Head injury soldiers face faster cognitive decline

War veterans who suffer traumatic brain injuries show a faster decline in cognitive function than their peers, say US researchers.

Soldiers returning from wars in Afganistan and Iraq with head injuries need life-long follow-up care from neurologists and specialists in head injuries, says the team from the US National Institutes of Health.

The latest findings come from a follow-up study of 199 veterans who suffered penetrating head injuries in the Vietnam war.

Using the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) as a marker of cognitive function, the researchers found those who sustained head injury in the war had an average score of 54 out of 100, compared with an average score of 74 among veterans without head injuries.

When the latest AFGT scores were compared with those achieved by the veterans in 1981–84, it appeared that faster cognitive decline occurred in those who sustained the head injuries.

The most vital predictor of exacerbated cognitive decline was found to be intelligence prior to the injury, with men with the highest AFQT scores when they joined the army suffering less cognitive decline.

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com

Brain Online 2007

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Care home vaccination to begin as Scottish minister says Pfizer vaccine packs can be split up

Care home vaccination to begin as Scottish minister says Pfizer vaccine packs can be split up

Vaccination of care home residents against COVID-19 will start on 14 December in...

How will the COVID-19 vaccination programme get underway?

How will the COVID-19 vaccination programme get underway?

Following the MHRA's approval of Pfizer/BioNTech's COVID-19 jab the government has...

NHS must keep doctors who returned in pandemic as overseas supply dries up, says GMC

NHS must keep doctors who returned in pandemic as overseas supply dries up, says GMC

Doctors who rejoined the NHS workforce in the pandemic must be urged to stay to help...

GPs unlikely to begin COVID-19 vaccination for 'at least two weeks', says BMA

GPs unlikely to begin COVID-19 vaccination for 'at least two weeks', says BMA

GP practices are unlikely to receive stocks of COVID-19 vaccine 'for at least another...

JCVI confirms priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination

JCVI confirms priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has published a final...

MHRA approves Pfizer/BioNTech jab paving way for COVID-19 vaccination to start

MHRA approves Pfizer/BioNTech jab paving way for COVID-19 vaccination to start

The MHRA has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in the UK and...