AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 3, 2017

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Study Sheds Light on Prognosis of mTBI Symptoms for Returning Soldiers

Nearly 50 percent of recently-deployed Soldiers who sustained a mild traumatic brain injury reported post-concussive symptoms – like headaches, sleep disturbance and forgetfulness – three months after returning from deployment, according to a study by researchers at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), and the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. A mild traumatic brain injury, also referred to as mTBI or concussion, is the most prevalent form of brain injury among service members returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. To better understand the prevalence and prognosis of symptoms associated with this common deployment-related injury, the team of researchers reviewed data from about 1,500 Soldiers who had been non-medically evacuated from Afghanistan and Iraq to two military bases between 2009 and 2014 – all of whom were screened for mTBI. Of those who were found to have sustained mTBI, about half (47 percent) reported at least one severe or very severe post-concussive symptom three months post-deployment. The most commonly reported symptoms were sleep problems, forgetfulness, irritability, headaches and trouble concentrating.

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