Military improves brain trauma treatment

Wednesday - 9/22/2010, 6:24pm EDT

Nine years of conflict have revolutionized the way the military treats people wounded in battle.

That includes faster evacuations, better-executed trauma care networks, and huge advances in treating amputations and spinal-cord injuries, according to statements by Vice Adm. Adam Robinson Jr., the Navy surgeon general.

The armed forces have also made cutting-edge developments in identifying and treating brain injuries, which don't always show outward symptoms immediately.

Now the medical service of the military recognizes that roadside combs and blasts can physically alter the brain.

"When you are in a blast, there are actually neuron-cognitive changes that occur in how the brain and the synapses and the brain connections -- the wiring of the brain -- actually work," Robinson said.

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