U.S. combat soldiers suffer more serious complications of traumatic brain injuries than previously believed.
That’s the conclusion of a new study of veterans that indicates as many as one in three may suffer from such serious conditions as constricted blood vessels and high pressure in the brain.
"Research shows that traumatic brain injury is a hallmark of recent military conflicts, affecting nearly a third of all wounded soldiers," said Alexander Razumovsky, director of Sentient NeuroCare Services in Hunt Valley, Md., who led the study presented at an American Stroke Association conference this week.
Razumovsky said a “transcranial Doppler ultrasound” — a non-invasive, inexpensive, and portable scanning device — can assess such complications quickly and effectively.
For the study, Razumovsky and colleagues analyzed the medical records of of 122 traumatic brain injury patients who had transcranial Doppler testing. Among them, 88 had penetrating head injuries and 34 had closed head injuries. Researchers found nearly two out of three veterans also had constricted blood vessels and 4 in 10 had high pressure in the brain.
"What we've found is applicable and important to civilian traumatic brain injury patients, given that a significant number of them will have posttraumatic bleeding," Razumovsky said. "Tracking and managing these patients is important, and therefore daily transcranial Doppler studies are recommended for recognition and subsequent management of these secondary complications."
The study was funded, in part, by the U.S. Army.
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