Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High rates and impact of traumatic brain injury in Iraq/Afghanistan veterans

Date:
January 18, 2012
Source:
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Summary:
As the last U.S. troops return home from Iraq, new research lends timely insights into the rates and impact of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) among military personnel serving in Iraq/Afghanistan, according to a new research.

As the last U.S. troops return home from Iraq, new research lends timely insights into the rates and impact of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) among military personnel serving in Iraq/Afghanistan, according to a topical issue of The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation (JHTR), the official journal of the Brain Injury Association of America. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Related Articles


The January topical issue of JHTR includes a study suggesting that British troops deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan have lower rates of mTBI than their American counterparts, and that psychological factors present before deployment to combat are a major contributor to lasting symptoms in military personnel with mTBI. Other studies report on the surprising relationship between mTBI and other traumatic injuries, the high burden of mTBI on family caregivers, and a promising approach to treatment.

Lower Rates of mTBI in British than American Troops

Roberto J. Rona, FFPH, and colleagues of King's College London analyzed rates of mTBI and in a large sample (over 4,600) of U.K. troops deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. mTBI -- injuries with short-term loss of consciousness or changes in mental status, sometimes followed by lasting physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms -- has emerged as an important concern in the U.S. and U.K. military. It has been described as the "signature injury" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The study showed a 4.4 percent rate of mTBI among U.K. troops overall, increasing to 9.5 percent among those with a combat role. Blast injuries and falls were the most common causes of mTBI, followed by vehicle crashes.

The prevalence of mTBI in British military personnel appears lower than in previous studies of U.S. troops, which reported rates ranging from 12 percent to over 22 percent. In a second paper, Rona and colleagues report that the difference in mTBI rates is partly related to differences in length of deployment -- which is longer for U.S. troops. However, deployment times could not completely account for the difference in mTBI rates.

The study also found that psychological factors -- especially previous mental health symptoms and alcohol misuse -- were important risk factors for continued symptoms of mTBI. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was another possible risk factor. Rona and colleagues findings partly conflict with a controversial 2008 study in The New England Journal of Medicine, which reported that mTBI was unrelated to most physical health outcomes or symptoms, after accounting for PTSD and depression.

Symptoms of More Severe TBI; High Impact on Caregivers; a Promising Treatment Approach Another study, led by Louis M. French, PsyD, of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, looked at the relationship between mTBI and other physical injuries. Surprisingly, the researchers found that symptoms related to mTBI were actually lower in veterans with more severe bodily injuries. It may be that mTBI symptoms go unnoticed, or develop later, in military personnel with other types of severe injuries.

Joan M. Griffin, PhD, of the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and colleagues looked at the experiences of family caregivers of U.S. veterans with mTBI and other injuries. They found that, for veterans who need help with basic daily functions, a tremendous amount of responsibility falls to the spouse or parents. These caregivers "may need additional resources to meet the long-term needs of their injured family member," the researchers write.

Gregory K. Wolf, PsyD, of the James A. Haley VA Medical Center, Tampa, Fla., report encouraging results with a treatment approach called prolonged exposure therapy for veterans affected by mTBI and PTSD. Including education, breathing exercise, and real-world practice, prolonged exposure therapy is one of the primary proven treatment approaches for PTSD.

"Though the sample was small, this is one of the first studies indicating that prolonged exposure therapy can be safely and effectively implemented with veterans who had had a mild or moderate TBI and consequent cognitive impairment," comments John D. Corrigan, PhD, ABPP, Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at The Ohio State University and Editor-in-Chief of JHTR.

Dr Corrigan adds, "We hope the papers included in this topical issue will serve to stimulate awareness and appropriate clinical management of returning service members who may be living with the aftereffects of traumatic brain injury."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Roberto J. Rona, Margaret Jones, Nicola T. Fear, Lisa Hull, Dominic Murphy, Louise Machell, Bolaji Coker, Amy C. Iversen, Norman Jones, Anthony S. David, Neil Greenberg, Matthew Hotopf, Simon Wessely. Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in UK Military Personnel Returning From Afghanistan and Iraq. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 2012; 27 (1): 33 DOI: 10.1097/HTR.0b013e318212f814

Cite This Page:

Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. "High rates and impact of traumatic brain injury in Iraq/Afghanistan veterans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120118122827.htm>.
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2012, January 18). High rates and impact of traumatic brain injury in Iraq/Afghanistan veterans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120118122827.htm
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. "High rates and impact of traumatic brain injury in Iraq/Afghanistan veterans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120118122827.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins