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Disability can linger years after mild wartime brain injuries



Military service members who sustain concussions in combat may experience worsening symptoms for several years after their injuries, particularly if they have psychiatric problems, a small U.S. study suggests.

About one in five U.S. service members deployed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan suffered a head injury, researchers note in JAMA Neurology. Most of them endured mild uncomplicated brain injuries or concussions.

The military has a comprehensive approach to treating battlefield concussions, which is one of the key advances from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, noted Dr. Jack Tsao, coauthor of an accompanying editorial and a researcher at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

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