment have been problematic in the military setting. Treatment of the symptomatic manifestation of mild TBI, the PCS, is limited. Treatment consists of off-label use of FDA blackbox labeled psychoactive medications, counseling, stimulative, and adaptive strategies. There is no effective treatment for the combined diagnoses of PCS and PTSD.
The research team also included Drs. Keith Van Meter, Susan Andrews, and Paul Staab at LSU Health Sciences Center, as well as researchers from The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of California Irvine School of Medicine, and Georgetown University Medical Center. The research was supported by the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, the Semper Fi Fund, and the Coalition to Salute Americas Heroes, among others.
Further studies in Veterans are underway to confirm the present findings.
|Contact: Leslie Capo|
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center