Treatment of Cognitive-Communicative Disorders Following Blast Injury Purpose: Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) following exposure to a blast is the signature injury of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The purposes of this article are to describe the characteristics of the service members who experience blast injuries, the cognitive-communicative deficits they present, and the ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2009
Treatment of Cognitive-Communicative Disorders Following Blast Injury
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michael de Riesthal
    Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN
Article Information
Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Traumatic Brain Injury / Articles
Article   |   June 01, 2009
Treatment of Cognitive-Communicative Disorders Following Blast Injury
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, June 2009, Vol. 19, 58-64. doi:10.1044/nnsld19.2.58
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, June 2009, Vol. 19, 58-64. doi:10.1044/nnsld19.2.58
Abstract

Purpose: Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) following exposure to a blast is the signature injury of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The purposes of this article are to describe the characteristics of the service members who experience blast injuries, the cognitive-communicative deficits they present, and the role of the speech-language pathologist (SLP) in managing these deficits.

Method: Demographic data for the service members who have experienced blast injuries in OIF/OEF are reviewed and reported. The literature on treating cognitive-communicative disorders following mTBI is reviewed and is discussed in the context of managing the deficits reported by service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Results and conclusions: Information regarding the effects of blast exposure on the human body continues to emerge. Data regarding the most effective treatment for cognitive-communicative deficits following blast injury are needed. For now, SLPs must rely on the best evidence from the civilian mTBI literature, clinical expertise, and the personal values of the individual with TBI to develop effective treatment programs targeting the cognitive-communicative disorders experienced by these individuals.

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