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BRAIN WOUND UPDATE #8: “New” Discoveries but Old News to Scientists Studying Brain Wounds


  1. Military suicide rate rose 25% in first quarter, Pentagon reveals JULY 05, 2023 TIMOTHY FRUDD

    In an alarming update from the Pentagon, suicide rates among active-duty military personnel saw a 25% rise in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year. The suicide rate data was revealed in the recent quarterly report by the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, which found the total number of active-duty suicides was recorded at 94, up from 75 during the first quarter of 2022.

    “Every death by suicide is a tragedy,” the report said. “Data includes all known or suspected suicides (both confirmed and pending) as of March 31, 2023.”

    According to Stars and Stripes, the Army suffered the most significant surge in suicide deaths, with an increase from 37 to 49.  Meanwhile, the Marine Corps saw an increase from eight to 14. The Air Force had one more suicide compared to 2022, and there was no change in the suicide rates within either the Navy or Space Force.

    The Pentagon’s data shows a rising trend in military suicides over the past decade, including a pronounced spike in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Beth Foster, executive director of the Pentagon’s Force Resiliency Office, spoke to this growing concern, saying, “There is still a gradual increasing trend for suicide in the military over a 10-year period, and we need to see a sustained long-term reduction in suicide rates to know if we’re really making progress.” [See the DOD/IG Report on DOD shortcomings on even knowing the nature and scale of the extent of brain wounds.

    In response to the concerning increase in suicides, the Defense Department enacted the Brandon Act in May, which allows troops to seek mental health services confidentially and whenever needed.  The Act is named after Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Caserta, who tragically took his own life in 2018.

    Pentagon’s Suicide Prevention and Response Independent Review Committee, established to find more effective suicide prevention methods, has recommended imposing restrictions on troops’ access to firearms, enforcing waiting periods for gun and ammunition purchases and raising the minimum buying age to 25. The Pentagon is currently reviewing the recommendations. [NOTE: Nothing in the Report talks about ending suicidal ideation by treating brain-wounded service members with HBOT. In fact, there is no discussion about root-cause analysis, continuing DOD’s unwillingness to even discuss proven brain-healing modalities.]

    The Defense Suicide Prevention Office noted that the numbers in the report are preliminary and are subject to change upon further investigations and reports of previously unknown suicide cases. The Pentagon’s comprehensive yearly study on military suicides, set to analyze the data from 2022, is due for release in October.


  1.  Redefining Depression: TBI Affective Syndrome Discovered – Neuroscience News

    Summary: A new study suggests that depression post-traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be a distinct disease separate from traditional major depressive disorder. This revelation, arising from unique patterns observed in brain maps of TBI patients, could revolutionize the treatment for such individuals.

    The study proposes a new term for this variant of depression – “TBI affective syndrome”. Fundamentally, this research marks a significant step toward personalized treatment strategies for TBI patients.

    Key Facts: 

    •  Depression post-TBI might be a distinct disorder separate from traditional major depressive disorder.
    •  The study suggests the term “TBI affective syndrome” for this variant of depression.
    •  Personalized brain mapping revealed unique patterns in TBI patients, leading to the theory of this distinct depressive disorder.

        Source: Brigham and Women’s Hospital

    A new study led by Shan Siddiqi, MD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system, suggests that depression after traumatic brain injury (TBI) could be a clinically distinct disorder rather than traditional major depressive disorder, with implications for patient treatment.

    The findings are published in Science Translational Medicine.


  1. Researchers identify first case of CTE found in a female athlete The HILL BY NICK ROBERTSON – 07/05/23

    Australian researchers have identified the first case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a female athlete.  The brain injury has been commonly found in American football players and other contact sport athletes, but the discovery of the condition in a female athlete is a first.

    Heather Anderson was an Australian rules football player who died by suicide last year at 28. An analysis of her brain found she had early-stage CTE caused by repeated head trauma.

    “There were multiple CTE lesions as well as abnormalities nearly everywhere I looked in her cortex,” researcher Michael Buckland, director of the Australian Brain Sports Bank, told The Washington Post. “It was indistinguishable from the dozens of male cases I’ve seen.”

    Her family donated her brain to researchers to learn more about her death. Scientific literature is inconclusive on the relationship between CTE and suicidality, but the condition is known to cause memory issues, personality changes and erratic behavior.  Anderson retired from Australian rules football, a contact sport similar to rugby, after a career-ending shoulder injury in 2017. Her father described the CTE diagnosis as “a surprise but not a surprise,” in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

    Rhw research, published Tuesday in the journal Springer, notes that a few women have been diagnosed with CTE before, but never an athlete. The research says the low number of female diagnoses is likely because the sports where CTE is most common, American football and boxing, are male-dominated. CTE worsens as athletes suffer more head injuries and in longer careers. The condition can only be diagnosed posthumously via an autopsy.

    Researchers said athletes who start playing contact sports young are at the greatest risk of CTE. Anderson began playing Australian rules football at 5 years old, her family said.  Women are also more susceptible to concussions than men, raising their risk for the condition, researchers said.  “There has been a significant increase in women’s participation in contact sports over the past decade. … This report may, thus, represent a sentinel case: as the representation of women in professional contact sports is growing, it seems likely that more CTE cases will be identified in female athletes,” the study states.

    Nearly 350 American football players, 90 percent of those studied, have been posthumously diagnosed with CTE.


The TreatNOW Mission is ending service member suicides. Along the way, we have learned that we can help heal the symptoms and effects of acute concussion/TBI/PTSD by helping heal the brain.

Heal Brains. Stop Suicides. Restore Lives. TreatNOW

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