The study's findings suggest an increased risk for alcohol dependence, nondependent abuse of drugs or alcohol, and nicotine dependence during the ﬁrst 30 days following mild TBI and a risk thereafter for alcohol dependence for at least six months after injury.
The findings may have a significant effect on how military personnel with mild TBI are screened and monitored: "When considered against the existing literature, our results suggest that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration approach to addiction-related disorders in TBI should be revised," wrote the researchers, who recommended that screening for addiction-related disorders should be part of routine care for mild TBI and might be most effective during the ﬁrst 30 days post-mild TBI, with repeat alcohol screening thereafter for at least six months following the injury.
The search for biomarkers that would allow quick and accurate analysis of TBI on the battlefield looks promising. Read more in Psychiatric News here.
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