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Blast injuries may cause long-term brain changes in soldiers: study

December 11, 2013

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Chicago – Mild traumatic brain injury caused by blast exposures may alter soldiers’ brains, suggests a study from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Researchers used an MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging to examine the brains of 10 military veterans who served in Iraq and were diagnosed with mild TBI. Compared with 10 healthy control subjects, the veterans showed significant differences in water movement along parts of the brain. The brain changes also were associated with lower scores in attention, memory delays and slower reaction times, suggesting injury had occurred.

The tests were conducted roughly four years after the blast injuries, suggesting the brain changes that soldiers experienced was long-term.

The study was presented Dec. 2 at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.