Troop Brain Injuries Often Overlooked

Wounded suffer blast affects that stump medical experts
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2008 2:29 AM CDT
Joshua Pitcher works with occupational therapist Imelda Llanos at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital last year in Tampa, Fla. James was injured in Iraq.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – 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.