Troops with concussions more likely to get PTSD, study says

Concussions could give military members a greater chance of developing post-traumatic stress disorder, a new study concludes.



Research on both rats and humans indicates that a head injury damages the part of the brain responsible for controlling fear responses, leaving victims susceptible to PTSD. Mingxiong Huang, a biomedical physicist at the University of California, San Diego, described it as driving a car with the brakes not fully functioning.


According to the findings, service members who have suffered a traumatic brain injury are twice as likely to develop PTSD. The combination of concussions caused by IEDs and trauma suffered in combat causes thousands of cases of the condition in troops.


PTSD causes anxiety, flashbacks, and nightmares and has long been a problem for those who have had traumatic experiences, both military and civilian. Now that the connection between concussions and the disorder has been identified, new treatments can be researched and developed to help PTSD sufferers to heal.


*Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.