A study published in Neurology, suggest concussion (mild traumatic brain injury [mTBI]) symptoms can last as long as 5 years and evolve over time. The study evaluated and compared veterans (n=281) with and without mTBI some of whom were exposed to blast injuries.
Of the veterans with mTBI, 30% of those with blast-exposed injuries and 34% without blast exposures had increased disability at 5 years than in previous evaluations. A year after injury, 79% of veterans with mTBI resulting from blast exposure and 78% of those with mTBI who were not blast exposed were already in the moderate-to-severe disability range. Over the same time period, only 5% of veterans without concussion or blast exposure had a similar decline.
A proportion of each group met criteria for moderate-to-severe posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and symptoms of PTSD increased during the same time period. Between years 1 and 5 PTSD symptoms increased from:
Each evaluation included clinical examination of neurobehavioral and psychiatric symptoms as well as cognitive performance across a variety of functions such as memory, attention and executive function. In addition, researchers collected information about level of disability and quality of life.
Adam M. Staffaroni, PhD; Elena Tsoy, PhD; Jack Taylor, BS; Adam L. Boxer, MD, PhD; and Katherine L. Possin, PhD
Carlos E.V. Sollero, MD; Hsin-Pin Lin, MD; Miguel Chuquilin, MD; James Wymer, MD; and Aaron M. Carlson, MD
Brad Dickerson, MD, and Alireza Atri, MD, PhD