Soldiers who survive an explosion may still have battles to fight later in life, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine. Experts reviewed data on the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury in soldiers. They found experiencing a moderate to severe brain injury increased the risk for Alzheimer's-like dementia and Parkinson's-like symptoms, and reduced a soldier's ability to maintain social relationships. Mild brain injuries were linked to aggression, depression, and memory problems. Experts estimate more than 5500 military personal have suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The committee is recommending a pre-deployment cognitive test for all military personnel so it will be easier to identify post-injury consequences.