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Electroencephalogram Test Helps VA Doctors Tell PTSD and Mild TBI Apart

Posted on December 28, 2016 by Disability Help Group

Electroencephalograms (EEGs) measure the levels of electric activity in a person’s brain. Analysis of these results can help doctors determine a comatose patient’s state of consciousness and detect other brain activity abnormalities. Doctors from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are working on developing protocols to use EEGs when diagnosing a case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or a mild traumatic brain injury (mild TBI or mTBI).

Currently, distinguishing between these types of injuries is difficult and based on outward symptoms, which are very similar. The EEG testing hopes to make a clear distinction between the two to boost the accuracy of diagnosis and treatments.

A study of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars found abnormal brain waves come from different regions of the brain depending on the type of injury.

PTSD injuries caused decreased low-frequency brain waves mainly in the right temporoparietal region. Mild TBI injuries (concussions) caused an increase in low-frequency brain waves mainly in the prefrontal and right temporal regions.

The scientists made these observations after examining 147 active-duty servicemembers or veterans with confirmed cases of PTSD and mTBI. Of the participants, 115 had mTBI, 40 had PTSD, and 35 had both. Using the study’s results, researchers hope to improve diagnostic methods for veterans and begin proper treatments as soon as possible.

Even a Mild TBI Can Qualify You for Veterans’ Disability Benefits

Even though doctors classify them as mild, mTBIs can affect a veteran for the rest of his/her life. If you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD or TBI stemming from trauma during military service, you might be eligible for veterans’ disability benefits.

To learn more about your right to disability benefits, contact the Disability Help Group. Schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our knowledgeable disability advocates today: 800-800-2009.