Skip to main content

Military Health System

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month; TBICoE’s mission lasts all year

Image of Military health personnel performing a balance test on a patient. Katherine Perlberg, a physical therapist at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center’s Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, performs a balancing test on Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class John Toomer, a hospital corpsman from Naval Hospital Naples, during Landstuhl Regional Medical Center’s Virtual Health Presenters Course, Sept. 3. (Photo by: William Beach, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center)

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Brain Injury Awareness | A Head for the Future | Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness | Centers of Excellence

Navy Capt. (Dr.) Scott Pyne sees March’s Brain Injury Awareness Month as an opportunity to highlight what the Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence does all year long.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is any blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. They can have long-lasting effects. Awareness of TBIs - how to identify them, and ways to mitigate them or seek treatment if an individual thinks they may have one - is an important element of maintaining a medically ready force.

Pyne, division chief for the Silver Spring, Maryland-based TBICoE, said that what many people may not realize about TBIs within the DOD is that they occur more often at home than while deployed.

"TBI is a big issue for the military, especially in a deployed environment, but more TBI actually occurs in the non-deployed environment," Pyne said. "It's really important to be careful about TBI and know about it when you're doing average, day-to-day things like driving your car, riding your bike or motorcycle, skiing, or playing sports."

Pyne said he's seen many changes and advancements surrounding the study and understanding of TBI during his career, and this has led to better guidance for everyone.

"I think the biggest difference is in the area of concussions or mild traumatic brain injury, and this has been pushed out to our line leaders, clinicians, patients, service members, and veterans to be aware of the effects of mild traumatic brain injury," Pyne said. "In the past, concussions happened and people knew about them, but they really didn't pay them much mind."

He said that much of the advancement in understanding TBIs is due to the number of studies that have been done on them over the past several decades, as well as developments in science and technology. This has resulted in better awareness and prevention measures.

Pyne cited an example of when he was involved in sports versus his experience with his children.

"It used to be, if you were able to play through them (brain injuries or concussions), you played through them. You were encouraged to," Pyne said. "I think we now have a whole lot more awareness that there are some problems with that, and that numerous concussions may result in some long-term problems that are difficult to bounce back from. That awareness and understanding has really changed from the time that I was young until the time that I was on the sidelines coaching my own kids."

These advancements are also translating into higher recovery rates.

"The advances that we’re making in severe and penetrating and moderate traumatic brain injury are remarkable. People who would never have recovered in the past are now able to do quite well, and that's based on advances in science," Pyne said. "We always knew it was bad, but I don't think we knew how to take care of it as well as we do now."

On the combat side, Pyne said that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and brain injuries often go hand-in-hand.

"It's very difficult to discern between the two, and I think they need to be evaluated and treated at the same time," Pyne said. "You can have PTSD without having a traumatic brain injury, and you can have a traumatic brain injury without PTSD, but sometimes they come together."

In fact, the TBICoE is studying the interaction between the two.

"We're finding that people who have an isolated traumatic brain injury do a lot better than those that have a traumatic brain injury and PTSD," Pyne said.

Military personnel in a field crotched over holding a gun
Marine Pfc. Daniel Yates, a rifleman with Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/1, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, provides security while conducting a patrol after a simulated airfield seizure mission during a Realistic Urban Training exercise at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, Feb. 21. (Photo by: Marine Sgt. Alexis Flores)

TBIs' impacts on memory and motor skills are also being studied.

"The other thing that we’ve learned quite a bit about is that when injured, people don’t function the same way as they did prior to their TBI. We know that people’s reaction time, their ability to focus, their ability to memorize things are all impacted," Pyne said."

In a combat environment these things have the potential to become life-threatening, both to an individual and those around them.

"On the athletic playing field, that may equate to you not playing well or your team not winning, but obviously the stakes are much higher in the deployed environment, where you not only have to protect yourself, but also your fellow service members," Pyne said.

"At the end of the day, if you get hit in the head and you can’t focus, think clearly, or concentrate, we need to pull you out of whatever game you’re playing, even if it's the game of life, and try to make you better," Pyne said. "So when you go back, you can go back as healthy and as close to functioning at your normal level as you were before you sustained that injury."

Pyne reiterated the fact that most TBIs occur in a non-deployed environment.

"In the DOD, the ways we think about this happening are when we're being shot at or things are blowing up, but things like standard motor vehicle crashes, falls, and sports are where we see a vast majority of concussions among service members," Pyne said.

"How do you prevent those things? You drive the speed limit, you wear a seatbelt or a helmet, and you're careful and aware of your environment."

Pyne said some key points to remember when assessing if you are “TBI-ready” include asking yourself:

  • Are you ready to prevent yourself from getting a TBI?

  • Are you ready to get yourself taken care of in the event you suffer a TBI?

  • Are you ready to take care of someone who may sustain a TBI, especially as a medical provider or a leader?

A simple bump of the head, coupled by "seeing stars," dizziness or confusion could be a concussion or TBI. The key is looking for signs and getting help if you need it.

He also said that, despite the negative discussions surrounding TBIs, most people fully recover from them.

