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Pendlebury, AG., Oro, P., Haynes, W., Byrnes, RT., Keane, J., Goldstein, L. (2022) 'Advocacy for Change: An Osteopathic Review of Traumatic Brain Injury Among Combat Veterans ', Cureus. 2022 May 16;14(5):e25051.

Cureus. 2022 May 16;14(5):e25051.

Advocacy for Change: An Osteopathic Review of Traumatic Brain Injury Among Combat Veterans

Gehan A Pendlebury  , Peter Oro  , William Haynes  , Thomas R Byrnes  , James Keane  , Leonard Goldstein


As a "signature injury" of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains a major health concern among military service members. Traumatic brain injury is associated with a wide range of symptoms which may be cognitive, emotional, psychological, biochemical, and social in nature. Mild TBI (mTBI) ranks as the most common traumatic brain injury among veterans. Due to the absence of specific symptoms, mTBI diagnosis may be challenging in acute settings. Repetitive traumatic brain injury during combat deployments can lead to devastating chronic neurodegenerative diseases and other major life disruptions. Many cases of TBI remain undetected in veterans and may lead to long-term adverse comorbidities such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicide, alcohol disorders, psychiatric diagnoses, and service-related somatic dysfunctions. Veterans with TBI are almost twice as likely to die from suicide in comparison to veterans without a history of TBI. Veterans diagnosed with TBI experience significant comorbid conditions and thus advocacy for improved care is justified and necessary. Given the complexity and variation in the symptomatology of TBI, a personalized, multimodal approach is warranted in the evaluation and treatment of veterans with TBI and other associated conditions. As such, this review provides a broad overview of treatment options, with an emphasis on advocacy and osteopathic integration in the standard of care for veterans.

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