Mild Blast Injuries Tied to Long-Term Brain Changes in Veterans

Veterans who are suffering from even mild brain injuries from blasts have long-term changes on their brains, a study suggests.

The brains of 10 American vets who had been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries had been assessed against a group of 10 people without brain injuries. The average time since the vet had suffered their brain injuries was a little more than four years.

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

The study suggested that even mild traumatic brain injuries caused by a blast can have long-term effects on a veteran’s brain. This may lead to behavioral and mental symptoms in some who have had a history of blast-related mild traumatic brain injuries.

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