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Health.mil just announced a new blood test to help detect serious traumatic brain injuries was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Using tax dollars, the Department of Defense and US Army-funded research to develop the blood test with Banyan Biomarkers. A first of its kind, the blood test detects brain-specific markers that are usually released after a serious brain injury.

According to the military website:

The BTI can identify two brain-specific protein markers, called UCH-L1 (Ubiquitin Carboxy-terminal Hydrolase-L1) and GFAP (Glial Fibrilliary Acidic Protein). These proteins rapidly appear in the blood and are elevated 12 hours following an incident where a head injury occurs and can signify if there is bleeding in the brain. The two protein markers won’t be elevated if your brain is uninjured or if you have a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), otherwise known as a concussion.

“When these proteins are elevated, there may be blood in the brain,” said Kathy Helmick, acting director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC). “A hematoma, or blood in the brain, may indicate a more serious brain injury has occurred, which could require rapid evacuation for neurosurgery to remove a clot in the brain.”  

The first thing a doctor tries to rule out with suspected brain injury is the potential for serious complications, like losing consciousness, going into a coma, or death. According to the research results and FDA clearance, the blood test can help medical professionals determine the need for computed tomography (CT) scans in patients suspected of having a concussion.  It also can help prevent unnecessary radiation exposure for patients.

The testing device could reduce the number of hours in preliminary testing regarding the seriousness of the injury.

“These two proteins give us a window of insight into what is going on in the brain,” said Helmick. “We have lacked objective devices and data in TBI, especially with concussion. The reason biological markers are so important is because they are accurate, sensitive, and objective.”

Most of you know I have followed the government’s treatment of veterans with traumatic brain injury residuals for many years. Personally, I am a traumatic brain injury survivor, and have always been amazed at the problems veterans face when seeking an accurate and timely diagnosis related to their benefits claims.

RELATED: VA IG Report Shows TBI Processing Problems

I wonder if inventions like this are the first in a series of blood tests the Department of Veterans Affairs may use when evaluating brain injury in veterans?

On that point, how do you feel VA is doing when assessing brain injury these days? Are they behaving fairly? Or, is there more than should be done?

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46 Comments

  1. I wonder if glutamate levels can be determined in the brain for the presence of immunoexcitotoxicity can be determined. Presently it is done by MRI but very few facilities that aren’t research facilities have the capability unless you are in Japan where the government controls the leasing. You know the “socialist” country that is beating our asses off in the world market. They have things like a national health plan that controls costs by eliminating someone in the capitalistic sector from buying a patent on a drug and then raising the price by a multiple of 5,000 because those that need it die without it.

      • That is in the brain. Or if they can develop a blood marker for raised glutamate in the brain at the research facilities that have the capability of seeing the raised glutamate which is apparently a marker for PCS “post concussion syndrome”. The article I read seems to indicate the levels of glutamate should go down within 36 hours to a normal level. When it doesn’t, it indicates immunoexcitotoxicity. The brains immune system becoming so active in response to injury or disease it becomes toxic or brain damaging.
        Suicide waiting to happen.

    • Quite a lot to be said for socialist countries that take care of their citizens. Too bad ‘our great nation’ is too proud and too stupid to learn from their examples. Last time this country really did anything decent for it’s citizens was right after WWII when the G.I. Bill was enacted – – – giving rise to ‘the modern VA’.

      But then of course, being America – – – proper maintenance was gun-decked – – – and now we have this organization that is simply beyond redemption or repair that needs to be shut down, with its’ duties and responsibilities transferred to other departments of the government that are better equipped to execute them in a more efficient and timely manner.

      • “James”,
        I’m going to disagree with you over Japan being a socialist country. They are, since “Emperor MacArthur” showed them how to economically beat the U.S. using “capitalism” as a weapon.
        As a student of Asian History and Philosophy. I can assure you, japan is primarily “a capitalist society”! Which is WHY the Japanese government can afford to have a form of universal healthcare!

      • @Elf,

        Indeed, Japan has had capitalism—along with the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, other European countries, and Korea. Japan was affiliated with Western capitalism during the cold war and when confronted with Eastern socialism.

        Liberalism and democracy were the banners of Japan as a member of the “free world.” However, even if Japan appears to be a capitalist country, when we probe the Japanese psyche we see that her true color is not capitalism, but socialism.

        For example, a bat tends to be mistaken for a bird, since it flies in the sky as a bird does. However, the truth is that a bat is not a bird, but a mammal.

        Likewise, Japan is a socialist country that pretends to be capitalist, just as a bat tends to be regarded a bird, rather than a mammal.

      • Only thing that ever “trickled-down” to real folk via Reaganomics was a steadily increasing flow of piss from the 3%ers and we’re still drowning in its flow.

      • Elf, James, My statement of Japan being a “socialist country” was tongue in cheek following the accusations of liberals being socialists. I could turn that accusation around and say conservatives are dictatorial demagogues which get us nowhere.

        We are, as is Japan, a socialist democracy. Anyone that doesn’t know that hasn’t been paying attention since WWI. Japan went into WWII a hard corps dictatorial empire. Was on the verge of becoming communist following WWII with the Red Army but McArthur reforms, transferring land to the farmers, giving people property and stronger property rights helped fight off the Red Army because the new property owners didn’t want to give their property and rights back to the state.

        The main difference between Japan and the U S is that Japan is doing it better with less.

      • Namnibor: Amen to that. Started with a Director of Cheyenne VA taking away my travel pay which I qualified for by law having a 30% rated disability because “he couldn’t give it to everybody”. An excuse for Reagan not being able to cancel the entitlement of those of us included in the law. And got worse from there. COLA has never kept up on our checks. My energy bills alone are always more than my increases in SS and VA Comp. And look what it has done to the low wage earners. They can’t keep up with two jobs.

      • Great thread. Nothing like a little civil discourse. Popular media has morphed/warped traditional defined terms regarding socialism, democracies, and capitalism. The current issues in Venezuela are being thumped as fear of “socialism” without proper definition or historic context. What started out as a Marxist style (Socialist) state, devolved into a civil morass by profound greed and corruption, then evolving into a dictatorial state. And of course there’s North Korea, clinging to some twisted form of communism that ignores the precepts of socialism by starving and enslaving the population under a dictatorial monarchy. Then there’s China’s dalliance with communism, which was and remains a facade of convenience for the more traditional Chinese war-lord form of rule.

        When I think of socialism, or social democracies, I see Norway, Sweden, Holland, Denmark, Germany (with caveats), pre 1990s Australia, and others. The key to success in these countries appears to be a well educated society that essentially self regulates their government and prevents the devolution of their government into greed driven fiefdoms. You know, where we have been headed for the last few decades. The Great Leap Backward

  2. The test is Only good for a few after the initial injury. The VA will probably try to use this test on Vets (which will come back negative due to the duration of time since injury) and deny the benefits based on it. They still lump TBI with PTSD and deny ratings there.
    This test is only good for quickly assessing battle damage IOT get a most likely unconscious Soldier to the proper hospital. It cant be used to test for “old” injuries.

    • “LP”,
      You beat me to my question!

      I believe it will be a way for VBA, because of the short time period involved, to deny veterans their rightful benefits.

    • Also my first thought. If it is only good for up to 12 hours, what percentage of TBI casualties will benefit from the technology? What protocols will be established for battlefield evaluation? What if the soldier is still ambulatory, e.g. lucky enough to have crawled out of his Hummer without visible physical injury? That individual will have to hidden record to search for when he discovers he has TBI issues years later.

      • More good points. And what about those who’ve recieved bad paper due to over-looked, or non-evaluated things like personality changes with TBIs etc.

        Accurate? How “accurate?” Like the proteins used to tell if a GI has ejaculated or not in the past few days? But not used in some of those claiming to have been raped in the military and such. Or the denied DNA approaches to catch the freak or freaks. Or when accompanying an older vet down for apps then he was asked about claiming not to having a wife, GF, or having sex in years being told he is not being honest with staff? Cracked me up when he told her… ‘ever hear of wet-dreams like it’s any of your business.’ ‘Besides most of it was dust and cob-webs.’

        How about the markers and tests with the heart? Ever been with someone given the clear and okay reports only to see them walk out the front door and have a massive? More claims of “accuracy” there too.

