Research Finds Soldiers with TBI Have Measurable Brain Abnormalities

20 Feb 2013

Traumatic brain injury affecting veterans is a grave source of concern to California veteran’s benefits lawyers. New research into traumatic brain injury among veterans in Afghanistan and Iraq has found that these veterans have very measurable abnormalities in the brain. The scientists are calling these abnormalities “potholes.”

The researchers analyzed cases of traumatic brain injury among veterans, and found that patients with traumatic brain injury seemed to have more brain alterations, or potholes. These alterations existed in the white matter of the brain. A comparison with patients who did not suffer from traumatic brain injury, found that these persons did not have comparable abnormalities.

In fact, the researchers found that the more severe the brain injury, the higher the number of white matter abnormalities in the brain. There also seems to be a correlation between the higher numbers of potholes as well as the severity of cognitive alterations in brain functions. For instance, a person with a higher number of such brain white matter abnormalities found it difficult to execute decisions, or make plans.

Veterans who suffer from mild brain injuries had significantly more number of potholes in brain white matter, than veterans who did not suffer traumatic brain injury. Persons who suffered from brain injury and had these abnormalities also seemed to perform poorly on cognitive tests that were meant to measure a person's decision-making abilities and planning abilities.

What's more, the researchers found that the existence of such potholes was not limited to veterans. When they examined the brains of civilians who had also suffered mild traumatic brain injury in accidents, falls and other non-combat situations, they found that these patients actually had more number of potholes in the white matter of the brain, compared to veterans.