Brain Injury in Troops Linked to Depression

A new study links physical evidence of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in military service members to symptoms of depression. The results of the study were presented Tuesday at the annual conference of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago, according to a press release. The study involved 130 male service members diagnosed with mTBI and a control group of 52 men without mTBI. Seventy-five of the participants with mTBI showed signs of “moderate to severe depression,” and brain imagery showed disrupted cognitive function in the same participants. “We found consistencies in the locations of disrupted neurocircuitry … that are unique to the clinical symptoms of mTBI patients,” said Dr. Ping-Hong Yeh, who led the study and is a scientist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Yeh said the study could lead to better treatment of mTBI and depression down the road. “Though the results of this study were not applied directly to patient care, the neuroimaging changes we found might be incorporated into treatment plans for personalized medicine in the future,” he said. According to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, over 350,000 US service members have been diagnosed with mTBI since 2000.