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Ray Mattison
Ray Mattison
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Another headache for veterans: the late effects of head injuries

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There has been an uproar about the apparent cover up by the Army of the rate of soldier suicide.  As reported in a recent San Francisco Chronicle article the suicide rate among soldiers is three to seven times the rate in the general population.   12,000 service personnel under treatment are attempting suicide each year, something the VA allegedly tried to cover up.   Now Iraq veterans who suffer head injuries may have to worry about developing early “senility” type symptoms in later life.  Recently published in the neurological journal Brain, this long term study of Vietnam veterans found worrisome declines in intellectual function and cognitive function now, 30 to 40 years later, stemming from their wartime injury.  Two thirds of those injured in Iraq and Afghanistan who end up in Army medical centers suffer from head injuries.  Researchers have expressed concern that this could be a medical time bomb set to go off years rom now unless it is addressed and treated now.