Blast TBI May Do Distinct Damage in Brain

Mark I Levy, MD

An article featured on 6-29-16 in the online medical journal MedPage Today reports recent neurological studies on post-mortem examinations of the brains of soldiers who survived blast trauma in combat. The study highlights “Specific astroglial scar pattern seen in postmortem exams” of these soldiers that appear to be unique to blast trauma TBI in contrast to other impact TBI.

The study was originally reported online in Lancet Neurology. One of the authors, Daniel Perl, MD, of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., is quoted as saying, “”We believe this is the brain attempting to repair the damage produced during the exposure to the blast. This pattern of scarring is exactly what biophysicists who study the effects of a blast wave on a biological structure would have predicted for the brain when they looked at our data.”

According to the MedPageToday article, “Blast TBI is thought to produce different damage in the brain than impact TBI, the kind of head injury currently in the spotlight because of concussions among football players and the probable link to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Blast TBI occurs when a wave of compressed air, traveling faster than the speed of sound, propagates intense pressure and energy through the body, including the brain.”

To read the full article, click Blast TBI May Do Distinct Damage in Brain | Medpage Today