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Military- and Sports-Related Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: An Overview

Elaine R. Peskind, MD; David Brody, MD, PhD; Ibolja Cernak, MD, ME, MHS, PhD; Ann McKee, MD; and Robert L. Ruff, MD, PhD

Published: August 15, 2013

Article Abstract

Concussions are more serious than previously believed, and awareness of this fact has been increasing in both military and sports settings. Also known as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), concussions often occur multiple times in the same service member or athlete. These brain injuries can seriously and negatively affect patients, leading to changes in personality, sleep problems, and cognitive impairments. They can also increase the risk for suicide, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. In some people, repetitive mTBI can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disorder. Evidence-based treatments are needed for both mTBI and CTE. Currently, symptom management and patient education are the best strategies to help those who have received multiple concussions. Education about preventing concussions and the use of return-to-play guidelines are especially important for young athletes.

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