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SimpleScience@Heart: Traumatic brain injury complications common among U.S. soldiers

Published: 11:00 am CDT, February 6, 2013

About half of U.S. soldiers with traumatic brain injuries have significant complications — including constricted blood vessels and increased blood pressure in the brain.

Traumatic brain injury is a “hallmark” of recent military conflicts, affecting nearly one-third of wounded soldiers, researchers say.

Using ultrasound records from soldiers who had a traumatic brain injury, researchers found that:

  • About half had poor circulation in their brain blood vessels. The complication was more common in those with “penetrating” head injuries (where the skull and outer layer of protective tissue around the brain is breached) compared to those with “closed” head injuries (in which the skull stays in tact).
  • More than 40 percent had high pressure in the brain.

The researchers say their findings apply to civilian traumatic brain injury patients. They also say  the complications may be better managed with additional monitoring.

 

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