Linkage Between Stress Disorder and Concussions Found

Aug 20, 2012

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and University of Pittsburgh found a link between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and concussions.

Dr.  Anthony Kontos, of Assistant Research Director for the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program said the study involved more than 27,000 U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) personnel.  

"What they did was complete a military version of a neurocognitive concussion test that's used quite frequently in sports called the immediate post concussion assessment cognitive test," Kontos said.  "This test measures verbal and visual memory as well as reaction time and processing speed."

The study found that 40% of the USASOC personnel who experienced a form of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) reported PTSD symptoms.  Only 6% of the subjects who experienced PTSD had never been diagnosed with an MTBI.

In the study, MTBIs were categorized by trama type.  The personnell either had an MTBI classified as blast trauma, blunt trauma or combination blunt-blast trauma.

Kontos said since 2000, about 250,000 military personnel have encountered an MTBI.  Kontos added the study allowed the researchers to not only  link PTSD and MTBI, but also learn more about MTBIs as a while.