Military members may have been exposed to blasts during combat operations or training exercises that can cause traumatic brain injuries. When a traumatic brain injury is service-related, veterans are entitled to receive treatment and benefits for their injury. Since 2000, more than 380,000 brain injuries have been recorded by the US military. The US military treats more brain injuries than chest or abdominal wounds.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) do not always cause readily apparent signs and symptoms and close monitoring following a suspected injury is essential for the administration of prompt treatment. When an injury is "silent," early recognition of signs and symptoms can have a significant impact on the individual's long-term recovery prospects.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2007 and 2013 the number of traumatic brain injuries increased by nearly 50%. For survivors of these kinds of injuries, the road to recovery is different and long. There are a number of factors that affect how quickly and effective rehabilitation will be.
The near-term effects of brain injuries have been intensively studied. But there can be lifelong effects as well. For example, a new study shows that victims of severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI) may face a dramatically higher risk for dementia than people who suffer less severe brain injuries. Age appears to be a factor too. The study showed that people aged 41-50 who suffered a TBI had a sharply higher risk for dementia than those who suffered a TBI at a younger age.
A comprehensive study completed by researchers at Britain's University of Oxford and Imperial College illustrates the lasting effects that even a mild bump on the head can have. It found that people who suffered mild concussions had shorter life spans and suffered mental health problems at a significantly higher rate than people who had not suffered concussions.