        Hopefully it will all help someone out there. But seems to me the head trauma and concussion issues began with the sports crowd, their helmets/requirements, or the many kids being harmed from life stunting injuries due to school sports (which goes un-reported too). Meanwhile back at the ranch the war machine was busy testing and remaking helmets instead of concentrating on the health issues side of things. Making bullet proof helmets? Grants went flying over trying to clear athletes from serious crimes committed. Or excuses for being over sexed or for rude/violent behaviors. Gotta save those highly paid gamers first.

        Let’s not forget the days past of being told concussions were not that serious. Or some issue may be congenital or causations from many things. Kinda like dealing with “environmental” caused issues. Ahhh DU or burn pits ain’t that bad all they see is some smoke.

        Will it change anything in the old lawyer’s blue book about “Defense Techniques.” Which didn’t seem to help much with some vets I’ve spoken to. The intentional stressors and gaming with vets at the VA and affiliated health care racketeers? Will it create alarms for ‘red-flagging,’ accusations, more mis-treatment by many in some way? It still won’t guarantee proper hiring and firings, bed-side manners, treatments, from the VA and others that have no business in health care or the possibility of more negative reports on faulty labs along with the rest. Hell, they already claim to be able to read minds to predicting our future behaviors and changes in life. Algorithms and VA/DHS/DoD psychics and such. While having the powers to see to it we are driven in some special directions or wanted end games. Kinda like do the VA way or “hit the street corner for Heroin for chronic pain issues.”

  3. I feel it’s not enough. Sensitive test equipment in the hands of VA would only equal the use of a blunt instrument.

    • Amen to that! Think Neurosurgery with a Crescent Wrench . . . outsourced from China of course!

    • “[…Sensitive test equipment in the hands of VA would only equal the use of a blunt instrument…]”

      A great analogy would be if you can remember when Samsonite Luggage commercials would feature a gorilla throwing the luggage around to show how strong it is, now replace gorilla with VA hack w sensitive equipment and replace luggage with any Veteran.

      Jury still out whether it’s helpful or not for the Veteran to write “Samsonite” on their foreheads.

  4. What difference will a blood test make? It is easy enough to determine whether a person has been subjected to brain injury. In my casev3 skull fractures , 380 stitches on head alone. The v.a. took six years and litigation to even allow me to see a neurologist/neurosurgeon. Two things happened after I saw the neurologist; 1, they informed me there was nothing they could do to help me .2, the entire nuerology staff at the Portland hospital terminated without notice. Something g that happens frequently in all aspects of the v.a. the v.a. can never be trusted to do the right thing!

  5. I have 2 very serious TBIs. One caused by military duty and the other one (2014) caused by the corrupt and incapable v.a. system of idiotic crooks!!!

    There are at least 6 people at the cheyenne va who need to be imprisoned for the rest of their natural lives!!! for what they did to me.

    The TOTAL lack of understanding of patient needs has doomed the whole system! Patient death inevitable. Sooner than expected due to severe negligence!!!

    Stupidly ignorant people are the culprits!!!!! Most of the ‘stupidly ignorant’ people out there are CRIMINALS! Such as the ‘Liar in Chief’!!!

  6. Good analogy – the Samsonite and gorilla – I hate being so negative but, with time I have to accept the truth. However the best course of action in this situation is to believe that there are other human beings that want to and are doing the right things. It just takes time because their are so many more that don’t.

    Peace out

  7. TBI. Is in my medical record. In multiple locations. I have hard copies! Although, officially denied by the by VBA during last rating from hell! Also, denying R sciatic issue. Probably retaliation, due to being mobbed and hazed at the SSA after my resignation. Dirtbags!

  8. The veteran (especially Vietnam veteran) hating ZOG is a JOKE! I tried to confirm my own diagnosis of TBI with my primary, and he said I would have to see a V.A. social worker (also known as a lazy hack job artist) to get an assessment and testing. What educated and informed veteran doesn’t know what THAT means? That is V.A. speak for a chance to give you mental labels, CLAIM you are incompetent and unstable, (talk about the effing POT!) and then seize your Second Amendment rights and force your service connected benefits into conservancy!! Do you have ANY idea just how many vets have suffered this fate, and how many OTHERS are afraid of it!? That is why I believe that the V.A. shrinks are lazy bastards, because they collect full checks, but with FAR less work, since so many vets are afraid to see them! In my case, a Katyusha 122mm rocket landed maybe 30 feet from me, hit the exact spot I was standing five minutes before, and exploded with a noise that I didn’t think was even POSSIBLE! It scrambled my brain for life, made me super hyper vigilant and noise averse for life, and totally changed the way my brain processes sound. Yet, it took me 39 years to get compensation of ANY amount, (it ended up with the famous 70/30 for lying reasons and diagnoses formulated to make vets look bad of course!) combined SC and T.D.I.U. Even though he was a football field away in a tent, and got a tiny shrapnel wound that barely bled and needed no stitches, my friend Shorty STILL got a Purple Heart, and I DID’NT! The Department Of The Army (if it still exists) and The Department Of Defense needs to get rid of their “If it bleeds it leads” mentality! I was injured and impaired for life with a TBI, but I received NO Purple Heart, even though this was totally classified as an obvious hostile action. Shorty went on his merry way with a few specks of blood, and DID get a Purple Heart! How in the HELL does THAT make sense!!??

  9. Kudos to the VA and military healthcare system for finding this! When I started working in a Coronary Care Unit in the Navy, the only marker we had was to be seen in a spike in the CPK which had to be drawn in a series every 4-6 hours to show a heart attack, a myocardial infarction. The drawback was that the CPK could be elevated by injury of other muscular tissue. As time went along, an Isoenzyme was isolated that was specific for cardiac muscle. This marker for blood in the brain is just a start I am sure and hopefully will one day there will be a marker isolated for a not as serious TBI such as a concussion. So good!

    • The best indicator of TBI is neurobehavioral (AKA neuropsychological) testing. MRI and CT scans can be negative. EEGs sometimes pick up the abnormalities. There is a new scan that is not available most places except a few research facilities for “glutamate” in the brain that can show residuals of “immunoexcitotoxicity” which is an indicator of past severe or multiple head traumas. But it also is a residual of any organic brain problem where the brains immune system becomes so active it actually becomes toxic and kills brain cells. Could include alcohol poisoning or any of a number of chemical exposures or diseases of severity including measles or any number of viruses.

      My TBI was diagnosed in 1985 because of the variance of my verbal IQ and visual spatial IQ and inconsistency with my military induction scores showing a drop in both but more severely in the visual spatial.

  10. I think…it’s great. May save a lot of time and money. Where are they getting neurosurgeons? They don’t have any specialists at clinics.. I’ve been unable to see cardiologist or oncology within the VA; unless the VA makes appointment for their purposes. In 20 years, I’ve had to go outside the VA if I need a specialist.. It’s always for them. I even received a letter saying I signed up for compensation program. Because I filed a claim? After less than a year, they’re taking me off lung cancer compensation, because I may be cured. I’ll never trust the VA.

  11. I never could get the VA C&P reviews to give me any kind of test for TBI, even though there are MRI and CT scans which can be used to perform the diagnosis—they just bought one here at my local OPC and accidentally discovered that I had “old” damage to my brain consistent with violent head trauma (like being blown up). But, as I am 100% “anyway”, “there’s no compelling need” to address my claim.

    So I have to agree that the VA is only likely to use this test in C&P to do what it does best, **avoid** a diagnosis which would put care of the veteran in the VA’s responsibility. Never minding or caring that it is not medically valid—after all, it saved money!

    Just like VA Math, where 20+40 = 30.

  12. I found this interesting. I can offer some insights to the VA and non VA providers and TBI and resulting but connected health issues that sometimes follow.
    Done a ton of research, And can cite sources if you like.
    First,, A) Concussions and TBI can clear up, short term or over longer periods. (Neuroplasticity)

    B) Some TBIs dont clear up and trigger all kinds of problems. (More on that)

    C) Some new evidence and studies seem to support that in various degrees Brain trauma can be accumulative. IE: Repeated concussions, Blast trauma, Pressure waves from danger close breachers or ordinance, health and environmental causes as well. Hard to pin it down but some people can take decades of trauma with no ill effects. Others, become babbling, drooling idiots.
    Not so fun fact: TBI patients and repeated concussions raises your likely hood of dementia and Alzheimer’s type diseases by several fold. Some figures as high as 50%.

