Military Blast-Related Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Justin WeppnerEmail author
  • Mark Linsenmeyer
  • William Ide
Brain Injury Medicine and Rehabilitation (G Galang, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Brain Injury Medicine and Rehabilitation


Purpose of Review

This paper aims to review and discuss the epidemiological, neuropathologic, and mechanistic characteristics of blast traumatic brain injury (bTBI) specific to the military population.

Recent Findings

Military service members have sustained over 383,000 reported incidents of TBI since 2000. In combat, mild bTBI due to explosive attacks comprise the most common type. Identification, treatment, and reporting of bTBI are compounded by the operational demands of combat as well as frequent co-presentation with PTSD and associated injuries. Following primary injury, a secondary metabolic and inflammatory cascade in bTBI leads to an array of symptoms and impairments. Development of screening batteries, sensors, and laboratory assays has sought to advance evaluation and management.


bTBI is a widespread, though underreported, injury in service members with significant neurological and cognitive impacts. The highly prevalent traumatic and psychiatric comorbidities incurred in combat must be considered in the approach to management. Further research is needed to improve bTBI detection and facilitate prognosis.


Blast-induced neurotrauma Blast injuries Blast traumatic brain injury bTBI Post-traumatic stress disorder Military traumatic brain injury 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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 •• Of major importance

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.University of Virginia Health SystemCharlottesvilleUSA

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