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November 13, 2020

How Traumatic Brain Injuries Potentially Affect Veteran Suicide Rates

Suicide rates among service members and veterans continue to climb, with experts pointing to traumatic brain injuries (TBI) as another factor. TBI is a “traumatically induced structural injury or physiological disruption of brain function, as the result of an external force.” A primary cause of severe TBI in service members is continuous exposure to blasts. As a result, the DoD mandated TBI screening for service members exposed to blasts, and military explosive experts argue that service members should not be exposed to so many blasts in the first place. In a study conducted by the Veterans Health Administration, researchers found that veterans with a history of TBI were 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide compared to veterans without TBI.