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Brain Injury Association of Texas, 26th Annual Texas Brain Injury State Conference, Austin, Texas


June 3-6, 2010

Is There a Physiological Difference Between Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (mTBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Among US Veterans?

MC Mireles, PhD, MPH, Community Medical Foundation for Patient Safety, Bellaire, TX

WC Paske, PhD, Red Oak Instruments, LLC, Katy, TX



TBI and the Military:

·         Most are blast-related trauma (Wightman and Gladish, 2001; DePalma et al, 2005)

·         Blast related trauma accounts for 88% of personnel treated (Iraq) (Taber, Warden and Hurley, 2006)

·         47% of these injuries involved the head

·         97% of injuries in one Marine unit (Iraq) due to explosions (65% IED; 32% mines) (Gondusky and Reiter, 2005)

·         82% returned to duty after 3 light duty days(range from 0 to 30 days) (Gondusky and Reiter, 2005)



·         Physiological injuries associated with impact can be “seen” using physiological measurements

·         Psychological injuries due to PTSD do not exhibit the same physiological markers as mTBI injuries

·         Markers similar to depression… weakness, slow response, … are present in some PTSD subjects

·         PTSD physiological markers have not been convincingly detected to date


Physiological Test Conclusions:

·         Can use new risk indicators as defined by exploratory study

·         May not require baseline tests

·         Risk factors appear to be sensitive

·         Risk factors appear to be specific

·         Results show feasibility for larger study to prove or disprove ability to triage mTBI/PTSD

·         Results show feasibility for larger study to differentiate mTBI from PTSD

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