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Army officials say war concussions overdiagnosed

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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-15-09 08:50 PM
Original message
Army officials say war concussions overdiagnosed
Source: Associated Press

ATLANTA Mild brain injuries once considered an under-recognized problem in returning military troops are being overdiagnosed because the government is using soft criteria instead of hard medical evidence, an Army doctor and two other officials contend.

The three are taking aim at Department of Veterans Affairs' rule for treating such veterans and determining disability pay. They want to call many mild cases "concussions" rather than "brain injuries." They say the latter implies an ongoing, incompletely healed problem rather than a temporary one that's in the past.

"I think it's fair to say there's overdiagnosis of concussions going on," said Dr. Charles Hoge, a top Army psychiatrist. He's one of three authors of an article published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.

Some veterans groups applaud efforts to better diagnose traumatic brain injuries, but say it's more likely that the military has been undertreating the problem.

"It stretches credulity to believe that all the people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan are getting the treatment they need. That's a laughable notion," said Jason Forrester, director of policy at Veterans for America, an advocacy group.

The military defines a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury as a blow or jolt to the head that caused loss of consciousness, altered consciousness or amnesia. Most are due to pressure waves from being near bomb blasts.


Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090415/ap_on_he_me/med_ira...




I've also heard lots of reports of PTSD being underdiagnosed so the VA won't be required to pay for treatment (which is untenable, in my opinion).

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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-15-09 10:36 PM
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1. "overdiagnosis" my fucking ass.
BULL. SHIT.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-15-09 10:45 PM
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2. Their definition seems correct, seems like diagnosis is a case by case basis.
Interesting that a psychiatrist is the one quoted, instead of say a neurologist.

David
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-15-09 10:50 PM
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3. They also say DU is harmless, and Agent Orange is a strong version of Tang
They should know that DU is radioactive by now.
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tooeyeten Donating Member (441 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-15-09 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
4. CYA
worried about covering their own asses, not at all concerned with our military.
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sutz12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-15-09 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
5. Just like old Blood and Guts Patton..
Just slap them across the head and put them back on the firing line.

:sarcasm:
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-16-09 01:45 AM
Response to Original message
6. it's not only physical injuries, it's also psychological and emotional damage . . .
that, along with devastating physical maiming that used to mean certain death, are what's flooding the VA system . . .

personally, with the kinds of tactics and weaponry used in "modern" warfare (white phosphorus, depleted uranium, cluster bombs, "tactical" nukes, etc.) becoming more horrific every day, I'd be amazed if ANY battlefield veteran came back mentally and emotionally unscathed . . .

the things that human beings are willing to do to other humans being in order to prevent terrorism makes "war on terror" quite the oxymoron -- not to mention a thoroughly ineffective strategy . . .
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