A study released yesterday from the Department of Veterans Affairs has concluded there is evidence that veterans exposes to explosions may be at risk for a higher incidences of dementia.
According to a new study that looked at the autopsied brains of four former combat servicemembers and four athletes, scientists said their work showed evidence of a progressive degenerative brain disorder known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disease found in recent years among deceased professional football players who had suffered multiple concussions.
What researchers said was particularly alarming was evidence that the disorder could result from exposure to a single blast and that several hundred thousand U.S. troops may have suffered concussions in Iraq and Afghanistan, most of them from exposure to blasts.
“Ramifications are that these hundreds of thousands of military personnel are at risk for this disorder. It doesn’t mean by any means that they all have or will get it. But they are at risk for it,” says Ann McKee, a Department of Veterans Affairs scientist and co-author of the study inScience Translational Medicine.