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Minnesota National Guard
Study of Guard Soldiers shows effects of mild brain injury fade over time

St Paul, Minn — Results from an ongoing survey of Minnesota National Guard troops conducted by researchers at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center show that most cases of mild brain injury or concussion are likely to fade over time


Researchers say the survey, which was published in the January issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, also sheds more light on post-traumatic stress symptoms
The findings could be good news for the thousands of Iraqi and Afghanistan veterans believed to have suffered mild brain injury during combat, although it's unclear how many troops have come home with TBI

Minneapolis VA Medical Center psychologist Melissa Polusny says the number of soldiers who report an injury that made them feel dazed or confused, or forced them to lose consciousness, varies widely

Polusny and her colleagues surveyed more than 950 Guard soldiers, and in one survey, as many as 22 percent of them reported suffering a mild traumatic brain injury while deployed

"When someone hears the word brain injury, I think they make assumptions about what that is," she said "What we are talking about is concussion, which is sometimes referred to as mild traumatic brain injury"

Mild traumatic brain injury differs from moderate to severe TBI Polusny says there are a number of common symptoms

"Like headache, or difficulty concentrating, or irritability or memory difficulties, maybe ringing in the ears or tinitis," she said "These are grouped together and referred to as post-oncussive symptoms"

The survey followed National Guard soldiers who served in Iraq in 2006 and 2007 Researchers were looking at the associations between concussion and PTSD symptoms, and whether mild TBI caused long-term effects

Polusny says the results were conclusive

"There wasn't really any strong evidence for long-term negative impact of concussion or mild TBI history alone, when you didn't take into account the effects of PTSD," she said

The study found that mild TBI does not further aggravate symptoms of post-traumatic stress Polusny says in fact, it shows that some service members may be attributing their symptoms to brain injury when they could really be caused by PTSD

That's the case with Minnesota National Guard veteran Ed Yurick, who was convinced something was wrong when he returned from Iraq in 2007

More than three years later, he still has trouble concentrating and remembering things At first, he says doctors told him he had traumatic brain injury, or TBI But now they think otherwise

"They apparently don't think I do have TBI They think I have symptoms of that, but they think it's more the PTSD," said Yurick

He gets frustrated when he comes back from the store empty-handed or can't focus

"Concentration is the biggest thing for me," he said
While the survey did not address whether people with repeated mild concussions, or moderate or severe head injury, may have problems down the road, Polusny says she hopes these findings on mild TBI could help more service members get appropriate treatment

by Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
January 4, 2011

More from MPR
Study: Small area of brain could be key to PTSD
October 28, 2010

Ask Dr Hallberg: Traumatic brain injuries
October 14, 2010


 

Article source
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/01/04/brain-injury-study/?refid=0



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Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.



Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.



Minnesota Nice Extends to Puerto Rico

Posted: 2017-12-08  12:08 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP SANTIAGO, Puerto Rico - It has been more than two months since Hurricane Maria stuck Puerto Rico, leaving a trail of disaster behind it. The island was in dire need of some extra help. More than 230 Air National Guardsmen from 29 states have been deployed to the island and are helping in any way they can.

Eleven of those Airmen are from the Minnesota National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, Minn. and the 133rd Airlift Wing out of St. Paul, Minn., are no exception in their desire to lend a helping hand. They have been at Camp Santiago, Puerto Rico, since before Thanksgiving and will leave around mid-December. Their mission is to feed military and civilian hurricane relief workers, giving them the much-needed fuel to complete their mission throughout the day.



Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



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