How Blasts Affect the Brain

January 13, 2016

Explosions during military combat can initially cause mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), which may lead to later development of neurodegenerative disorders like chronic traumatic encephalopathy and Alzheimer’s disease. What happens when the brain is exposed to blasts has been studied in both military veterans and animal models, yet how blast exposure-related TBI pathologies are connected to the changes observed in neuroimaging studies has not been well understood. According to a study published today (January 13) in Science Translational Medicine, cumulative blast exposure is associated with pronounced alterations in veterans’ brains—notably in the cerebellum, a finding the authors recapitulated in mouse models.

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