Traumatic Brain Injuries Of Some Veterans

Traumatic Brain Injuries Of Some Veterans.

The brains of some veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who were injured by homemade bombs show an out of the ordinary gauge of damage, a small analyse finds. Researchers speculate that the damage - what they call a "honeycomb" pattern of broken and hypertrophied nerve fibers - might help explain the phenomenon of "shell shock". That duration was coined during World War I, when trench warfare exposed troops to constant bombardment with exploding shells article source. Many soldiers developed an array of symptoms, from problems with wraith and hearing, to headaches and tremors, to confusion, concern and nightmares.

Now referred to as blast neurotrauma, the injuries have become an worthy issue again, said Dr Vassilis Koliatsos, the senior researcher on the new study helpful hints. "Vets coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan have been exposed to a selection of situations, including blasts from improvised dicey devices IEDs ," said Koliatsos, a professor of pathology, neurology and psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

But even though the honour of shell shock goes back 100 years, researchers still be aware little about what is actually going on in the brain. For the new study, published recently in the history Acta Neuropathologica Communications, his team studied autopsied brain tissue from five US encounter veterans. The soldiers had all survived IED bomb blasts, but later died of other causes. The researchers compared the vets' understanding tissue to autopsies of 24 rank and file who had died of various causes, including traffic accidents and drug overdoses.

The soldiers' brains showed a sharp pattern of damage to nerve fibers in key regions of the brain - including the frontal lobes, which run the show memory, reasoning and decision-making. He said the "honeycomb" blueprint of small lesions was unlike the damage seen in people who died from head trauma in a car accident, or those who suffered "punch-drunk syndrome" - capacity degeneration caused by repeated concussions.

Before their deaths the five vets did show signs of "neuropsychiatric" problems, such as dejection and anxiety. One died of a gunshot distress to the head, and three died of methadone overdose. Those overdoses could have been accidental, since the panacea is prescribed for severe pain. It's not clear whether any of the soldiers' symptoms can be blamed on the brain harm seen in this study, according to Koliatsos.

But "you have to raise the question, 'Could the neuropsychiatric problems be related to this frontal lobe dysfunction?'" Another dab hand said it "provides preliminary evidence to support structural and concrete changes associated with blast brain injuries. I think this is an important next mark in our understanding of how blast injuries can impact military personnel and veterans, even if we can't easily 'see' the injuries using stock medical techniques," said Craig Bryan, executive director of the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City.

Both he and Koliatsos said further studies are needed to reinforce these findings, and to realize what this brain damage "signature" means. "My anticipation is that research such as this will eventually lead to better diagnostic tests that can detect and identify otherwise hidden injuries much sooner". It could also take the lead to more refined treatment, according to Koliatsos.

For example, if damage to the frontal lobes is causing some blast-injured veterans' symptoms, then curing might include medications that stimulate the frontal lobes. But that's for time to come studies to figure out. "It's premature to say what this means for veterans just now". The most important thing is for blast-exposed vets to seek treatment for any gradual symptoms resources. "If you're having problems, talk to your family and talk to your doctor".

tag : brain veterans damage injuries blast koliatsos frontal problems soldiers

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