Skip to comments.A Navy SEAL's last act of service: A search for the truth about brain disease and the military
Posted on 05/28/2016 9:51:28 PM PDT by huldah1776
On the afternoon of March 12, 2014, Jennifer Collins checked her phone and found a message from her husband, Dave Collins, a retired Navy SEAL. Hed texted to say that she should pick up their son from kindergarten, and then this: So sorry baby. I love you all. Hours later, two police officers showed up at their house in Virginia Beach with news that Dave, 45, had shot himself in his truck a few miles away. Although Jennifer had held out hope for any other explanation, she also knew the moment she read it what the text meant. For months, shed watched Dave disintegrate into a man she hardly knew. Shed tried everything, but nothing had alleviated his severe insomnia, intense anxiety and worsening cognitive problems. I was so frustrated that I couldnt find the answers he needed, she remembers. It was out of that frustration, she says, that the idea came to donate his brain to research. She was still answering a detectives questions in her living room that night when she blurted it out: Tell the medical examiner to do whatever is needed to preserve Daves brain. She hoped the decision might help others struggling with what everyone believed explained Daves afflictions traumatic brain injury and PTSD
Thats what hed been diagnosed with, Jennifer says. I had no reason to think there was anything else to find. Snip
Three months after Dave died, a letter came from the doctor who examined his brain snip
Daves unraveling was chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease best known for affecting former professional football players. Associated with repeated head trauma, CTE causes neurological decay, has no known treatment and can be diagnosed only at autopsy. It is linked to memory loss, personality changes, depression, impulsivity, dementia and suicide.
(Excerpt) Read more at pilotonline.com ...
sorry, it didn’t give me the preview.
Wow. Belated prayers to the wife and family.
This patriot serves, even in death. Thank you, sir.
A friend’s son was involved in an incident that killed six servicemen in an attack by a motorcycle detonated by a suicide driver. He was very close to the blast, but apparently unscathed. Upon return to the FOB, the initial treatment was a shower, hot meal and a full night’s sleep. But, it a few days he was showing signs of traumatic brain injury (TBI). As the article points out, TBI is not well understood and CTE probably even less so, especially with blast injuries.
In my day, if you had all of your appendages and no visible holes, you were called lucky and you drove on. That’s what happened with me and in my case, I had no long term consequences (as far as I know). But, in this case, there are consequences and they show up in cognitive tests. The problem is that very few doctors understand this and even the most knowledgeable are just starting to learn what is going on. Soldiers are sent to the shrink who are completely clueless about physical injuries. The bottom line is that medical science doesn’t really what to do about this.
Meanwhile, this troop was medevaced back to the States and is back on the job. He is improving, but that’s probably a function of time rather than medical care. Hopefully, time will allow the brain to heal itself, but if the problem is CTE and not TBI, that may not happen. Someone once told me that Hope is not a method.
This is horrible. To serve, come home whole, and then discover there’s one more potential mental IED in your future. These folks don’t deserve this. The good news is that the VA and the physician’s community is waking up to this...and spending money on the research.
100% .......grateful. Very grateful.
Was just reading a neuroscience article where the researchers found evidence of the brain trying to heal itself of schizophrenia. The brain has a high level of “plasticity” but knowing how and when is what is needed. Neuroscience is growing in leaps and bounds.
Prayers up for your friends son. Sometimes the brain can repair itself.
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