Tag Archives: military

Veterans Clinic at the University of Missouri School of Law to Host TBI Symposium on November 11

WHAT: The Veterans Clinic at the University of Missouri School of Law will host its second annual symposium, “Traumatic Brain Injury: Lessons Learned from Our Nation’s Athletes and Military,” that will feature professionals knowledgeable in veterans’ issues including the effects of traumatic brain injury. These professionals will discuss the relationship between injuries observed in athletes and in our nation’s service members.10653537_10152859467538990_1898819128704717451_n


WHO: Keynote Speaker: Dr. Susan Okie, former medical reporter and national science editor of the Washington Post, will discuss, “The Aftermath of Traumatic Brain Injury in the War Zone.”


Panelists include:

Amy Odom, director of litigation for the National Veterans Legal Services Program Alex Pracht, veteran of the U.S. Army and client of the MU School of Law Veterans Clinic Shawn Lee, veteran and attorney in the law firm, Fox Stretz and Quinn Eric Hart, associate clinical professor in the department of health psychology Paul Anderson, attorney with The Klamann Law Firm; creator of NFLConcussionLitigation.com Marvin Washington, member of the 1998 Denver Broncos Super Bowl team Douglas E. Abrams, associate professor of law Justin Trueblood, president of the Mizzou Law Sports Society Rex Sharp, associate athletic director for sports, University of Missouri Department of Athletics Michael Sam, former MU defensive lineman Amelia Tapp, decision review officer, St. Louis VA Regional Office


WHEN & WHERE: 8 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 11

Room 7, Hulston Hall, MU Campus


NOTES: The symposium is free and open to the public. For a full schedule, please visit: http://law.missouri.edu/faculty/event/program-17/


Live streaming of this event will be available at: http://law.missouri.edu/faculty/event/video-3/

In the afternoon, the Veterans Clinic will host a free 3-hour continuing legal education session for attorneys and service officers discussing veterans’ benefits cases in detail.


Registration is strongly encouraged, but not required. To register, please visit: http://law.missouri.edu/faculty/event/registration/

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U.S. Army Looks for Ways to Prevent Traumatic Brain Injuries

A television station in Huntsville, Alabama — WHNT — has reported that the U.S. Army is making good use of a $500,000 grant it received from the National Football League to explore ways to prevent concussions.file000236714982

“This is a problem that does affect the Army, when paratroopers fall, part of their landing procedures are to fall, roll and hit the ground, so they can undergo the same kind of impact here where they fall and smack their heads,” Army Research Laboratory engineer David Lowry told the station.

Further, the station reported that “Engineers at the Army Research Laboratory are designing tethers that will prevent a whiplash-like fall when a player or soldier is hit to the ground. The tethers would be attached to the helmet and would lock up when hit, restraining the head and lowering the acceleration rate at which the head hits the ground, possibly preventing a concussion.”

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Attorney: History of Concussions in Sports May be Precursor to Military Suicides

Tom Robenalt, a Chicago traumatic brain injury attorney, pointed recently to a study in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, which suggested that multiple traumatic brain injuries or concussions, may be the precursor to military suicides, just as it is with sports-related suicides.

The study goes further than just suggesting there may be a link between military suicides and TBI and sports-related suicides and multiple concussions, according to Robenalt. It offers the speculation that many of the men in military service played sports before they enlisted. Many suffered head injuries while playing those sports, a state of affairs further exacerbated by concussive shock waves that buffeted their heads when an improvised explosive device (IED) was triggered while on a tour of duty overseas.

“What this speculation gives rise to is that those servicemen who enlisted with pre-existing TBI, but still functioning well enough to enlist, were even more prone to suicidal thoughts,” said Robenalt. “More prone than someone who had not sustained concussions while playing sports or someone that had never had a head injury.”

Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are noted factors in suicides, according to Robenalt. If these conditions existed prior to an individual enlisting in the military, they would be aggravated by combat conditions, which may explain the higher levels of suicides in the Armed Forces, he added

The study was conducted by an Air Force psychologist and included 161 individuals sent to his clinic for suspected concussions. Those interviewed were asked about any history of head trauma, any battles with depression, PTSD or struggling with suicidal thoughts.

“The major conclusion drawn from the study was that many of the head injuries the men talked about were sustained before they joined the military. Some former service personnel indicated they had received as many as six head injuries prior to reporting for duty. Additionally, roughly 20 percent suffered further concussions during basic training,” said Robenalt. “The implication of the report is that sustaining earlier head trauma may create a pre-existing disposition activated by further head trauma in combat. Some military members reported they had sustained up to 15 brain injuries while on a tour of duty.”

If these findings gain more credence over time, Robenalt theorized, the military may face a similar situation to the National Football League.

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