Study tracks veterans with traumatic brain injury

Department of Veterans Affairs

By Ralph Fox

A far-reaching federal study hopes to provide new detail for veterans suffering from a traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

Early research from the Department of Veterans Affairs shows at least 20 percent of all veterans who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan have suffered a TBI. Many heal within weeks or months, but others suffer long-lasting implications.

The study hopes to track 1,100 veterans over a 20-year period to learn more about the issue and how such an injury can best be evaluated or treated. Only 700 have signed up so far.

Dr. William Walker, a TBI expert at the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center and Virginia Commonwealth University, is leading the new study. He says the long-term observational study is one of the most comprehensive TBI projects to date in terms of size, scope and rigor.

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