Navigation Links
Traumatic Brain Injuries Linked to Long-Term Health Issues for Iraq Vets
Date:12/4/2008

Government report notes problems include dementia, aggression, depression

THURSDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A new report provides evidence linking traumatic brain injury sustained by troops in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan to a variety of long-term health problems including dementia, aggression, depression and symptoms similar to those seen in Parkinson's disease.

But the Institute of Medicine committee charged with developing the report also pointed to a troubling lack of scientific data on such injuries, which are fairly recent in the history of warfare.

"The real bottom line significant finding is that there's not a good human literature on the kinds of neurotrauma seen in Iraq and Afghanistan caused by blasts," said Dr. George W. Rutherford, vice chair of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. "The human literature is really about people who've had [brain injury] from car crashes or falling down stairs and, in the military, from shrapnel or gunshots. We're all worried that blast neurotrauma hasn't really made it into the human literature."

This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to anticipate and hopefully mitigate the long-term consequences of such injuries, added Rutherford, who chaired the committee that wrote the report.

"They focused on blast-induced neurotrauma, a blast injury that leaves the head without any external marks of even being knocked about," explained Keith Young, vice chair for research at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and Neuroimaging and Genetics Core Leader for the VA Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans. "The blast is so close and so large, it seems to be shaking the brain. My guess is that this causes micro-bleeds," Young said.

The current U.S. conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have been ongoing since Oct. 7, 2001 and March 2003, respectively, differ vastly from previous combat deployments in terms of injuries sustained. They differ even from injuries seen in the 1991 war, with more deaths, multiple traumas and more traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

Blast injuries are considered the "signature" wound of the Iraq war and are largely a result of newer, more powerful explosive devices.

"One cause of the high rates of TBI is relatively simple: survival," Young said. "The reason more people are surviving is better on-the-scene treatment and medivacing to facilities within minutes rather than hours."

According to the Department of Defense (DOD), more than 5,500 soldiers had suffered TBIs as of January 2008, accounting for about 22 percent of all casualties, as compared with only 12 percent to 14 percent of all combat casualties during the Vietnam War.

In an effort to detail the long-term consequences of TBI, the committee looked at almost 2,000 studies on the subject.

The committee found evidence of a causal relationship between penetrating TBI and unprovoked seizures as well as death, and between severe or moderate TBI with unprovoked seizures.

There was "sufficient" evidence of an association between TBI and decline in neurocognitive function, long-term unemployment and problems with social relationships; Alzheimer's-like dementia, endocrine dysfunction, depression, aggressive behavior, memory problems and early death.

There was "limited/suggestive" evidence of an association between moderate or severe TBI and diabetes or psychosis; and between mild TBI and visual problems, dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide.

"Inadequate/insufficient" evidence existed on the relationship between moderate or severe TBI and brain tumors; mild TBI and employment and social functioning problems, bipolar disorder or attempted suicide; TBI and multiple sclerosis or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease).

The committee put forth a number of recommendations.

"Three of the recommendations are really directed towards the DOD and the VA about how to keep track of this stuff so people in the future can put registries together," Rutherford said. "Once you know that, you can start answering questions, are five of these five times as bad as one, what's the long-term risk of any bad outcome."

More information

View the full report at the U.S. National Academies of Science.



SOURCES: George W. Rutherford, M.D., professor, epidemiology and preventive medicine, and vice chair, department of epidemiology and biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco; Keith A. Young, Ph.D., vice chair, research, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, and Neuroimaging and Genetics Core Leader, VA Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans; Gulf War and Health Volume 7: Long-Term Consequences of TBI


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Predicting the future for patients with severe traumatic brain injury
2. Video: BrainLine.org Confronts Traumatic Brain Injury Crisis
3. War Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury Pay the Price of Waste at the VA, Says Dr. Robert Van Boven
4. Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton & Tripler Army Medical Center to Install Neuro Kinetics I-Portal(R) NOTC System for Traumatic Brain Injury Testing
5. LegalView Reports on Rare Traumatic Brain Injury Condition That Could Cause Complete Paralysis of A Victim
6. California Brain Injury Association and Scarlett Law Group Conduct Medical/Legal Conference on Traumatic Brain Injury November 21 - 23rd, 2008
7. Large hormone dose may reduce risk of post-traumatic stress disorder
8. VA Announces Changes to the Disability Rating Schedule for Traumatic Brain Injuries and Burn Scars
9. National study finds post-traumatic stress disorder common among injured patients
10. Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Result From Senior Falls
11. UPDATE: Defense Health Board Traumatic Brain Injury Family Caregivers Panel
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Traumatic Brain Injuries Linked to Long-Term Health Issues for Iraq Vets
(Date:5/4/2016)... , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society™ and Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy (CAET) will ... time saving and planning tools to attendees and exhibitors for the 2016 WOCN ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Charles, LA (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... Charles, LA area has teamed up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana ... now being accepted here . , Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Washington Wellness Center today announced its tenth anniversary ... What started out as an idea to provide a holistic approach to wellness ... , Developed by Dr. David Swanekamp, Chiropractic Physician , the wellness center offers ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... 2016. SS&A teamed up with one of the top website design companies to ... contains informative legal articles related to the law firm's main practice areas. These ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Momsense, ... nursing mothers. The company’s patented technology, The Smart Breastfeeding Meter, is designed to ... that the technology is now available for purchase at Target.com . ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... YORK , May 4, 2016 ... Share, Development, Growth and Demand Forecast to 2022 - Industry ... User (Hospital, Diagnostic Center and Others)" by P&S Market Research, ... $4,894.3 million in 2015, and it is expected to grow ... type, the high slice type segment is expected to witness ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... 4, 2016 In March, ... series of free workshops across Africa ... requirements for Good Distribution Practices (GDP). Good Distribution ... that products are consistently stored, transported and handled under ... or product specification. Only a few years ago, there ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... , May 4, 2016 ... addition of the  "Global Multiple Myeloma Market ... to their offering.       (Logo: ... Myeloma Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights 2016, ... products, Multiple Myeloma epidemiology, Multiple Myeloma market ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: