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.”

11 COMMENTS

  1. 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 VA still sees lobotomies as a ‘cutting edge’ alternative or at least an option…just saying.
    The VA is still bucking the PTSD thing and often calling it an “Adjustment Disorder”.
    Given the choice of a certified Witch Dr. from Haiti and a VA Brain Surgeon, guess whom I would choose?
    Yep, would go with the zombie dust and chicken bones.

    • 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 is seriously flawed as we all know and anyone defending the FUBAR VA is either someone that shows up and gets paid by the American People or a member of ISIS who tries to finish what the enemy couldn’t do! One way to change the VA Medical is to get rid of people like Allison Hickey and 90% of the doctors that can only do harm to veterans with their last in their class medical degree’s and send them back to where they can do harm to their own countrymen and women. It seems that Pol Pot has made his influence on the VA Medical System along with Hitler…I thought I saw the ISIS flag flying over the White House or maybe that was in a nightmare that I had last November. It matter’s but who in government cares?

  2. 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 of OIF OEF vets would be interested but they weren’t.)

    These treatments are not costly at all , yet VA probably has spent millions in rehabilitation therapy on young war veterans, that the hyperbaric treatment could benefit..

    As a veterans claim advocate, I have noticed some veteran members of our site have said they had an absence of white brain matter on MRIs.
    My husbands MRI revealed that as well, and he had been unconscious from an explosion on Vietnam. Dr Harch said the loss of white brain matter
    would have been caused by the force of any explosion, causing a TBI affect to the brain.
    Iraq and Afghanistan vets ,with the “Signature Wound “of OEF , (TBI), at least have a name for what no one understood at all during the Vietnam War.

    My long point here is, the point you made Ben:

    “VA seems very not excited about brain injuries in general”

    Dr Harch has found that out too.

    Regardless of what had caused the injuries or what future tumors or cerebral damage they could eventually cause.

    They probably spend millions on treating TBI residual symptoms, never looking down the road or even considering the most recent studies that reveal how TBIs can become a potential nexus to brain inflammation and tumor.

    This is the case for most VA care anyhow….treat the symptoms but don’t seek the cause,because they think causation might cost them more to treat. The reality is, it would surely cost them less.

    The term “Essential” HBP , used to deny HBP claims.,is a good example.

    “Essential’ means they don’t know what causes the HBP, yet if they looked deeper into the PTs overall medical conditions, they would find a cause ,and it could be, at that point , leading to deadly and costly atherosclerosis of heart and brain.

    Thanks for these informative and very important links.

    • 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 VA just types in codes and uses keyboards and forms for everything, and no one gives any real thought to serving vets, except for serving them up as food for starving lions that the VA does to us and our families every day. $5 a year in due, we get a million vets to join OUR union, and we go after the VA with Ben Krause, certified VA Federally Approved Attorney at Law at the Helm of our own flotilla. How about it, you wife of a vet? What does your hubby say about this idea? This way we can fight for him and for you and for all of us, so America starts acting finally like it should when it comes to vets, something they have never really done at the VA. A union, let’s do it, okay? Spread the word and let’s do this for us all and for America! Veterans are the backbone of America, as are future veterans who are in the service right now. Let’s go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unionize us!

      • “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 should when it comes to vets, something they have never really done at the VA”

        He made me make another promise too, to help his veteran brothers and sisters get through the claims process.

        I have been fighting for vets and their survivors for almost 3 decades.
        Particularly trying to make sure their claims get a proper resolve (www.hadit.com) I have been at this large vet’s web site for over 17 years.

        He suddenly died 4 hours after asking me to make those promises.,as I gave him CPR….it was a completely unexpected.death (except to the VA,
        I proved one NY VAMC malpracticed against him and then another VAMC in upstate covered up the malpractice they found at this local VA and continued their own form of malpractice)….at the web site above we have a full forum on FTCA and 1151 and all I know about dealing with these issues is there.

