Blast-Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A Treatable Condition?

Judy R. Wilson*

Blast-Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A Treatable Condition?

“Blast injury” is a term that describes biophysical and pathophysiological events as well as clinical symptoms that occur when individuals are subjected to explosions of any kind. They found a “distinctive pattern of scarring that may indicate specific areas of damage from blast exposure consistent with the general principles of blast biophysics that could also account for aspects of the neuropsychiatric clinical sequelae reported” and determined that all cases of chronic blast exposure had an ante-mortem diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.

So despite the lack of findings with conventional neuroimaging for mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), military personnel who have reported persistent post-concussive symptoms, such as headache, sleep disturbances, concentration impairment, memory problems, depression and anxiety may have structural damage that goes undetected, yet presents as post concussion syndrome. This has led to the use of the term “invisible wounds” for those with  TBIs and these symptoms.

The lack of statistically significant differences between the treatment and sham groups has led some to conclude that HBOT does not work in the treatment of TBI with accompanying symptoms of PTSD. Harch  states that the problem lies in the definition of “sham-controlled” which implies placebo design. The sham treatment set at 1.3 ATA is actually a HBOT treatment.

The increased pressure increases plasma oxygen above what it would be at sea level.25 To have a control group would require the removal of increased pressure and hyperoxia. Thus, both doses  demonstrated net improvements in post-concussion syndrome and PTSD in these studies.

Psychol Cogn Sci Open J. 2017; 3(4): e19-e22.doi: 10.17140/PCSOJ-3-e010