Even mild blast injuries tied to long-term brain changes in vets - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Even mild blast injuries tied to long-term brain changes in vets

Updated: Dec 2, 2013 09:51 AM
© US Army / Sgt. 1st Class Michael Guillory © US Army / Sgt. 1st Class Michael Guillory

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Soldiers who suffer mild brain injuries from blasts have long-term changes in their brains, a small new study suggests.

Diagnosing mild brain injuries caused by explosions can be challenging using standard CT or MRI scans, the researchers said. For their study, they turned to a special type of MRI called diffusion tensor imaging.

The technology was used to assess the brains of 10 American veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who had been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries and a comparison group of 10 people without brain injuries. The average time since the veterans had suffered their brain injuries was a little more than four years.

The researchers found that the veterans and the comparison group had significant differences in the brain's white matter, which consists mostly of signal-carrying nerve fibers. These differences were linked with attention problems, delayed memory and poorer psychomotor test scores among the veterans. "Psychomotor" refers to movement and muscle ability associated with mental processes.

The findings suggest that even mild brain injuries caused by a blast can have long-term effects on the brain, according to the study, which is scheduled to be presented Monday at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, in Chicago.

"This long-term impact on the brain may account for ongoing [mental] and behavioral symptoms in some veterans with a history of blast-related [mild traumatic brain injuries]," study co-author P. Tyler Roskos, a neuropsychologist and assistant research professor at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, said in a society news release.

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The study results also indicate that diffusion tensor imaging is better than conventional MRI or CT at detecting blast-related mild traumatic brain injuries -- even long after they occurred -- and may help improve diagnosis and treatment of veterans with the condition, Roskos said.

More information

The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center has more about blast injuries.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • 1 of 2 Ohio plane crash victims not yet identified

    1 of 2 Ohio plane crash victims not yet identified

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:48 PM EDT2014-07-29 01:48:43 GMT
    FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) - Authorities in northwest Ohio are still trying to identify one of two people killed in a weekend plane crash. One of the victims in the crash near Findlay was the CEO of an Ohio manufacturing company. A coroner was trying to identify the remains of a woman killed in the crash, but the Hancock County Sheriff's Office says DNA testing may be needed. Deputies say Ralf Bronnenmeier, CEO of Grob Systems in Bluffton, was piloting the single-engine plane that crashed early Sund...More >>
    FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) - Authorities in northwest Ohio are still trying to identify one of two people killed in a weekend plane crash. One of the victims in the crash near Findlay was the CEO of an Ohio manufacturing company. A coroner was trying to identify the remains of a woman killed in the crash, but the Hancock County Sheriff's Office says DNA testing may be needed. Deputies say Ralf Bronnenmeier, CEO of Grob Systems in Bluffton, was piloting the single-engine plane that crashed early Sund...More >>
  • TSA finds gun, ammo in Pittsburgh airport carry-on

    TSA finds gun, ammo in Pittsburgh airport carry-on

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:35 PM EDT2014-07-29 01:35:49 GMT
    IMPERIAL, Pa. (AP) - The Transportation Security Administration says it found a pistol and ammunition in man's carry-on bag as he passed through security at Pittsburgh International Airport. TSA official tell the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the man wasn't allowed take the gun past security, and faces up to a $11,000 civil penalty for bringing the weapon to the checkpoint. But Allegheny County police say they don't plan to charge the man with a crime because he had a license to carry the ....More >>
    IMPERIAL, Pa. (AP) - The Transportation Security Administration says it found a pistol and ammunition in man's carry-on bag as he passed through security at Pittsburgh International Airport. TSA official tell the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the man wasn't allowed take the gun past security, and faces up to a $11,000 civil penalty for bringing the weapon to the checkpoint. But Allegheny County police say they don't plan to charge the man with a crime because he had a license to carry the ....More >>
  • 5 Pa. reps ask NCAA to halt Penn State sanctions

    5 Pa. reps ask NCAA to halt Penn State sanctions

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:29 PM EDT2014-07-29 01:29:22 GMT
    Five Pennsylvania congressmen are asking college sports' governing body to cancel penalties against Penn State imposed as a result of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.More >>
    Five Pennsylvania congressmen are asking college sports' governing body to cancel penalties against Penn State imposed as a result of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms