Medics start using scanner that could detect TBI earlier

Stars & Stripes
By By J.P. LAWRENCE
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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