Update on TBI and Cognitive Impairment in Military Veterans
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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in military life. Interest in military TBI has increased recently due to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Certain types of TBI are relatively unique to the military, the most prominent being blast-related TBI. Blast-related mild TBI has been of particular concern in veterans from the most recent conflicts although controversy remains concerning its separation from post-traumatic stress disorder. TBI is also a risk factor for the later development of neurodegenerative diseases in which cognitive impairment is prominent putting veterans at risk for disorders including Alzheimer’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Recent evidence associating TBI with chronic cognitive impairment is reviewed in the context of its relevance to military veterans.
KeywordsAlzheimer’s disease Blast Chronic traumatic encephalopathy Dementia Traumatic brain injury Military veterans
The author has received research support from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Rehabilitation Research and Development Service Awards 1I01RX000179-01 and 1I01RX000996-01.
Compliance with Ethics Guidelines
Conflict of Interest
Gregory A. Elder has received research grants from the Veterans Administration.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
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