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Traumatic Brain Injury


Traumatic Brain Injury

Image of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) may occur anytime the head is shaken or hit, causing "concussion" or "closed head injury". Unfortunately, TBI has become a "signature wound" of the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For Veterans, TBI may occur from any event that impacts the head, such as blast exposures, motor vehicle crashes, or falls. TBIs also may be caused by flying debris or being physically thrown against the ground or other hard surface. The severity of a TBI may range from mild to moderate to severe. Veterans with more severe TBIs are at greater risk for long term complications. The severity of a TBI is defined by looking at three factors at the time of the head injury:

  • Glasgow Coma Scores
  • Length of loss of consciousness
  • Length of post-traumatic amnesia

No available resources


MISSION Act 133: Traumatic Brain Injury – This course is designed to provide community providers with general training and resources in the areas of military culture, traumatic brain injury, suicide prevention and other related topics. 

Causes of Excess Mortality in Veterans Treated for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (February 2020)

Characterization of Lifetime TBIs in a Cohort of Recently Deployed Soldiers (December 2019)

PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury: Differences between Male and Female Veterans (June 2019)

This site provides training, toolkits, and other resources related to TBI: Training for staff working with patients with TBI.

Uniformed Services University on-line course on the Fundamentals of Traumatic Brain Injury


Longitudinal Analysis of Persistent Postconcussion Symptoms, Probable TBI, and Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration Among Veterans. Portnoy GA, Relyea MR, Presseau C, Orazietti S, Martino S, Brandt CA, Haskell SG. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2022 Jan-Feb 01;37(1):34-42. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000759.

Predictors of Driving Status in Service Members and Veterans at 1 Year Posttraumatic Brain Injury: A VA TBI Model Systems Study. Bernstein JPK, Sevigny M, Novack TA, Dreer LE, Chung J, Lamberty GJ, Finn JA. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2021 Nov-Dec 01;36(6):437-446. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000668. 

Treatment of Anger Problems in Previously Deployed Post-911 Veterans: A randomized controlled trial. Shea MT, Stout RL, Reddy MK, Sevin E, Presseau C, Lambert J, Cameron A. Depress Anxiety. 2021 Dec 8. doi: 10.1002/da.23230. Epub ahead of print.

Race/Ethnicity and Community Participation Among Veterans and Service Members With Traumatic Brain Injury: A VA Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Study. Stevens LF, Ketchum JM, Sander AM, Callender L, Dillahunt-Aspillaga C, Dreer LE, Finn JA, Gary KW, Graham KM, Juengst SB, Kajankova M, Kolakowsky-Hayner S, Lequerica AH, Rabinowitz AR. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2021 Nov-Dec 01;36(6):408-417. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000657.

Psychosocial and Functional Predictors of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms in Veterans and Service Members With TBI: A VA TBI Model Systems Study. Benavides AM, Finn JA, Tang X, Ropacki S, Brown RM, Smith AN, Stevens LF, Rabinowitz AR, Juengst SB, Johnson-Greene D, Hart T. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2021 Nov-Dec 01;36(6):397-407. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000647.

Veterans with TBI-related Ocular Injury and Vision Dysfunction: Vision Rehabilitation Utilization. Winkler SL, Marszalek J, Wang X, Finch D, Rakoczy C, Delikat J, Kelleher V, Williams M, Zuniga E, Rice C, Pollard K, Cockerham G. Optom Vis Sci. 2021 Dec 6. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001824. Epub ahead of print.

Relations among Suicidal Ideation, Depressive Symptoms, and Functional Independence during the Ten Years after Traumatic Brain Injury: A Model Systems Study. Perrin PB, Klyce DW, Fisher LB, Juengst SB, Hammond FM, Gary KW, Niemeier JP, Bergquist TF, Bombardier CH, Rabinowitz AR, Zafonte RD, Wagner AK. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2021 Aug 5:S0003-9993(21)01343-5. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2021.07.790

Reported History of Traumatic Brain Injury Among Suicide Decedents: National Violent Death Reporting System, 2003-2017. Miller GF, Lyons BH, Peterson AB, Rice KL, Holland KM. Am J Prev Med. 2021 Jul 12:S0749-3797(21)00296-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2021.04.034

Event Related Potentials Indexing the Influence of Emotion on Cognitive Processing in Veterans with Comorbid Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. Campbell AM, Elbogen EB, Johnson JL, Hamer RM, Belger A. Clin Neurophysiol. 2021 Jul;132(7):1389-1397. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2021.03.017. Epub 2021 Apr 7. 

The additional burden of PTSD on functioning and depression in Veterans with traumatic brain injury. Moriarty H, Robinson KM, Winter L. Nurs Outlook. 2021 Mar-Apr;69(2):167-181. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2020.11.003

Goal-Oriented Attention Self-Regulation Training Improves Executive Functioning in Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Novakovic-Agopian T, Posecion L, Kornblith E, Abrams G, McQuaid JR, Neylan TC, Burciaga J, Joseph J, Carlin G, Groberio J, Maruyama B, Chen AJW. J Neurotrauma. 2021 Mar;38(5):582-592. doi: 10.1089/neu.2019.6806. Epub 2020 Nov 18. 

