Friday, December 05, 2008

TBI issues

This morning's sunrise

12/5/08 Friday
I get regular updates on traumatic brain injuries from several sources. Many of them are related to military and veteran’s issues. I got this yesterday so thought I’d post these few sentences. You can download the full report at It’s a 400 page report so I didn’t read the whole thing. The potential long term problems are of course a concern I have and one of the reasons I take so many pictures. I know they will help me connect with my memories if Alzheimer's type issues come up later in life.

WASHINGTON -- Military personnel who suffer severe or moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) face an increased risk for developing several long-term health problems, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine that evaluates the evidence on long-term consequences of TBI. These conditions include Alzheimer's-like dementia, aggression, memory loss, depression, and symptoms similar to those of Parkinson's disease. Even mild TBI is associated with some of these adverse consequences, noted the committee that wrote the report.

Although recent clinical findings and military experience have shown that short-term and long-term neurologic deficits may result from exposure to the energy of a blast without a direct blow to the head, the prevailing opinion among neurological professionals had been that blast-related impairments were rare because the skull adequately shields the brain. The report recommends that VA and DOD support research on BINT and the development of a good animal model of BINT, which is currently lacking. Without good research data, neurological and behavioral changes in blast victims may be underestimated and undiagnosed, and these individuals may not get timely needed treatment, the report notes.

TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe. The committee's review of the research on TBI at all levels of severity determined that there is sufficient evidence that brain injuries resulting from severe, skull-piercing wounds can cause unprovoked seizures and premature death. Seizures can also be caused by severe, nonpenetrating TBI as well as more moderate brain injury.

Studies link both moderate and severe TBI with other long-term consequences, including increased risk for Alzheimer's-like dementia, symptoms similar to those of Parkinson's disease, and diminished abilities to maintain social relationships. Other data links mild TBI to increased risk for PTSD among Gulf War veterans. The evidence in these cases shows an association, but it is not sufficient to conclude that TBI causes these problems. Likewise, TBI at any level of severity -- even mild -- appears to be associated with increased risk for aggressive behavior, depression, and memory and concentration problems.

TBI may be associated with certain other potential consequences, but the evidence is only suggestive of a link. For example, moderate and severe TBI may put individuals at greater risk for developing diabetes insipidus and psychosis, but the evidence is limited. Some data suggest that mild TBI accompanied by loss of consciousness is linked to the development of symptoms similar to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease as well as vision problems and seizures, but the data have significant shortcomings.

The anger I deal with on a regular basis (Like yesterday) is a constant problem for me. I italicized the part that said "diminished abilities to maintain social relationships" because that has been one of the harder issues I face. I suppose that is a big part of the problems I had at the first church of Stanton. There is no doubt that I make others uncomfortable. Maybe not everybody but definitely quite a few. I don't want to be this way and try not to but it happens just the same.
Wow! I can't believe it's almost eleven already. I suppose I should fix breakfast. Here's another picture of this morning's sunrise. It shows the colors better. I'm not sure what I'm going to be doing today. It's cold out so may find something to do inside.

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