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Brain injury????

Scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden say that the brain may be injured by the noise produced by the firing of anti-tank weapons or a howitzer.

While a number of reports in the past have suggested that the brain seems to be sensitive to the blast, the current study focused on how whether the occupational standards for the highest levels of blast exposure were valid enough to avoid brain injuries.


They found that the maximal peak levels of the blast were unexpectedly high in the brain, i.e. that skin and bone appeared to protect the brain poorly.

According to them, their findings showed that the degree of transmission of a pressure wave from air or water to the brain depends on the dominating frequencies in the frequency spectrum of the noise; low frequencies are transmitted considerably better than high frequencies.

Upon the microscopic examination of the brain, the researchers observed that the blast from certain weapons produces small haemorrhages (bleeding) in the brain tissue and the meninges (lining of the brain).

They further observed that blast exposure leads to the development of brain edema, i.e. increased fluid content, a finding that they were later able to support this finding with other measurements.

The researchers said that the results of their study were in agreement with findings in the brains of soldiers who had been injured or died after being exposed to explosions in wars, from WW1 to the war in Iraq.

Based on their observations, the team came to the conclusion that the maximal peak levels of blast generated by the firing of certain weapons led to a small but measurable effect on the brains of pigs and rats.

The study also showed that this effect on the brain becomes worse with increasing maximal peak blast levels.

The results poses the question as to whether exposure to even lower levels of blast than previous thought injurious might be contributing to the large numbers of mild traumatic brain injuries in American military personnel.

April 20, 2009 Posted by | Fact, Personal | , , | Leave a comment