While military statistics show that more than 115,000 soldiers have suffered mild traumatic brain injuries, unpublished research suggests that such injuries have gone undiagnosed in tens of thousands of troops.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.
Brain specialists say Army's training may make soldiers more vulnerable to head injuries on the battlefield.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sen. Claire McCaskill has requested a briefing from the military on its troubled neurological 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.
Faced with a congressional mandate to use computerized testing to detect brain injuries, the military chose an unproven test and then botched its implementation.
The Pentagon’s Defense Centers of Excellence are plagued by management weakness and obscure finances, according to recent Government Accountability Office reports.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
At Project Share, started by philanthropist Bernie Marcus, brain-injured troops get cognitive therapy rehabilitation to relearn basic tasks of life -- care the Pentagon's Tricare health plan won't pay for.