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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mild traumatic brain injuries linked to troop PTSD, suicide

Mild traumatic brain injuries linked to troop PTSD, suicide
Feb 6, 2013
Written by
Gregg Zoroya
USA TODAY

Concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries inflicted on thousands of U.S. troops who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan may be linked to post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide, according to new research.

Mild TBI, often caused by exposure to makeshift bomb explosions, can be difficult to identify and have lasting effects, according to two studies published in the latest issue of The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.

“What these papers say to me is that there is something to TBI, and particularly military TBI, producing specific abnormalities in the brain that lead to more vulnerability to PTSD and to suicide,” says Dan Perl, a neuropathologist and lead investigator at the Pentagon’s brain repository research center.

Suicides in the military increased to record levels last year: There were 349 potential cases in 2012, a 13percent increase over the previous record of 310 suicides in 2009, according to Pentagon data.
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