There have been more than 100 studies published over the past few decades on traumatic brain injury, according to Vanderbilt University researchers. Often overlooked in the general discussions about such afflictions are mild brain injuries.
So far this year, almost 1,400 U.S. servicemembers deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq have been diagnosed with concussions or mild brain injuries, according to a USA Today story. The injuries were detected in conjunction with a program that compels servicemembers to take a timeout whenever they are involved in an incident, such as a bombing.
According to information obtained by USA Today, the U.S. military has sidelined roughly 9,000 servicemembers who were exposed to explosions or other heavy jolts.
Army Col. Jamie Grimes, a neurologist who serves as the director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, estimates that 90 percent of the reported cases of mild trauma dissipated after just a few days, according to the USA Today article.
“The data we are getting from theater demonstrates how important it is to get to the root of the problem early in order to attack it,” Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was quoted as saying in the article.
Still, there is growing concern that even a slight knock to the head can cause mild brain trauma, USA Today reports.