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Three Years and Not One Service Member Tested for Subtle Brain Damage

Subtle brain damage is often missed by conventional MRI testing, leading many to falsely conclude that no structural brain damage has taken place.  This false premise has subjected many individuals who have sustained brain injury, including returning veterans to have their claims rejected. 

The absence of proof is not proof of the absence of an injury and the fact that often times brain injury is not detected using MRI Studies does not mean that an individual did not suffer a traumatic brain injury. 

Newer MRI techniques such as the more powerful Tesla 3 MRI machines are now capable of detecting brain injuries that were missed in the past. Other useful techniques for detecting subtle brain injury include functional MRI studies (fMRI)
Three years ago, the Department of Veterans Affairs established a laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin with high expectations that it would conduct state-of-the art research into combat-related brain injuries using powerful MRI technology.  However after 3 years no studies have ever taken place!

Last month, the VA announced it was moving the facility to Waco, Texas, after spending more than $3 million without testing a single veteran with traumatic brain injury.  The Waco facility is reported to have the world’s most powerful research MRI machine.

The decision follows a two-year battle between VA and the former director of the Brain Injury and Recovery Laboratory, who has accused his superiors of fraud, mismanagement and wasting taxpayer money.

The uproar has sparked a congressional inquiry, an investigation by the federal Office of Special Counsel and several internal investigations.

Hopefully, research will finally get underway to objectively document subtle brain injuries in returning vets.

You can read more on the controversy and investigation of the Austin facility by clicking a story in the Washington Post , “VA Moves Texas Brain Laboratory After Years Pass Without Testing



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