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Neurological Effects of Blast Injury Workshop


Neurological Effects of Blast Injury Workshop

Sponsored by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Interagency Committee on Disability Research

April 10 and 11, 2008

Rockville, MD

Over the last few years, thousands of soldiers have suffered traumatic injuries due to blast exposure largely attributed to improvised explosive devices in terrorist and insurgent activities. In addition, recent trends in global terrorism raise significant concerns for civilian casualties due to blast exposure from explosives. One of the most commonly held assumptions is that blast injury induced neurotrauma is the same as other sources of traumatic brain injury.  However, there have been very few published reports on the clinical neuropathology of blast injury.  In order to clarify the scientific opportunities and challenges for research on the neurological effects of blast injury, the NIH convened a workshop in April, 2008.  The overarching scientific goals of the workshop were to explore: 1) the acute and long-term neurological effects of blast exposure; 2) potential clinical indicators of blast exposure, such as neurobehavioral assessments, imaging, and/or biochemical markers; 3) standard approaches for performing blast exposure experimentation in animal models; and 4) considerations for research concerned with civilian and military exposure to blast injury.  Following a series of platform presentations, break out groups discussed and recommended strategies for furthering research in the areas of blast biophysics, cellular and molecular pathways, diagnostics and detection, and acute and long-term treatments.  Major recommendations from the workshop participants included the need for clinical neuropathological data, and validation of existing and new preclinical models. The next steps are to publish the workshop proceedings. Those attending considered this an important first step toward developing diagnostic tools and treatments for persons suffering from the neurological effects of blast injury.

Last updated June 24, 2009