Cognitive Dysfunction, Brain Volumes, and Traumatic Brain Injury in Homeless Persons. Cusimano MD, Saha A, Zhang D, Zhang S, Casey J, Rabski J, Carpino M, Hwang SW. Neurotrauma Rep. 2021 Mar 5;2(1):136-148. doi: 10.1089/neur.2020.0031

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Subsequent to Apparent Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Rieke JD, Lamb DG, Lewis GF, Davila MI, Schmalfuss IM, Murphy AJ, Tran AB, Bottari SA, Williamson JB. Cogn Behav Neurol. 2021 Mar 3;34(1):26-37. doi: 10.1097/WNN.0000000000000264

Brain Injury: What Influences the Beliefs U.S. Service Members Have About Reporting and Seeking Care?  Jorgensen-Wagers K, Young V, Collins D, Chavez B, Lenski D, Khokhar B. Mil Med. 2021 Jan 25;186(Suppl 1):546-551. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usaa410

Factors increasing the risk of suicide after traumatic brain injury: a state-of-the-science review of military and civilian studies. McIntire KS, Crawford KA, Perrin PB, Sestak JL, Aman K, Walter LA, Page DB, Wen H, Randolph BO, Brunner RC, Novack TL, Niemeier JP. Brain Inj. 2021 Jan 18:1-13. doi: 10.1080/02699052.2020.1861656

Sex, Race, and Risk of Dementia Diagnosis after Traumatic Brain Injury among Older Veterans. Kornblith E, Peltz CB, Xia F, Plassman B, Novakovic-Apopain T, Yaffe K. Neurology. 2020 Sep 4:10.1212/WNL.0000000000010617. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000010617

An interdisciplinary approach to the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of OEF/OIF Veterans with mild traumatic brain injury. Gress Smith JL, Roberts NA, Borowa D, Bushnell M. Appl Neuropsychol Adult. 2020 Sep 2:1-9. doi: 10.1080/23279095.2020.1810690

Intimate Partner Violence Among Female OEF/OIF/OND Veterans Who Were Evaluated for Traumatic Brain Injury in the Veterans Health Administration: A Preliminary Investigation. Iverson KM, Sayer NA, Meterko M, Stolzmann K, Suri P, Gormley K, Nealon Seibert M, Yan K, Pogoda TK. J Interpers Violence. 2020 Jul;35(13-14):2422-2445. doi: 10.1177/0886260517702491. Epub 2017 Apr 18.J Interpers Violence. 2020. PMID: 29294714

Incidence Rates of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Over a 17-Year Period in Active Duty Military Service Members. Judkins JL, Moore BA, Collette TL, Hale WJ, Peterson AL, Morissette SB. J Trauma Stress. 2020 Jun 29. doi: 10.1002/jts.22558.

Traumatic Brain Injury-Related Deaths From Firearm Suicide: United States, 2008-2017. Miller GF, Kegler SR, Stone DM. Am J Public Health. 2020 Jun;110(6):897-899. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2020.305622. Epub 2020 Apr 16.Am J Public Health. 2020. PMID: 32298184

Vocational Rehabilitation in the Veterans Health Administration Polytrauma System of Care: Current Practices, Unique Challenges, and Future Directions. Ottomanelli L, et al. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2019. PMID: 31058758

Traumatic brain injury in homeless and marginally housed individuals: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Stubbs JL, Thornton AE, Sevick JM, Silverberg ND, Barr AM, Honer WG, Panenka WJ. Lancet Public Health. 2020 Jan;5(1):e19-e32. doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(19)30188-4.

Gender Differences in Outcomes after Traumatic Brain Injury among Service Members and Veterans. Cogan AM, McCaughey VK, Scholten J. PM R. 2020 Mar;12(3):301-314. doi: 10.1002/pmrj.12237. Epub 2019 Sep 30. Review.

Sequelae of Blast Events in Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans using the Salisbury Blast Interview: A CENC Study. Rowland JA, Martindale SL, Spengler KM, Shura RD, Taber KH. Brain Inj. 2020 Feb 25:1-11. doi: 10.1080/02699052.2020.1729418. [Epub ahead of print]

VA research on TBI

Mental Health Outcomes Among Military Service Members After Severe Injury in Combat and TBI. Chin DL, Zeber JE. Mil Med. 2020 Jun 8;185(5-6):e711-e718. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usz440.

Predictors of Employment Status in Male and Female Post-9/11 Veterans Evaluated for Traumatic Brain Injury. Amara JH, Stolzmann KL, Iverson KM, Pogoda TK. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2019 Jan/Feb;34(1):11-20. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000404.


No available resources

No available resources

Center for Disease Control: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and concussion resource page.

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center: (DVBIC) is a DOD program that serves active duty military, their beneficiaries, and Veterans with TBI through state of-the-art clinical care, innovative clinical research initiatives and educational programs, and support for force health protection services. DVBIC interacts with VA at the five Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers, where it provides staff and expertise for those with deployment-related TBIs.

National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) information page citing ongoing research in this area.

VA research on TBI: VA Research on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).  This page covers many aspects of TBI, specifically as it pertains to Veterans. 

War Related Illness and Injury Study Center: The War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC) is a National VA Post Deployment Health Resource.  The WRIISC focuses on the post deployment health concerns of Veterans and their unique health care needs. The WRIISC develops and provides post-deployment health expertise to Veterans and their health care providers through clinical programs, research, education, and risk communication.



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