    While I have some issues from Mil Service (10% currently) my TBI stems from a drunk driver hitting me & my motorcycle at 75-80 mph. Cratered her car. I hit the windshield so hard the back window popped out. Then went down the road bouncing on my noggin. Trauma team at OHSU and everyone involved said it was a miracle I lived. I had all kinds of problems, Vertigo, 10% use of my left arm. Back and neck issues Migraines, etc etc. But I soon had other weird health issues and functional -cognitive issues. MADD local rep got me into treatment assesment. I had Kaiser Perm. Medical, they did well on regular issues but seriously backlogged in Mental health and brain injuries. Long story but to get the assessment requires a NeuroPsych eval. 4 hr battery of tests by a specially trained Dr. Good luck! No one wants to pay for them and backlog was a year. Strings were pulled by a connected person on my behalf. Yep,,, I test above average in certain areas, and I am barely functional in others. TBI, PTSD, Anxiety, and created what was once very mild ADD/ADHD to the extreme highest level tested.
    Worse, In rare cases, but not isolated as people think, It can trigger other health issues. Your pituitary glands can be altered, and a host of other things. One of my eyes became crossed too! ALL of which GEICO insurance denies is related!! So I ended up as a teaching case at OHSU for Pulmonary as well for being hypoxic (low oxygen). Turns out major trauma can trigger allergies and extreme reactions in some patients.
    I lost my govt job over these health issues. (So much for accommodation-ADA) and had to revert to the VA for care. My first My first Dr, Dr Tate at the West Linn Clinic treated me as a joke and only after repeated trips to the ER and admission to the VA hospital did I get proper care and finally a new Primary Dr. (Dr S. Who is awesome, Woodvillage clinic). For some issues I was assigned a deranged LPN for mental health, and she should just plain not be allowed to see patients. Karen Inaba, West Linn Clinic. Very dangerous person. She lied to me repeatedly and when I finally found out when I went to the VA what was going on behind my back, Lets just say I expressed my opinions forcefully. I got a letter warning me to back off.

    As to the VA and TBI??? They refuse to treat me, assess me or offer any resources other than try to force feed me Zoloft. I refuse to accept those drugs for a variety of reasons. There is many ways to treat my issues WITHOUT powerful mind altering psychoactive drugs.

    The one drug I was prescribed at Kaiser P was Adderall in low doses and helped immensely. Studies show brain injury patients do well on it. Not to mention I test now at the top of the scale for ADD/ADHD and it affects me profoundly. So there is compelling clinical need for a Rx. The VA REFUSES to allow me access to Adderall and 2 providers now. I am at the point of a final push and if they refuse again I will be picketing in public with a large sign
    “Disabled veteran denied critical mental health drugs by VA”
    and we will see how those optics play out.

    So, this test could be very helpful to many out there. I hope so, Studies and new treatments are out there. I have tried signing up for some. I will participate in any study that can help or helps veterans.

    ** I have participated in 2 tinnitus and hearing studies related to brain trauma as well. My hearing and tinnitus issues are profoundly effected by the TBI and the leading experts in the US have evaluated me and said they see this often.

    • Doug Towsley,

      You stated, “First,, A) Concussions and TBI can clear up, short term or over longer periods. (Neuroplasticity)”

      I say BULLSHIT!!!! TBI ‘IS’ damage to the brain and, in some cases, to the mind. TBI is categorized by physical damage to the brain.

      My pituitary gland is gone (TBI number 1 for me). Try living with that and it is a verified fact that it will NEVER grow back and NOTHING can take the place of its’ duties to your body! You need to do extensive research into how the pituitary gland works. I have studied 4200 hours and can pass the Endocrinologist exam with a score of 100 percent.

      The doctors out there who are the front line servants of the medical researchers have failed miserably to help the people the researchers have spent their lifetime helping. They cannot do both but should.

      TBI number 2 is my right frontal lobe is missing. IT WILL NOT GROW BACK DIPSHIT!!!

      The FUCKED UP v.a . REFUSES to help me with my TBIs because I was never engaged in battle.

      Maybe somebody could make a lot of money in the clarifying of ‘military trauma’. Two categories. Combat related and all others.

      • You didn’t read beyond that first sentence did you M dv? Mr. Towsley is experiencing the same problems you and I are.

        A lot of TBI recover which makes it very difficult for those who have similar TBI and don’t. The expectation by the treaters.

