Friday, January 2, 2009

Researchers Look for Link Between Brain Injury, Psychiatric Illness

A range of psychiatric symptoms can follow combat-related head injuries, but establishing cause and long-term effect awaits longitudinal research.

Traumatic brain injury, the hallmark wound of the war in Iraq, may cause a number of neurological and psychiatric disorders, but more prospective research is needed to understand its long-term effects, a committee of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported in December 2008.

"There is a paucity of information in the scientific literature regarding the sequelae of blast injury, and there is a need for prospective, longitudinal studies to confirm reports of long-term effects of exposure to blasts," said the report, commissioned by the Department of Veterans Affairs and based on an analysis of 1,900 peer-reviewed studies.


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