Mild Blast Injuries Can Cause Long-Term Brain Injuries in Veterans

01 Dec 2013

According to the results of a new study, veterans who suffer even mild explosion-related injuries can have long-term brain damage.

California veterans benefits lawyers have been aware for a while that veterans who suffer blast-related brain injuries during combat, can suffer long-term physical and structural changes to the brain, that can have lifelong consequences. Researchers recently used special MRI technology called diffusion tensor imaging to diagnose mild brain injuries that were caused by roadside explosions and blasts. According to the researchers, it can be difficult to diagnose mild brain injuries using traditional and standard CT scans or MRI scans, and therefore they turned to this new and innovative technology.

They used the technology to monitor and evaluate the brain injuries of 10 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. All of these veterans had been diagnosed with mild brain injuries. These persons were then compared to a control group of persons who did not suffer from any brain injuries.

The researchers found that veterans, who had suffered brain injuries, suffered significant differences in the white matter of the brain. Changes in the white matter of the brain are linked to a number of cognitive changes, including attention problems, poor performance in psychomotor tests, and poor memory. What is very worrisome is that the researchers found that even mild brain injuries caused by roadside explosions, can lead to long-term consequences on brain health.

The researchers also recommend that diffusion tensor imaging be used more often to diagnose mild brain injuries as a result of a blast, because this technology is much more effective in diagnosing such injuries long after the injuries have occurred.