        Since 2011 there has been some focus on immunoexcitotoxicity which may change that if some blood markers or a readily available scan for brain glutamate levels become available.

      • Legally, the VA is on-the-hook for your trauma if it took place during, or was exacerbated by, your Military Service. Again, legally, the VA has different obligations to combat-injured veterans—and to PoWs. There’s also a presumption that you were healthy as of the day you were accepted for service.

        None of this slows down the VA’s C&P Boards or the BVA. You have to go through your initial rejection—and you will be rejected—and fight each issue by citing the law and how it applies to your case.

        Just because you got a Ben Franklin for being blown up by a car bomb (or IED as we call them nowadays), does NOT mean your claim for service-connection for TBI will be granted; in fact, it almost certainly won’t.

        But that’s the heart of the problem with the VA. Congress enacts laws that SHOULD force the VA to execute its mission—care of eligible veterans (PWs, PH, service-connection, retired)—and the VA spends massive effort avoiding compliance. GW Bush and Obama were both strong supporters of the VA, and their VA Secretaries were motivated, but STILL the inherent inertia of a bureaucracy like the VA is difficult to overcome.

        The really unfair part is that if you have a motivated AND connected Congressperson, you [were] more likely to win your claim than otherwise, because they could reach above the faceless wonks and talk to people who mattered. Now, of course, no one is in charge of anything, nor do they have the slightest idea of what is going on even within their own Departments—which is great for bureaucracies and bad for people.

        The word-parsing nature of bureaucracies and bureaucrats are one of the reasons so many Veterans piss away 20%-30% of their initial award for a claim, to pay a lawyer to play the word-game.

        This is why I keep saying that fixing the VA requires us to fix the Executive Branch, the Congress, and the systems by which those branches are insulated from the will of the people (Electoral College, Corporate Money). Most elected officials do not give a rat’s ass about their constituents, they care about being re-elected, and stopping that is very difficult to do.

      • Steven, The VA should, should, be on the hook and totally responsible for our health care, no excuses, no denials, no games, etc. Like the representatives, DC, etc., should be held accountable and responsible for ensuring we have those Constitutional rights including true freedom of speech, real media, to real due process in courts.

        Denials? Which ones? First, second, third, fourth….’we are gathered here in memory of’…. (fill in the countless blanks). Are you aware of just how many people have died waiting on Dis claims whether it be VA or SSD? Yearly waits, many more even for people declared legally blind in combo with something else and finally dead? Those countless numbers were horrible forty or so years ago and the shameful numbers only increased over the years, and with all the added games and profiteering. Some getting their Dis checks cut finally in the same year they pass then the family is told to return the money? The games continue. Some slick by with no fancy very wealthy lawyer for some gain others pay out the ass for aid just like with bankruptcies. Think the top and shakers in the legal profession (country clubbers) want any changes?

        Further more, I wouldn’t exactly call anyone in DC or either POTUS, any of them “strong supporters”. The best ones just left did what they did and left the one size fits all and jacked around with pain meds to allowing them to continue on playing us as lab rats or else. Like stated before, what good is it to pass laws and give lip-service and do photo-ops when nothing can or will be enforced on local levels like with many other issues? Plus the really long list of evil doers and the corrupt which are many including the FDA, AMA, American Bar, the unions, …. near endless list of them all.

        Electoral College? Say what? Oh oh I can read between the lines on this one. Yes, let’s let large city types, special interest mobs, college kiddies, and masses of voter fraud give us more un-even votes geographically and how will that help matters any damn way? Then call it something like a “popular vote?” Funny.

        If the scum at the top cared foreign aid and the want for wars or other’s governmental meddling would cease. Like it would help throwing billions or trillions more at the problems would help any. Censoring and attacking people like me would cease and have the ability for some justice. Not going to happen. Media like university types, commies, Hollyweird, the public sure won’t change their attitudes or care more. We are intentionally under various forms of attack, pain meds ceased for a reason intentionally while the top scum claim this is the years or generations to stop drug abuse to smoking to free thinking or having basic rights. If anyone up there or around really cared we would not be out here bitching and there would be some real transparency, real news, real changes and not just want the two party corrupted, serving the same masters want.
        Gday.

