U.S. Military Discontinues Use Of Blast Gauges To Signal Possible Brain Injuries For Combat Troops
NPR reports that the gauges were not reliable indicators of whether service members had sustained a concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury, but they did produce data on blast exposure that could eventually have helped researchers understand the links between bomb blasts, concussions and brain diseases. Also, a drug company has secured federal approval for major testing of a drug that may help ease soldiers' post-traumatic stress disorder.
Pentagon Pulls Blast Gauges Intended To Flag Battlefield Brain Injuries
The Pentagon has quietly sidelined a program that placed blast gauges on thousands of combat troops in Afghanistan. NPR has learned the monitoring was discontinued because the gauges failed to reliably show whether service members had been close enough to an explosion to have sustained a concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury. (Hamilton, 12/20)
Can A Muscle Relaxant Ease Symptoms Of PTSD?
Could improving sleep boost a soldier’s recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder? New York drug maker Tonix Pharma seems to think so; it’s testing a long-approved muscle relaxant, cyclopenzaprine, as a way to help calm the brain before sleep to subdue PTSD symptoms. The company just got breakthrough designation from the Food and Drug Administration, and will be entering Phase 3 trials in patients with military-related PTSD in the first quarter of 2017. (Keshavan, 12/20)