        When I was with the Prodigy Veterans BBS Circa 1990sand Vet link, circa 1988 modem to modem, a 100% SC member of Prodigy said, ‘getting vets to do something together is almost like herding cats.’

        Unfortunately most disabled veterans have enough to deal with, within the ridiculous claims process as it is, and have been asked many times via the internet and web sites to ‘do something together’ but dont.

        The best thing they HAVE been collectively doing lately is emailing the Secretary and Ms. Allison Hickey, the Under Secretary to do something.

        Many, like me have gotten some positive results from doing that..

        There is a journalist from the Huffington Post on our Medication forum at hadit.com.

        He is looking for contacts from anyone harmed by VA medications.

        I gave him a suggest that could potentially lead to the Pulitzer Prize.
        (My optimism is showing)

        But he needs Lots of energy to do the research and then he needs to herd some cats…
        and yet he might find many vets are finally so fed up that they might be receptive to some of the ideas I gave him.and might be willing to tell him their VA war story.

        I am the only civilian graduate of American Military University class of 2007.
        With Honors, (tactical warfare student) and have been successful in winning many Wars of the Words on the paper battlefield of VA, for myself and with my hardcore claimant experience ,and extensive knowledge of VA 101 (which alludes many of the VA employees who handle our claims.), and for other VA claimants as well..

        I use the enfilading technique ,the Go CUE Yourself VA technique I made up-in the appellate period and I prepare war plans for how I will attack ,on paper, any negative decisions I get , by using not only prime facie medical evidence, but I use their own regulations in 38 CFR and M21 against them.
        whenever I can. Which is usually—— always.

        .

        .

