Veterans May Suffer Effects of Brain Injuries for Years Later
Published January 2, 2014
According to the results of a new study, veterans who suffer from combat-related brain injuries may suffer from the effects of such injuries, even years later.
According to the research conducted by researchers at St Louis University, veterans who suffer from such blast-related injuries, show changes in brain tissue that are discernible, even years after the blast.The researchers looked at brain imaging scans taken with diffusion tensor imaging technology, which is a highly sensitive magnetic resonance imaging technology. They found that the brains of military personnel, who had suffered combat-related injuries, continued to show damage even years after the injury had occurred.
These long-lasting effects of brain injury are seen only among veterans. Among civilians who suffer brain injuries, several effects of the injuries like concussions or cognitive problems, typically disappear within one to 3 months after the injury. The impact of the injury seems to be much longer among military personnel. According to the researchers, these long-term effects have only now come to light, because the conventional scans that are currently used to study combat-related brain injuries among veterans are not sensitive enough to pick up minute changes in brain matter.
California veterans’ disability benefits lawyers believe that there are other reasons why veterans have a much higher risk of long-term effects of brain injuries, compared to civilians. For instance, veterans are much more likely to suffer from health issues like depression, which could exacerbate the effects of a brain injury. Besides, veterans are much more likely to experiment with alcohol or drug use, upon return from combat duty. It is also a fact that veterans who suffer from combat-related brain injuries are much more likely to also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, which could also possibly affect the functioning of the brain.