Article by Caroline Alexander as originally seen in National Geographic.
What I got out of that article is that we don’t understand the physics or the pathophysiology behind the “blast induced neurotrauma” or “blast induced traumatic brain injury.” And because we don’t understand either of those, we can’t predict or prevent it. So until some of the on going research gets to the bottom of the physics and pathophysiology, our freedom fighters are going to just have to deal with the effects of these injuries when the come back home.
I also learned that this phenomenon probably first surfaced as “shell shock” in World War I, but was quickly dismissed by the medical establishment as soldiers being weak minded or cowards. That’s sad.
Then down in the comments section I saw all kinds of wild ideas about how to “fix” brain injury. Ya’ll, listen here, I’m sorry, but you can’t physically fix a microscopically broken brain, which is what we’re talking about here. We are not advanced enough in our surgery techniques to be able to address individual cells. In therapies we use techniques that encourage neuroplasticity i.e. brain growth, but even that is very limited in it’s breadth at this time. Maybe the hyperbaric oxygen someone there mentioned could be used to create an environment that is “friendly” to neuroplasticity, but it is not a direct fix.
As sad as this article made me feel for our soldiers, it does send a little tingle down my spine. The reason I love neurology is that there is still so much we don’t know or understand and so much room for wild hypothesization. Any physics gurus out there want to give it a go?