  3. 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 pictures and other more casual pictures. The suspect had actually tried to get me to shoot the Clinic Administrator, naming her by name, as he told me with others next to us hearing, a very detailed description of how he wanted it carried out. So, figuring the VA was going to set me up again, but wanting to protect the victim the Mr. Donnely wanted killed, we went ahead and went to the clinic to meet Officer Sorrels as he requested. After I identified the suspect, who actually had admitted to Sorrels that he had made the threat but was supposedly just kidding, and Sorrels also told us on top of that, a conflicting version, that Mr. Donnely claimed that it was mistaken identity and there was another guy with the same first and last name as Donnely’s. Realize, Donnely, totally unsolicited by me, all on his own crazy dangerous initiative, had stated to me with witnesses, that he has a 30-.06 rifle, ammunition, and he said repeatedly in graphic and hostile ways that he was going to provide that/his rifle and ammunition for his demented homicidal purpose of a conspired murder he thought he would get me to go along with. He knows me slightly from a vets group that he goes to but I stopped going to after they gave me and my wife a hard time from their bizarre conduct very similar to this case of Donnely’s murder by sniper plot. Anyway, Officer Sorrels became more and more odd acting after I identified the suspect who was not really a suspect but a self-admitted perp as he had told Sorrels, according to Sorrels, that he was just kidding about the whole thing. Sorrels got worse and worse and so I told my wife we were leaving, but Sorrels had intimidated her into thinking we had to stay and respond to paperwork like the flag the VA had “for some reason put on me, and it really makes me mad, and I think you should fight it”, is what Sorrels kept saying, and on and on. When I walked out hoping my wife would follow me a huge Mexican guy, a private contractor, apparently unarmed guard, was blocking my way. I proceeded to the parking lot past him without touching him, as Officer Sorrels and the huge Mexican guard followed me, with my wife behind them, as they started saying, Sorrels did, that I was going to be arrested. Sure, I go there to protect the life of the Clinic Director as asked, to pick out a suspect from a photo line-up, after my wife and I are told a line of conflicting lies by Sorrels for a couple of weeks, and then Sorrels and the Mexican Guard pounce on me, pull my arms behind my back, injuring my already badly injured shoulders that are that way from being tortured in the line of duty from being captured by enemy soldiers and enemy agents after one of many prisoner extraction missions went badly wrong. So, after they roughed me up pretty bad I had some kind of heart attack in the parking lot and by then over a dozen doctors, nurses and other staff had poured out of the clinic to watch the drama that had been set up by not Sorrels acting alone or even per se, but as a climax to months of the VA harassing me and my wife, threatening us both with arrest every time we report in for me to get PTSD therapy, as they provoke me till I yell at them and leave, and they are clearly doing it on purpose. Also, Sorrels was told by us and the VA at large/proper knew that I was scheduled that after later in the day for surgery for more agent orange tumor removals, and I had to go from the Chico, California VA outpatient Clinic all the way down the the Mather VA Hospital Surgery Center where I had the last tumor cut out about three weeks ago. The Clinic Director I was doing my best to protect, and get this, later tells my wife that the VA had not told her who the sniper/spotter conspiracy guy was and did not really do anything to protect her, as they told her not to contact me (because they were hoping she would get killed by someone, obviously not by me, but someone else that he or himself would obviously murder her). She told us that she was hoping that we, especially I would contact her, so here I am, with 500 pounds of VA Cop and Guard on me, then Eve the victim of the conspiracy to kill by sniper comes out, takes over the scene, tells Sorrels to take the cuffs off, and she spends several minutes holding my head off the pavement after it had already slammed into the ground when I collapsed under the weight of this whole thing. I am taken by ambulance to the local private hospital as Eve the Clinic Director escorts my wife in our car to the hospital because my wife does not know how to get there as she is an immigrant who does not know the town well although she has lived here as my wife for over 8 years. They did this whole thing to keep me from getting surgery that I desperately need, and to do the further cancer screening and other tests that the last surgeon told me needs to be done and should have been done long ago. The VA is a hopeless mess of chaos, but I am beginning to think McDonald is right about one thing, that we need to “Disney-ize” the VA, along the lines of trying to make it more like the “Happiest Place on Earth” instead of the “Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum” that it is. Eve the victim/Clinic Director stayed on this and got the different cops and cruisers to back off and even leave the hospital grounds, and this is after Officer Sorrels had said that, “The VA is going to be following you around with armed guards forever now, especially when you go for PTSD therapy, surgery, or anywhere to the VA for anything.” Nice touch that a Sheriff’s helicopter just went cruising by shortly after I went into my back yard a few minutes ago, and they are only seen around here maybe once every two years or so. My VSO, Jim Young, a two hour drive from here because the local VA clinic and all local VA resources are so messed up, got on the phone with my wife yesterday then he started making a lot of phone calls about this latest disaster of the VA against me and my wife and kids that you better believe are badly impacted by this. We need to form some kind of Union of our own, where we pay small annual dues, to go up against the VA Union, but with the idea that we will work something out with them to where the VA can become what it is supposed to be instead of a veteran hating/killing destroying program like it is now. If private providers of all the different services the VA provides acted like the VA acts they would be out of business in 15 minutes, so why does the VA think they can get by with this any longer. McDonald needs to take his golden parachutte out and use it before it turns into a May West from the bad rigging job he himself did when he packed it himself with resume claims like he was Special Forces Green Beret that no one bothered to distinguish from the truth that he was a LRRP. You do not see Green Berets going through LRRP school, it is always the other way around, because there is a huge difference between the two. You can bet Comedy Central is getting ready to do a follow up story on the one they just did about the bizarre neglect and abuse and incompetence in the Personal Choice program that they just did with John Stewart the other night. The VA has a shared delusional syndrome where they think they are doing a good job for vets, but they are in truth only serving themselves! Let’s form a Union, pay small dues, say like $5 a year, get a few million vets going on that, and have real men, real veterans, like Ben Krause at the top at the helm for us, so we can turn the VA into what it purports to be as stated by their creed, “To Care for him who has borne the battle …” Ben, what say you?

  4. 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

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