Last week, we told you about a study in which active-duty soldiers who’d suffered multiple traumatic brain injuries were found to consider suicide more often than those who hadn’t suffered a concussion. This week, we’ve learned that an Ohio nonprofit group is sending local veterans with traumatic brain injuries to New York to be studied.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Dr. Michael Lipton, associate director of the Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, will conduct MRIs as 50 participants perform tasks involving short-term memory, inattention, and impulsiveness.
Those participants include 25 Ohio veterans with traumatic brain injuries and one brother or other close male relative each, so the doctor can compare a damaged brain to a healthy brain and rule out factors such as genetics and upbringing.
Traumatic brain injuries occur when the brain is jarred or shaken inside the skull, such as in a car or truck accident. Army veteran Ryan Gleich “suffered his most significant brain injury in 2003 outside Baghdad when a roadside bomb lifted the tail end of his Humvee from the road and tossed him across the vehicle,” the Dispatch reported.
Almost immediately, Gleich became antisocial, “ultra-aggressive,” and forgetful, which led to his divorce. Six years later, the 33-year-old has remarried and found help from support groups, but he still finds it difficult to motivate himself to leave the house, he said.
“Chase Russell was injured in multiple close-range explosions in 2010 and 2011 in Afghanistan,” per the Dispatch. “The worst was in September 2011, when a suicide bomber blew up his base.”
Like Gleich, the 25-year-old veteran has shut himself off from friends. He also has a hard time keeping a job and lacks the focus to go to college. “Nothing is really the same as it used to be,” he said.
Below, Cleveland brain injury attorney Chris Mellino discusses the difference between a head injury and a brain injury, common causes of a brain injury, and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury.