Disability from Combat-related Brain Injuries Similar Whether from a Blast or Other Cause

A new study finds that active military personnel with brain injuries experience similar outcomes whether the injury was the result of a blast or other type of trauma. The study included servicemembers deployed to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was published in the journal JAMA Neurology.

Of those deployed, about 20 percent sustained a head injury. Approximately 83 percent suffered a concussion. And of those who did, close to 80 percent experienced moderate to severe disability within a year.

Researchers evaluated a total of 178 military personnel injured while serving. This included 53 injured in a blast and 29 by other causes. Also, two control groups comprised of active duty personnel exposed to blasts with no brain injury and 69 treated for injuries without blast exposure or brain trauma.

They saw little difference in the overall level of disability for those who experienced a concussion after a blast (77 percent) compared to other causes (79 percent). The same was true when it comes to severity of headache, post-traumatic stress disorder, scores on mental skills tests and depression.

However, there was a difference in disability between the control groups and those with concussions. Rates of moderate to severe disability for military personnel with blast exposure and no brain injury was 41 percent. But it was 59 percent for those who suffered a concussion whether from a blast or other causes.

Researchers point out that the blast was accompanied by another type of impact, such as an object hitting the head or the head striking something (inside of a vehicle, ground, etc.). Another important discovery is that when compared to civilians who suffer concussions, the outcome is often worse for active duty servicemembers. But they point out that it may be the injuries are just more severe.

If you are a veteran who suffered a severe brain injury while serving, you may qualify for disability benefits. To learn more, contact an attorney who handles veterans’ disability cases. The Law Offices of Veterans Help Group we can help. Contact us today at 855-855-8992.