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New Study on Warrior Post-Traumatic Stress & Traumatic Brain Injuries Turning Conventional Wisdom on its Head

June 15, 2016 by Ashley McConkey
Bucking the traditional wisdom once more, the link between traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress may be closer than once thought: The study suggests that traumatic brain injuries may be the cause of post-traumatic stress.

Dr. Jim Kelly, a Senior Fellow in Veteran Wellness to the Bush Institute, along with a host of other renowned doctors and scientists, released some head-turning findings last week on veteran post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). 

In an effort to address these invisible wounds of war more effectively, the study sought to compare traditional blast wounds to impact-induced wounds, or concussions.  For a long time, the prevailing wisdom has aligned the two types of two wounds.  Specifically, to determine if a warrior has sustained a traumatic brain injury, doctors would look for symptoms similar to those of someone who has suffered a concussion during a game of football. 

However, after studying the brains of post-mortem veterans who suffered from both traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress, the team of scientists discovered an obvious trend of scarring present in the brain matter.  These scars were not found in those who suffered from traditional concussions or impact-induced wounds. 

Bucking the traditional wisdom once more, the link between traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress may be closer than once thought: The study suggests that traumatic brain injuries may be the cause of post-traumatic stress. 

You can find the study here.  Find two New York Times pieces that drill down into study findings here and here.


Author

Ashley McConkey
Ashley McConkey

Ashley McConkey manages communications for the George W. Bush Presidential Center and is responsible for message development on behalf of the Economic Growth, Human Freedom and Military Service initiatives.

Before joining the Bush Center, McConkey worked in the communications and public policy arena in Austin, Texas for both non-profit and corporate entities.  She also served as a Budget and Policy Adviser to Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. 

McConkey grew up in Greenville, Texas and moved to Austin to study Political Science at St. Edward’s University.  She and her husband reside in Dallas.

Full Bio