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Study of war veterans shows link between head injury and PTSD

Louisiana veterans who have experienced head injuries may be interested in a recent study of 1,600 Marine and Navy personnel who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to researchers, blows or trauma to the head correlated strongly with the development of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published the study, which shows that military service members with brain injuries suffer from PTSD twice as often as personnel who have not been subjected to head trauma. Due to the prevalence of roadside bombs in combat zones, many service members have been exposed to explosions. Concussions afflicted as many as 50 percent of people in some battalions, the researchers said. The symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, panic attacks and nightmares.

The concussion and PTSD data collected by the researchers mirrored results found by a university study of rats. Researchers compared rats with healthy brains to those that had head injuries. Excessive fear responses frequently agitated rats with injured brains. Increased activity in the amygdala went unchecked by regions of the brain that normally control emotions.

A person with a head injury after a car accident or slip and fall might develop problems regulating emotions or concentrating. If the symptoms persist and cause disability, then the victim might not be able to continue earning a living. An attorney may be able to help the victim file a lawsuit if a negligent party caused the accident. If necessary, the case could be presented in court. If a court sides with the victim, then compensation for medical fees and lost income may be recoverable.

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