JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Bomb blast, mild traumatic brain injury and psychiatric morbidity: a review

Jeffrey V Rosenfeld, Nick L Ford
Injury 2010, 41 (5): 437-43
20189170
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) arising from blast exposure during war is common, and frequently complicated by psychiatric morbidity. There is controversy as to whether mild TBI from blast is different from other causes of mild TBI. Anxiety and affective disorders such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression are common accompaniments of blast injury with a significant overlap in the diagnostic features of PTSD with post-concussive syndrome (PCS). This review focuses on this overlap and the effects of mild TBI due to bomb blast. Mild TBI may have been over diagnosed by late retrospective review of returned servicemen and women using imprecise criteria. There is therefore a requirement for clear and careful documentation by health professionals of a TBI due to bomb blast shortly after the event so that the diagnosis of TBI can be made with confidence. There is a need for the early recognition of symptoms of PCS, PTSD and depression and early multi-disciplinary interventions focussed on expected return to duties. There also needs to be a continued emphasis on the de-stigmatization of psychological conditions in military personnel returning from deployment.

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