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War Study: Concussions, PTSD Linked for Deployed Soldiers

Image: War Study: Concussions, PTSD Linked for Deployed Soldiers

A study of war-deployed soldiers shows they are more likely to develop PTSD after suffering a concussion. (Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 26 Sep 2016 05:55 PM

A war study of troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan found soldiers are more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) if they suffer a concussion or other trauma to the brain.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed Marines who had brain injuries while deployed went on to develop PTSD at twice the rate of those who didn’t have the injuries. Brain trauma prior to deployment was not as strongly associated with development of PTSD after deployment, according to the study.

Other research on brain injuries has shown they can change the way the brain responds to a frightening event by disrupting the parts of the brain that usually blunt those responses, according to NPR. This study was the first to show a clear link between head injury and the development of PTSD.

Potentially thousands of soldiers have developed PTSD after sustaining a concussion from a bomb blast, a common occurrence in Iraq and Afghanistan where roadside IEDs are all too common.

Another study of the electrical activity in the brain reported by NPR showed the amygdala often had trouble regulating emotions when fear was present after a concussion or other brain injury, even for some study subjects who never served in the military.

“The result is like a car with no brake,” researcher Mingxiong Huang said, NPR reported.

For soldier Charles Mayers, the experience of a head injury and subsequent PTSD inspired him to earn a degree that would allow him to help other soldiers who experienced what he had. He was hired by the researchers of the JAMA study, who plan to continue their research and expand it to see what happens in the brain when PTSD occurs.

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A war study of troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan found soldiers are more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) if they suffer a concussion or other trauma to the brain.
war, study, concussions, ptsd, soldiers
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2016-55-26
Monday, 26 Sep 2016 05:55 PM
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