    • Doug, anyone. What about the NEW PT or PET scans that was the rage on talk shows and the wealthy were running to have that insurance nor the VA would use or mention? Starting costs were like twenty grand, not sure the costs were up there. Ten or more years ago. Plus the other tests that could predict health issues and problems in the brain. Not good days for me reading or researching.

      At the same time tests trying to reproduce in lab rats like those suffered on battlefields, etc.. Imagine that crap. Or the tests that claimed more health damages done or enhanced to longer lasting brain damage if alcohol or some other chemicals was on-board the patient. Or of alcohol use after TBI or concussions. Of little items like finding increased heavy metals in patients or Aluminum type stuff found in systems that some scientist claimed caused or created more issues. That was shut down fast along with links to memory issues, whatever. Got me thinking way back when about contact sports for kids and to vets about the vaccine issues and why some post concussion issues like memory or personality changes happened in the jocks and troops. Just thought I’d throw that out there since it hasn’t been mentioned yet.

      • @ T,

        Dude, you have a series of just grievances, but your unwillingness to hear others’ viewpoints without twisting them to fit your views, your hateful language when more measured words would suffice, make it difficult to engage with you.

        I spent 15 years fighting the VA—even with my Ben Franklin. You consistently extrapolate my arguments to an illogical extreme, trying to cast me as something I am not. Dude, stop.

        If you just want to spew hate, groovy. But if you are trying to be heard, T, you have to READ, too. Try not to read-into, but just read; you “hear” things I’m not “saying”.

        Nothing make my personal experience any more valid than your. But nothing makes it any less valid, either. Dude, I had a VA Dr. who’s cure for my “Problem’s List” was to—and this is a literal—“…Pray God for You.”

        That was in 2015. He was a retired physician “temp” who no longer held a current license to practice—his license had not been revoked, it was just 20 years out of certification. He’s now a full-time clinician (though he may still be “contract”).

        I know about the lousy parts of the VA. I just disagree that it’s all bad all the time. I don’t believe in binary world models—all ‘A’ or all ‘Z’. You do. Groovy. But don’t cast my arguments into your language, and maybe we can actually have one of those “uncensored, true” conversations you are championing.

        I believe that the Electoral College is undemocratic AND contra-republican (small ‘d’, small ‘r’). Either the Consitution’s Bill of Rights and the Senate’s power to confirm federal appointees provide the protection against the Tyranny of the Majority, OR the Electoral College does. Not both. You seem like a bright guy, so you have to know the essential paradoxes at the core of the Electoral College.

        A capitalist democratic republic must balance a lot of factors—among the most important: the will of the majority against protection of minorities; free markets against true competition; personal freedoms against the rule of law. By it’s nature it is imperfect. But there must BE the struggle for balance. Without that struggle, the wealthy amass such Power that they become a ruling elite—and stop and think before you answer that, because that word “elite” doesn’t ONLY mean what you often employ it to mean (note the “only” there?).

        Be as passionate as you ant, Dude. But give me my due, too. Read what I write, not what some one else wrote that kinda sounds the same. I’ve presumed you do your own thinking; grant me the same presumption.

      • Steven. YOUR words and your politics, accusations of “hateful language” etc? I live in a scum sucking town with 4 major far lefty left anti-American, anti-white man, anti-male, anti-freedoms, pro open borders totally corrupt state and town. Don’t tell me how to think, write, words to use, blah blah. Screw the politics and screw the scum-sucking elite… their well protected fans and connected too who can get by with whatever. Whomever they may be… Trump, Bushy, Soros, Kissinger, Bernie, Hillary, Bill, all the trash in the pyramid of life scheme and hierarchy with all the trickle down bull shit to their propaganda. Please include the filth at the country clubs, Freemasons, AMA, ABA, Skull and Boners, North Stars, Hollywood, talking heads on TV, all the alliances and Greek society crap and such too… etc. Endless list.

        Calling my words aligning with some college sounding rhetoric or TED talks or student union or the tyrants in the Demon party claiming rule and college led is beyond common but demanded? All the distractions and ‘side bars’ about crap like the voting process or how to, should be. I am fully aware of the paradoxes, games, state of the lousy corrupt nation, all the hypocrisy, to the vast amount of suicides, attacks on our rights and freedoms, to how the ‘elite’ and mafia types, foreigner groups claiming to be Americans to how deep some things or the corruption can run.

