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About Traumatic Brain Injury

People's brains are terribly fragile and vulnerable, but for soldiers in combat, injury — whether from a bullet, fall, vehicle crash, or blast injury — can be more prevalent, more complex. "Imagine you can only know one thing in the world," says Staff Sergeant Jason Welsh, who was treated for a brain injury at Walter Reed Medical Center. "And that one thing is that you don't know anything."

Brain injury has become the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Because wartime TBIs can be associated with a psychological wound — post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — the diagnosis and treatment of service members and veterans with brain injury has become even more of a major challenge for the military and for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The good news is that there's been a tremendous amount of research and advocacy as a result of war-related TBIs, and it's improving our understanding of the brain and the way we treat injuries. Welsh's words express the confusion and frustration that service members may feel after a TBI, but there is hope for clarity and purpose. Today, organizations like the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) are working to improve the how we care for service members with TBI, to ratchet up research efforts, and to increase education efforts surrounding TBI.

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July 12, 2016
A new study reveals previously undetected change patterns in the brains of eight veterans, all exposed to blasts from high explosives in combat.
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August 11, 2015
An interactive toolkit to help behavioral health practitioners as they work with service members, veterans, spouses and partners.
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Col. Sidney Hinds, MD | June 30, 2014
Col. Sidney Hinds, MD talks how greater than 80% of military concussions occur “in garrison,” not in combat.
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Dr. Geoffrey Ling talks about misconceptions about mild TBI — from thinking a concussion is different from a mild TBI to believing that a TBI will always come with life-long, debilitating consequences.
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October 22, 2012
Do you feel your anger start to hyper-escalate when someone steals your parking spot or cuts you in line at the grocery store? That is not uncommon for service members trying to transition back into civilian life. Adam suggests talking to someone who's been there, who understands.
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October 22, 2012
Brain Injury Awareness Month shines a spotlight on the progress and benefits of brain research — for civilian and military populations.
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July 5, 2012
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when something outside the body hits the head with a lot of force, and no two brain injuries are exactly alike.
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January 26, 2009
This video, created by the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, focuses on the ebb and flow of recovery from TBI and features Former Secretary of State Colin Powell as well as several medical professionals and individuals with TBI.
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January 1, 2008
Read the groundbreaking 2008 report on TBI, PTSD, and depression in the military.

Concussion / Mild TBI

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June 13, 2011
There’s combat. Then, there’s the life afterward. This book is about surviving the war back home, written by a Colonel who understands.
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December 30, 2010
Cumulative concussions — or repeat blows to the head — can have serious, long-term consequences. Learn more.
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James Kelly, MD | October 20, 2010
From the top medical and non-medical command down, brain injuries must be taken seriously in the military.
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Michael McCrea, PhD | October 20, 2010
For most people after a single concussion, a 7-10 day course of rest and recovery clears up most problems. Recurring TBIs are a different story.
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October 1, 2010
Evidence for primary blast effects upon the central nervous system is limited and controversial. Learn more.
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Jeffrey Barth, PhD | July 29, 2010
What are the similarities and differences between sports injuries and blast injuries?
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January 26, 2009
NewHour host Jim Lehrer tackles the question: What happens to service members after they survive a traumatic brain injury?
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November 4, 2008
A guide for all who are involved in the care and treatment of wounded veterans.
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July 25, 2008
Find out about clinical practice guidelines and recommendations.
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September 21, 2007
Researchers, doctors, and policymakers are working to create effective standards of care for TBI.

Prevention

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January 26, 2016
Former Air Force Captain, Sue Davis, shares her road to recovery and advocacy after sustaining a severe TBI “because of a poor decision."
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May 5, 2012
Veterans with traumatic brain injury are sustaining new, nonfatal injuries after being discharged from inpatient care.

Sports Injuries

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Richard Ellenbogen, MD | October 23, 2012
But research shows that taking the time to rest after a concussion gets people back to combat and on the field faster and more safely.
 


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