"The vast majority of people who sustain a mild traumatic brain injury make a full recovery," Pyne said "I think we focus too much on the people who don’t get better and we tend to forget all the people who do get better."

The TBICoE also supports a multi-center network of military treatment facilities and Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers with TBI education and research initiatives. An array of resources from TBICoE are available to service members, their families and providers here on the Military Health System website.

You also may be interested in...

Ask the Doc: Hit Head Hiking

Article
3/17/2021
U.S. Marines with The Basic School, Headquarter and Service Battalion, hike Old Rag Mountain at the Shenandoah National Park, Madison County, Va., Nov. 7, 2018. The motivational hike was held in honor of the Marine Corps Birthday as well as Veterans’ Day. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Quinn Hurt)

Dear Doc: I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather last weekend and went out hiking with a few friends. As we were headed up a pretty steep incline, I fell and hit my head on a rock. It hurt pretty badly at the time, but being the “warrior” that I am, I brushed it off and we finished the hike. I haven’t been to a doctor yet, but now I'm having pretty painful headaches, and I’ve also been getting dizzy and nauseous. Did I have a concussion and, if so, what should I do next? — Hit Head Hiking

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Ask The Doc

Military researchers gain new insights into brain injuries

Article
3/16/2021
Military personnel sitting at a table collecting data

Blast injury research helps to fill knowledge gaps about brain injury.

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness

Army Announces FDA Clearance of Field Deployable TBI Blood Test

Article
3/12/2021
Military personnel standing in the snow preparing to fire a missile

The US Army announced Food & Drug Administration clearance of a field-deployable traumatic brain injury blood test.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Brain Injury Awareness

Patient Safety Awareness Week 2021 Highlights Role of Technology

Article
3/12/2021
A graphic with the words "Patient Safety Awareness Week 2021 March 14-20

Patient Safety Awareness Week brings awareness to health care safety and promotes patient safety practices.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety | Health Care Technology | Patient Safety Awards Program | Patient Safety Awareness Week | HRO Awards - Previous Winners | Brain Injury Awareness | Patient Safety Awareness Week

HEADS: Protect Your Strongest Weapon

Publication
3/11/2021

This flyer promotes awareness of the key symptoms of concussion/mild TBI.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Distinguishing between TBIs, psychological conditions key to treatment

Article
3/10/2021
Military personnel holding a gun

Expert says long-lasting symptoms may be a sign of another issue.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | A Head for the Future | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness

New NICoE director sets an ambitious agenda for the future

Article
3/8/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask while talking to each other

The accomplished new leader of the NICoE and Intrepid Spirit Center network has plans for increased services and a higher profile for the unique care center.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Education & Training Events | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness | Centers of Excellence | The National Intrepid Center of Excellence

Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness

Video
3/8/2021
Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness

A TBI is a blow or jolt to the brain that can be life-altering if the symptoms are not recognized. If you or a loved one experience the symptoms mentioned in this video, speak to a health care professional for more information.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness

Proper nutrition impacts overall health & readiness

Article
3/4/2021
Man wearing a face mask restocking fruit at a store

Nutritional fitness implications for Total Force Fitness are far reaching.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Nutritional Fitness | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness

Strategies for hearing loss prevention help service members stay ready

Article
3/3/2021
An infographic with the words "World Hearing Day" at the top, images of people using their hears to listen, and "educate, protect, monitor" at the bottom

The Defense Health Agency is one of many healthcare entities celebrating World Hearing Day on March 3.

Recommended Content:

Hearing Center of Excellence | Hearing and Balance Injuries | Centers of Excellence | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Updated tools and training improve TBI and concussion recovery

Article
3/3/2021
A group of military personnel wearing face mask working on laptop computers

Up-to-date clinical tools help diagnose and manage TBI on and off the battlefield.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBICoE Podcasts | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness

NICoE Brain Injury Awareness/March 2021Events

Publication
3/2/2021

The National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) is hosting a number of virtual events throughout March 2021 in observance of Brain Injury Awareness Month.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Education & Training Events

TBICoE 2020 Publications

Publication
2/25/2021

Master list of 2020 TBICoE Research Publications.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBICoE Research | TBI Provider Resources

Progressive Return to Activity After Concussion Video

Video
2/25/2021
Progressive Return to Activity After Concussion Video

The PRA is an evidence-based, easy-to-use approach to help providers return service members with mild TBIs back to duty safely. TBICoE researchers have found that, if medical providers completed a two-hour, in-person training on the use of the PRA, their patients saw an overall reduction in symptoms after one week, one month, and three months, when compared to patients treated by providers who had not received the training.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Provider Resources | TBI Educators | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Returning to Duty After Concussion

Infographic
2/24/2021
Returning to Duty After Concussion

This TBICoE infographic gives an overview of the risks of returning to duty too soon after a concussion and explains how a progressive increase in activity can help get you back to duty safely. Returning to duty too soon after concussion can lead to prolonged symptoms, poor marksmanship, decreased readiness, accidents and falls, and increased risk of more concussions.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Patient and Family Resources | TBI Educators | TBI Provider Resources | Brain Injury Awareness
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 121 - 135 Page 9 of 19
Refine your search
Last Updated: December 28, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery