The Roskamp Institute researchers are in search of new treatments for traumatic brain injury (TBI) to help out the veterans of the country. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine has called attention to the number of medical aftereffects of TBI in the American soldiers returning from Iraq. This was revealed through a survey of more than 2,500 soldiers returning from Iraq. Five percent of them stated that they suffered injuries with loss of consciousness, while ten percent said they had injuries that resulted in changed mental status, and another seventeen percent reported other injuries during their deployment. Of the five percent who reported loss of consciousness and of the ten percent who reported altered mental status, 45 percent and 27 percent met the criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), respectively.

The conclusion of the article revolved around the close link between mild TBI, experienced by the veterans from Iraq, with PTSD and physical health problems three to four months after the soldiers come home. In addition, both PTSD and depression serve as mediums for the relationship between mild TBI and physical health issues.

TBI initiates degenerative pathways; researchers at Roskamp are using this knowledge to discover which genes and proteins are connected with these pathways to seek for new treatments for TBI.

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Wendy Liu

July 30, 2012