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Brain Wars

How the Military Is Failing Its Wounded

While military statistics show that more than 115,000 soldiers have suffered mild traumatic brain injuries, unpublished research suggests that such injuries have gone undiagnosed in tens of thousands of troops. Even when the injuries are diagnosed, at one of the largest U.S. Army bases, soldiers have had to fight to get the appropriate care.

Army Study Finds Troops Suffer Concussions in Training

Brain specialists say Army's training may make soldiers more vulnerable to head injuries on the battlefield.

Aftershock: The Blast That Shook Psycho Platoon

Five soldiers injured in the same 2009 bomb blast are a case study in a new epidemic among America's troops, who are grappling with a combination of concussion and post-traumatic stress disorder.

One Soldier's Progress Against Traumatic Brain Injury

With the help of virtual-reality machines and a bevy of specialists, Sgt. Victor Medina's thinking and speaking rapidly improved. But he's among only a tiny fraction of brain-injured soldiers who get access to the most advanced treatment at military's new state-of-the-art center in Maryland.

New Technologies in the Works to Detect Brain Injuries

Handheld devices and blood tests that could give medical personnel quick, reliable ways to test for concussions in the field are advancing, but remain a few years away.

Military Still Struggling to Treat Troops With Brain Injuries

Defense Department leaders and lawmakers have taken steps to improve the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injuries since ProPublica and NPR began a two-year investigation, but progress remains incremental.

Senator Wants Answers on Program to Test Soldiers for Brain Injuries

Sen. Claire McCaskill has requested a briefing from the military on its troubled neurological testing program.

Congressman Slams Military Brain-Testing Program

Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., sought support to fix the military’s cognitive testing program following a ProPublica and NPR report on the issue earlier this week.

Testing Program Fails Soldiers, Leaving Brain Injuries Undetected

Faced with a congressional mandate to use computerized testing to detect brain injuries, the military chose an unproven test and then botched its implementation.

Gov't Watchdog Criticizes Pentagon Center for PTSD, Brain Injuries

The Pentagon’s Defense Centers of Excellence are plagued by management weakness and obscure finances, according to recent Government Accountability Office reports.

More Than Half of Recent War Vets Treated by VA Are Struggling With Mental Health Problems

Pressure increases on the military to improve mental health care as new data shows that 51 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are treated by the VA for psychological problems, up from 20 percent in 2004.

New Survey: Few Troops Exposed to Bomb Blasts Are Screened For Concussion

Only about 1 in 5 soldiers and Marines say they have been tested to determine if they have suffered brain injuries. Military officials hope the numbers will improve now that a new policy is in place.

Critical Shortage of Army Neurologists for U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan

A military memorandum says that new requirements for diagnosing and treating brain injury has resulted in a shortage of Army neurologists on battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Army Plans New Guidelines to Resolve Denials of Purple Hearts to Brain-Injured Soldiers

The Army’s move comes in response to an investigation published last September by ProPublica and NPR that revealed some soldiers had been wrongly denied the medal despite regulations that made them eligible for it.

A Partial Victory in Our FOIA Request — But Government Still Hasn’t Provided All the Records

Tricare provided ProPublica and NPR with some, but not all, of the reviews criticizing a Tricare study finding that cognitive rehabilitation therapy has not been proven effective.

Scientific Review Kicks Off to Weigh Treatment for Brain-Injured Soldiers

The National Institutes of Medicine convened the first of what's expected to be a series of public panels to help determine whether cognitive rehabilitation therapy could help heal troops who suffered traumatic brain injuries in Afghanistan and Iraq.

More Than 70 Members of Congress Demand Cognitive Treatment for Troops With Traumatic Brain Injuries

Citing an investigation by ProPublica and NPR, 74 members of Congress have signed a letter demanding that Tricare, the Pentagon’s health plan, provide treatment for troops with traumatic brain injuries.

Congress to Investigate Pentagon Decision to Deny Coverage for Brain Injured Troops

Sen. Claire McCaskill's committee wants to examine a contract between Tricare, the Pentagon's health plan, and ECRI Institute, which found insufficient evidence to support cognitive rehabilitation therapy.

American Legion Pushes For Coverage of Treatment for Troops With Brain Injuries

Citing an investigation by ProPublica and NPR, the nation’s largest veterans group is demanding that Tricare, the Pentagon’s health plan, pay for cognitive rehabilitation therapy

Pentagon Told Congress It's Studying Brain-Damage Therapy

The Pentagon told Congress last month that it was studying the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation therapy for brain-injured soldiers, the same treatment the Pentagon's health plan refuses to cover.

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