Recently, the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) School of Medicine received a $60 million dollar grant for a five-year study to determine better prevention and treatment methods of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) among American victims and war veterans/soldiers.
The study, which is funded by the Department of Defense Psychological Health/Traumatic Brain Injury Research Program (DoD PH/TBI), will test new therapies to "prevent illness and enhance recovery in individuals at risk for adverse psychological, emotional and cognitive outcomes" caused by TBI and PTSD, according to UC news release.
What is PTSD and TBI?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, PTSD is defined as "an anxiety disorder that develops after a terrifying event or ordeal in which severe physical harm occurred or was threatened." Approximately 7.7 million U.S. adults currently are diagnosed with this illness and many researchers believe the number of Americans with this condition will only continue to grow as veterans from the Iraq war return with these newly faced brain diseases.
TBI is often described as "an acquired brain injury or simple head injury," according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). An individual can often suffer from TBI in a mild to severe manner and most recently, more Americans who have served in the Iraq War are suffering from TBI after returning home. In fact, some researchers have stated that TBI is the signature wound of the war in Iraq.
Living with TBI, PTSD Symptoms and Side Effects
There are an array of symptoms characterize both conditions, and, the symptoms often overlap one another. The side effects commonly associated with TBI can be severe and may include the following, according to the NINDS:
* Blurred vision
* Ringing in the ears
* Bad taste in the mouth
* Fatigue and lethargy
* Sleep disruptions
* Behavioral or mood changes
* Amnesia/memory troubles
* Inability to concentrate
* Difficulty paying attention
* Slurred speech
* Extremity numbness
* Loss of coordination
PTSD side effects fall into three main categories, according to the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The categories include repeated/reliving symptoms, avoidance symptoms and arousal symptoms. The repeated PTSD symptoms are:
* Reoccurring stress
* Reoccurring memories of a traumatic event
* Physical reactions to a traumatic event
* Flashback episodes of the traumatic occurrence
The PTSD avoidance symptoms include:
* Emotional numbness
* The feeling of having no future
* The inability to remember important aspects of life
* Avoidance of people, places and objects
* Feelings of detachment
* Less emotion/expression of moods
Finally, the PTSD symptoms that fall under the arousal category are:
* Inability to concentrate
* Exaggerated emotions or responses when startled
* Outbursts of anger and irritability
* Difficulties sleeping
PTSD victims may also find that they suffer from additional symptoms including:
* Chest Palpitations
It is advisable for patients suffering from both brain injury-related conditions to seek medical attention, even if symptoms may not be present, the long-term effects of TBI can be severe. According to the Brain Injury Association of Americans, at least 1.4 million Americans suffer from TBI annually, nearly 50,000 die and 235,000 are hospitalized. However, it is unknown how many individuals suffer from TBI and go untreated.
Because of the severity of TBI/PTSD and the interference it can have on an victim's life, it is possible for a traumatic brain injury victim to develop litigation. Developing a lawsuit may offer the monetary compensation, which can pay for the expensive medical bills that can occur with a TBI tragedy. To learn more about the development of TBI lawsuit, consult with an experienced TBI attorney who will often offer a free legal consultation.