Traumatic Brain Injuries-US Military’s Failure to Diagnose and Treat Soldiers
A joint investigation by National Public Radio and ProPublica has discovered that soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are not being treated for traumatic brain injuries suffered in combat. Traumatic brain injury is considered a “signature” injury in both wars. Yet, the military is failing to properly diagnose and treat thousands of soldiers suffering from this debilitating injury, according to the investigation.
In spite of pressure from Congress and healthcare experts, TriCare, an insurance-style program which provides medical care to nearly 4 million troops, has refused to provide cognitive rehabilitation therapy to troops suffering from brain injuries. TriCare officials argue that the therapy is not proven to be effective in treating brain injuries. However, top neurologists consulted by NPR and ProPublica disagree with TriCare’s decision.
According to the investigation, “But an investigation by NPR and ProPublica found that internal and external reviewers of the Tricare-funded assessment criticized it as fundamentally misguided. Confidential documents obtained by NPR and ProPublica show that reviewers called the Tricare study “deeply flawed,” “unacceptable” and “dismaying.” One top scientist called the assessment a “misuse” of science designed to deny treatment for service members.”
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