Possible Link Between Head Trauma And Brain Tumors


head trauma

Benjamin KrauseVeterans hitting roadblocks connecting their head trauma to brain tumors like meningioma will be relieved to learn researchers linked head trauma to some tumors. Those with traumatic brain injuries or who suffered blast exposure should take note. Twenty years or more down the road, you may wind up with a brain tumor.

VA seems very not excited about brain injuries in general. The gist of the problem is that war wounds are expensive to diagnose, fix and pay compensation for. When it comes to the disabling impacts of traumatic brain injury, the costs are huge, and Veterans Affairs acts like it did in fighting against Agent Orange service connection for secondary conditions beyond mere acne.

RELATED: VA Screwing TBI Vets – Here are the quick facts for your TBI evaluation

According to some, Veterans Affairs is treating traumatic brain injuries as the new Agent Orange. In many instances, TBI examiners refuse to consider lay statements as evidence supporting service connection for TBI even if it is credible and even if other evidence exists to support the claim.

Still in other instances, TBI examiners have also been caught discounting clear medical evidence like bullet wounds to the head as resulting in moderate to severe TBI. One such veteran was given a 0% rating despite a bullet wound and profound impacts on behavior, employability and marital relations.

I think it is sufficient to say the agency is a mess when it comes to TBI adjudications. One major issue is Veterans Affairs allows seemingly unqualified medical professionals diagnose severity of TBI without in depth training generally required by civilian entities to assess the same complicated neurological condition.

RELATED: Is VA Lowballing TBI Veterans?

This mess is further complicated when a veteran is diagnosed with a brain tumor much later in life. What caused it and why?

Researchers have studied the risk factors of such tumors and linkage to head trauma for almost a century including meningiomas. While not all instances of mengingioma are caused by head trauma, some such tumors might be according to recent research finding related to penetrating brain injury.

Basically, the literature shows brain inflammation from a head injury, TBI, etc, is linked to brain tumors in certain instances. The new research seems to clearly describe at least one instances where the meningioma tumor was linked to the site of the head trauma / brain injury.

Head trauma is considered a risk factor for brain tumors, including meningioma, in some instances. Veterans Affairs loves to cite instances where some researchers claim inconsistencies exists in such conclusions. However, a clearer picture if forming over the past five years. Problems associated with any difficulty in corroborating results across studies may be attributed to nuances related to each subset, but those problems do not prove that no link exists in any instances where head trauma predates development of brain tumors including meningioma.

Nonetheless, scientific literature has long acknowledged the link between brain inflammation and brain tumor development. Head trauma can result in brain injury and brain inflammation, and it is contradictory to the current body of literature to conclude such inflammation is never linked to later development of a meningioma.

If you run into problems with a VA examiner claiming no evidence supports your claim for disability caused by TBI, here are some sources to consider. When doing your own research, be sure to check out the research yourself. Sometimes, a VA examiner may not be qualified or patient enough to search for scientific literature.

You may want to consider reviewing these resources. If you need the full journal article, I suggest going to your local library to request a complimentary copy:

Intracranial Meningioma at the Site of a Previous Cranial Penetrating Trauma Due to Shrapnel

Dehghani, Slavish MD, et al. (2014). Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, 25(2), 125-127. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24621752

Abstract: Meningiomas are common and mostly benign intracranial tumors, which originate from arachnoid cells of the meninges, and account for approximately 25% of all primary intracranial tumors. Many external etiological factors have been described as etiology of meningioma in the literature, one of which is head trauma. However, trauma as a cause of meningioma remains a controversial subject. Here, a case of a patient with posttraumatic meningioma, who was wounded 25 years before, is presented. The assessment of the clinical characteristics of the patient and those reported in the literature seem to confirm that, in some cases, head trauma may be a factor contributing to the development of meningioma.

Traumatic Brain Injury And Subsequent Risk of Developing Brain Tumors

Kirkman, Matthew, et al. (2012). Journal of Neurotrauma, 29(13), 2365-2366. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/neu.2012.2485

“The link between [brain] inflammation and tumor development is long recognized. An article published in 1928 described a piece of white being extracted from the center of a meningioma in a patient involved in an explosion 20 years earlier (Reinhardt, 1928). Thus TBI may result in inflammation that may itself predispose to tumor development.”

“The lack of corroboration between studies assessing the association between TBI and brain tumor development may represent, among other things, small numbers and poor subgroup descriptions and analysis.”

An international case-control study of adult glioma and meningioma: the role of head trauma

Preston-Martin, Susan, et al. (1998). International Journal of Epidemiology, 27(4), 579-586. http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/27/4/579.short

Conclusion: “Evidence for elevated brain tumor risk after head trauma was strongest for meningiomas in men.”

Intracranial meningiomas: an overview of diagnosis and treatment

Rockhil, Jason, et al. (2007). Journal of Neurosurgery, 23(4), E1. http://thejns.org/doi/full/10.3171/FOC-07/10/E1

“The first case relating prior head trauma to causality of meningioma involved General Leonard Wood, Major General and Chief of Staff of the United States Army. In 1910, [Harvey] Cushing successfully performed surgery on Gen. Wood’s parasagittal meningioma.”

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The Charlie Rose Brain Series has a lot of good info at: http://stevestockdale.com/portfolio/charlie-rose-brain-series/

How exactly does one get the VA to actually recognize cutting edge and new scientific/medical discoveries though? I am being serious. Their pharmacy formulary reflects that with most “VA Formulary RX’s” being at least a decade or more behind the rest of the medical community…it was a contributor in many reasons I decided to use Medicare and private medical Dr.’s rather than the VA. Yes, there’s the rare ‘exception’ but again, getting a Dr. that wants to go outside that formulary is like pulling hen’s teeth…and new, cutting edge medical is same way with the VA. I am sure the… Read more »
Yeah “chicken bones!” I was wounded May 14th, 1967 in an ambush in Vietnam. I received a penetrating head wound, a two square inch hole in my skull and shrapnel in my brain as well as other injuries to my body and mind that day. I was retired from the military for those wounds like as if I went 20 or 30 years. Now, last year the VARO in Oakland, California denied that I have a TBI! What was their reason, “No mention of “TBI” in your medical record’s!” They cannot be serious, matter of fact the VA Medical System… Read more »


Berta Simmons
A leading expert in new developments of Hyperbaric oxygen therapy ( former treatment for divers with the ‘bends) ,Dr. Paul Harch, was our radio guest yesterday at http://www.hadit.com and the show re run is available with a few clicks at the Blog radio area at our site.. His success with treating not only TBI patients but veterans with TBI and PTSD has been astounding. http://www.hbot.com/ Oddly enough, Dr. Harch has given H VAC testimony and tried many ways to get VA interested in considering this type of therapy, and even contacted IAVA -(who you would think, since they represent thousands… Read more »
bruce wallace
It’s not that the VA is a gigantic ship that takes a long time to turn around and get on the correct course, they never get on the correct course, and never will. We have to form a Union of our own, similar to their Union that collects dues from their tens of thousands of employees that has the sole purpose of never holding them accountable for anything, from wrongful death to malpractice to humiliating a PTSD vet by saying he is suffering from PMS even if he does have most of his face burned off from war injuries. The… Read more »
Berta Simmons
“How about it, you wife of a vet? What does your hubby say about this idea?” He cant speak for himself anymore. I am his voice. The VA caused his death with lousy health care 20 years ago. On a dreary fall morning over 20 years ago he made me promise to go after them if they killed him..He had a 1151 malpractice claim pending. I went after them and they paid and are still paying for that. “This way we can fight for him and for you and for all of us, so America starts acting finally like it… Read more »
bruce wallace
This may explain the severity of my PTSD and head injury in how it devastates my life, like in the case of yesterday when I was falsely arrested, but the arrest was immediately reversed by action of the Clinic Administrator who intervened at the local VA clinic; they also threatened to arrest my caregiver wife. Indeed, no good deed goes unpunished. I had been called by VA police officer Kevin Sorrels like one of his several previous calls. He had me and my wife come in for me to pick out a suspect from a line-up of mug shot type… Read more »
Don Avant

Don’t expect the VA to change untill we MAKE it change…


Great blog and helpful information. Thank you for sharing with us. Thank you so much.


I am a wife of a vet. I am fighting for him I am hitting brick walls right now. My Vet was in the army for 22 years 2 tour in Vietnam . what to do do go to a lawyer for or pay some va org. for help. I just know when he was in the army you did not go to sick call. you did not complain if you want to stay in the army. there are no records to say of . diane