Medics start using scanner that could detect TBI earlier

Stars & Stripes
May 27, 2018

AP LIGHTNING, Afghanistan — Sol­diers are try­ing out a high-tech brain scan­ner that tests for mild trau­mat­ic brain injuries.

The 1st Secu­ri­ty Force Assis­tance Brigade is the first unit to use the smart­phone-sized Brain­Scope device in the field.

Capt. Nicholas Koreer­at, a phys­i­cal ther­a­pist in the 1st SFAB, trained new­ly-arrived medics from the 2nd Squadron (Armored), 1st Cav­al­ry, 4th Infantry Divi­sion on the device Sat­ur­day at Advis­ing Post Light­ning near Gardez.

Medics often rely on injured sol­diers to tell them what hap­pened. But those with trau­mat­ic brain injuries often lose con­scious­ness or suf­fer mem­o­ry loss. Addi­tion­al­ly, symp­toms such as headache, dizzi­ness, and anx­i­ety aren’t vis­i­ble and can be hid­den or misinterpreted.

Should we let them go back on mis­sion? It tends to be sub­jec­tive,” Koreer­at said. “But the real­ly neat thing about this is that it gives you objec­tive data.”

Elec­tri­cal cur­rents course through the brain, and when some­one has TBI, these cur­rents will look dif­fer­ent when ana­lyzed by a scan­ner. The device can read these brain cur­rents. It shows on a smart­phone-like dis­play whether a brain scan looks like those of peo­ple with TBIs.

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