VIEWS: 29 PAGES: 2 CATEGORY: Science & Technology POSTED ON: 6/3/2010
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frontal lobes, such as those with a higher level of education That bias, he said, coupled with economic factors, is or demand for multitaskng. “So, part of the effect of the reflected in insurance coverage. Except for some policies injury is going to be based on what your rank is, what issued by Aetna, the average health insurance policy, your [military operational specialty] is, and what your including Tricare, fails to cover cognitive rehabilitation. responsibilities are,” Dr. O’Shanick said. Thus, while MAJ “They say that cognitive rehabilitation for brain injury is Morningstar may get adequate scores on memory tests unproven, in spite of the fact that there have been over 400 post-TBI compared to other patients, she no longer has the articles and dozens of well-designed studies published,” Dr. multitasking capability to fix a meal in her kitchen, let alone O’Shanick said. “When they do pay for cognitive rehab, operate in a hospital emergency room. neurorehabilitation, or cognitive remediation, they set artificial and arbitrary time and pay limits that have nothing Nobody Understands This to do with outcomes that allow the person to go back to Mild TBI is so misunderstood that the patient may be being independent, to no longer needing a caregiver at misdiagnosed and the impact of the injury underappreciated. home, or to interact in the community, or interact with his “The first issue,” Dr. O’Shanick said, “is correct identification.or her kids.” The person would get in the wrong system of care, and they Ten U.S. senators on Aug. 4 and 60 House members on are going to go downhill fast.” Sept. 19 sent letters to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates As Dr. Ghajar’s eye-tracking tests suggest, the symptoms urging Tricare coverage of cognitive rehabilitation for brain of mild TBI could be taken for fatigue, substance abuse, a injury patients. psychological disorder, or simply a bad attitude. Anecdotal Both a medical community ignorant of the cause and evidence is surfacing that a number of Afghanistan and effects of mild TBI and an insurance industry disregarding Iraq War vets have received disciplinary actions from their ongoing treatment for mild TBI have disturbing commanders for overly apathetic or aggressive behavior, ramifications, especially for Reserve Component members which, investigators are discovering, may result from the who return home before the symptoms of accumulated servicemember incurring a concussion up to two years before. concussions appear. MAJ Morningstar said she encountered ignorance of TBI MAJ Morningstar wants to be part of an education on her journey through the military medical system from effort for the general pubic on TBI and its effects, but her Iraq through Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where greatest concern is for family members. She attends a weekly she spent 11 months. She is currently assigned to a warrior group therapy session with seven other servicemem
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