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According to military figures, about 115,000 U.S. soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered mild traumatic brain injuries since the war began. Some officials have commented that this number is likely to be understated and that tens of thousands of troops suffering from a brain injury have gone uncounted, according to military research obtained by National Public Radio (NPR).
In a recent news report, one military sergeant expressed that brain injuries are much harder to detect than other injuries. He expressed that if someone is missing a limb, you can see it but when a person is suffering from a brain injury, it’s much more difficult to diagnose. In 2007, U.S. citizens put pressure on the military to fix problems in diagnosing and treating brain injuries. As a result, millions of dollars were allocated to fix these processes and procedures. However, the military is still reporting trouble diagnosing those soldiers with brain injuries.
A news outlet recently conducted interviews with U.S. soldiers, experts and military leaders, which found some interesting findings regarding this topic.
Almost 40 percent of concussions were going undetected by military tests and doctors, resulting in non-treatment of these potentially serious brain injuries. According to the report, an estimated five to 15 percent of soldiers with mild traumatic brain injuries had persistent cognitive problems.
The military has taken significant steps towards protecting and identifying those soldiers that have been seriously injured in their head. Some believe that even with the best protective equipment, a shock wave from a road side blast can still pass through helmets, skulls and through the brain. Ultimately, damaging cells and circuits in the brain.