An alarming number of US veterans are returning home from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffering long-term effects from concussions, the New York Times reports. Half of those who have suffered concussions quickly recover, but others have symptoms—including memory loss and mood swings—that can resurface months after the injury.
Improvements in body armor mean more troops are surviving bomb blasts, but they are suffering brain injuries that are still poorly understood by medical science. Troops complain that the military often fails to recognize their symptoms. The Pentagon has begun paying more attention to the problem and will spend $300 million this year on research into traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.