According to researchers at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh, residual symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be associated with concussion in military personnel who endure blast and/or blunt traumas. The concussion/PTSD study conclusions were recently announced at the Military Health System Research Symposium, Fort Lauderdale, Fla, by Anthony Kontos, PhD, UPMC Sport Medicine Concussion Program assistant research director.
The study reportedly encompassed 27,169 participants in the US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). The results indicate that USASOC personnel reported clinical levels of PTSD symptoms in 12% of concussions resulting from blunt trauma, 23% from blast trauma, and 31% from combination blast-blunt trauma. The results also suggest that 6% of those who had experienced PTSD had never been diagnosed with concussion. Researchers explain that the presence of PTSD increased in tandem with concussion, in 22% of personnel following one blast concussion, 29% following two blast concussions, and 34% following three blast concussions.
Kontos notes that the findings in clinical PTSD-symptom levels emphasize the importance of screening for PTSD and concussion in personnel exposed to concussions, “particularly in those exposed to multiple-blast traumas.” Kontos adds that the, “dose-response relationship between the number of blast concussions and residual concussion and PTSD symptoms supports the notion that exposure to blast head trauma has lingering effects.”
A UPMC news release reports that researchers are currently conducting a prospective study targeting pre- and post-concussion neurocognitive deficits and PTSD symptoms.