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Brain Trauma from Blast Force

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    I noticed a reference to TBI on the cover of the February 2015 edition of National Geographic at the local bookshop today. Having had my interest piqued I leafed through the cover story to find a really, really long story on something called 'brain trauma from blast force' which is said to account for the lion's share of TBI as suffered by US military personnel. The two paragraphs which immediately stood out to me follow below with a link to the story in full after that. Note that it is a long, long read, but well worth the time and effort IMO.

    'According to the U.S. Department of Defense, between 2001 and 2014 some 230,000 soldiers and veterans were identified as suffering from so-called mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), mostly as a result of exposure to blast events. The variety of symptoms associated with the condition—headache, seizures, motor disorders, sleep disorders, dizziness, visual disturbances, ringing in the ears, mood changes, and cognitive, memory, and speech difficulties—the fact that they resemble symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the fact that exposure to blast events often was not logged in the early years of the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq make it impossible to pin down casualty figures.'

    'Despite the prevalence of the condition, the most fundamental questions about it remain unanswered. Not only is there no secure means of diagnosis, but there are also no known ways to prevent it and no cure. Above all, there is no consensus within the medical community about the nature of blast-induced injury or by what mechanism blast force damages the brain.'
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