In the past two decades, traumatic brain injury (TBI) has increased as one of the most common military injuries. TBI ranges in type and severity, but even the mildest forms have the potential to intrude on every aspect of daily life.
TBI symptoms include memory lapses, trouble sleeping, headaches, and depressed mood. The worst forms of TBI may result in the need to relearn everyday activities.
The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) has stated that more than 375,000 veterans have suffered a TBI since 2000, and they estimate that TBI affects more than 20,000 military personnel every year.
Most of these TBIs are classified as mild, which usually means the individual suffered a concussion as opposed to a direct brain injury. Mild TBIs, or mTBI, mean milder symptoms and less brain trauma, but it also means they are harder to detect and diagnose.
Although the frequency of incidents of TBI is on the rise as more and more veterans become aware of the symptoms and the need for medical treatment, companies are working on ways to detect TBI earlier. The FDA recently approved a blood test that can accurately identify a TBI. As awareness of these conditions grows, so, too, will ways to assist those who suffer from them.