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Monday, December 29, 2014

Military Policy Impedes Research On Traumatic Brain Injuries

Today's post is shared from
Hundreds of thousands of American troops have suffered some form of traumatic brain injury from the shockwave of explosions in Iraq and Afghanistan. TBI is linked to cognitive problems, depression, even suicide. One of the best ways to learn more is to study the brains of troops killed in action. And that's why the Pentagon set up a brain bank. But as NPR's Quil Lawrence reports, the Pentagon inadvertently made it nearly impossible for the bank to find donors.
QUIL LAWRENCE, BYLINE: Valerie Pallotta testified before the Senate recently about a subject she never wanted to know so well - suicide among veterans.
VALERIE PALLOTTA: If you could just bear with me. It's - it's been only six weeks since my son ended his life.
LAWRENCE: Her son, Joshua, served on a mortar crew in the mountains of Afghanistan. He had a harder time back home in Vermont.
PALLOTTA: Our son was pronounced dead from a self-inflicted wound at 2:17 a.m. September 23, 2014 at the age of 25. His death certificate should have stated the cause of death as PTSD or Traumatic Brain Injury, not from a self-inflicted wound.
LAWRENCE: The link between TBI and suicide is not known for sure. Nothing much about TBI really is. Dr. Daniel Perl, who directs the military's TBI brain bank, he's trying to change that.
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