        I gotcha. You got your due, respect due, and get it. I do read what is written along with all the variables, variations of the themes, and between the line agendas or politics. You are granted your thinking as I am, should be, but don’t expect total silence from all, some input wanted, expected, or not. Oh, and I AM a minority in many ways and one that few care about… full circle. By many in the pyramid of life, all levels. I’ve seen all that “amassed powers’ that be, name it. Aside from more distractions like using words like “elite.” C’mon.

        Anything anyone, male, female, X neutrals, man kind, woman kind, anything two leggeds can come up with will be imperfect and not appease all. Especially in this country where all what to control, mob rule which is rampant today, ruin. The USA is FUBAR. The final products of this experiment is inequality, intentional suffering/oppression, and death. Includes all the ‘traditions of mankind’ too. We can discuss poly-ticks all day or about the many sick systems in place or what some MAY think will improve some badly broken process. But not dealing with one major issue like all the voter fraud happening on and off campuses plus the invasions going on will not aid in any way either. And this blog I reckon and informed is not about poly-ticks mainly or other easy distractions of the day we can spend day or lives bickering over while things remain the same and worsen.
        Have a good day. Or is that too much hate.

      • Oh and Steven. While I am out here plugged in. Hit the streets, work with all kinds of people. Talk to those having serious life issues, thoughts of suicide, hurting, getting screwed over by the VA/local or Feds, been ruined by them, totally ignored, attacked, along with other possible scenarios. Include all the social justice warriors and jokers out there. And activist health care workers, associations, unions. The last thing on their minds and over the many years of my do-gooder crap is the “electoral college” or discussions of “balance” while being trampled on at every turn. All else is nonsensical and pipe dreams for any immediate aid, attention or improvements. Or about some rights and freedoms, simple professional decent health care we are supposed to have but do not.

    • Y’all need to watch this video. It’s heartbreaking to know the way these beautiful animals were treated as Lab Research Animals – then were rescued.
      Maybe those assholes at VA, who are using animals illegally I might add, were locked in cages for their entire lives – just might have a different view as to how to treat animals!

  13. Thanks for all the comments, To clarify, I am 10% currently rated by the VA. I had issues when I got out, but none related to my 2013 TBI. THe TBI happened thanks to a drunk driver who hit my on my motorcycle. I went thru her windshield and then bounced on my noggin down the road. But I now have a long list of medical issues that have occured thanks to the TBI.
    So, WHERE THE VA FITS IN,,, Because of my medical problems, I lost my govt job. Therefore my medical coverage. So, I now get care from the VA. Since my TBI was not directly connected to military service they dont give a shit.
    I was assigned a LPN at West Linn Oregon clinic, Karen Inaba. She was looney tunes. She lied to me repeatedly and berated me constantly to accept and take Psych drugs.. notablly she LOVES ZOLOFT. Which I refuse to take or accept.
    She promised me a Neuropscyh exam to find out if my cognitive function is worsening. (It is) but I found out she lied and for months that dept at the VA had turned it down, Yet she conned me into months of appts with the promise she would get me the testing. (I had to pay for those) Now, since my disability rating is on the record the bills are not as high,. But it was frustrating to be lied to and have to pay for appts that were useless.
    Currently the VA is not treating me for any of my TBI issues and will not other than offering me anti depressants which I turn down.
    But, interestingly I am seeing other patients with other health conditions that many doctors deny exist. But I have found studies linking TBI with these issues.
    A) I had my eye go side ways, Crossed eye. (Strabismus)
    B) 4 months aftr my accident, Had my right ventricle block off and heart surgery and a stent.
    C) I never had allergys but suddenly I did. I ended up in the ER multiple times and admitted to the VA hospital. Hypoxic, My VA Dr treated me as a joke for 2 years and laughed at me. Head of Pulmonary was very angry and said I should have been referred to him years earlier.
    D) I finally got outside treatment and I am now highly allergic. Months of Prednisone which messed me up, and then meds to manage it. Turns out in some cases major trauma can cause onset of hidden allergies.
    E) Auto immune disorders. Recently came down with Shingles as well. Its said in some cases the glandular system is often damaged and can trigger these.
    F) I also have at times vertigo and other impairments.
    G) Massive bouts of depression and speaking issues, Some times I am incoherent

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