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Contact: Vicki Cohn, (914) 740-2156, vcohn@liebertpub.com
Low Level Blast Explosions Harm Brain, Says New Study in Journal of Neurotrauma

New Rochelle, NY, September 16, 2013—Repeated exposure to low level blasts (LLB) can cause symptoms similar to sports concussion. Soldiers or law enforcement officers called “breachers” receive training in using low level blasts for forced entry. They may be at risk for diminished neurocognitive performance and symptoms caused by the harmful effects of blast-related pressure changes on the brain, as described in a study published in Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available on the Journal of Neurotrauma website.

Charmaine Tate and colleagues, New Zealand Defence Force (Auckland), Banyan Biomarkers, Inc. (Alachua, FL), Naval Medical Research Center and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (Silver Spring, MD), and University of Florida (Gainesville), measured the levels of three blood biomarkers, performance on cognitive tests, and self-reported symptoms among a “breacher” population of the New Zealand Defence Force.

The authors compared the composite scores of the five individuals with the highest scores to the five participants with the lowest scores. They report a significant relationship between blood biomarker load and neurocognitive deficits and between symptoms and neurocognitive performance.  
In the article “Serum Brain Biomarker Level, Neurocognitive Performance, and Self-Reported Symptom Changes in Soldiers Repeatedly Exposed to Low-Level Blast: A Breacher Pilot Study,” the researchers describe their findings and conclude that the results suggest “a measureable degree of brain perturbation linked to LLB exposure.”

John T. Povlishock, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Neurotrauma and Professor, VCU Neuroscience Center, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond notes that, “Although the work presents a pilot study, its finding are potentially of great importance. Not only does this report strongly suggest the damaging consequences of repeated blast injury, but it also identifies biomarkers capable of detecting change in this population. As noted by the authors, these biomarker studies, together with the composite data analysis methodologies reported in this communication, should prove invaluable in future expanded studies of blast injury.”


About the Journal
Journal of Neurotrauma is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published 24 times per year in print and online that focuses on the latest advances in the clinical and laboratory investigation of traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. Emphasis is on the basic pathobiology of injury to the nervous system, and the papers and reviews evaluate preclinical and clinical trials targeted at improving the early management and long-term care and recovery of patients with traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neurotrauma is the official journal of the National Neurotrauma Society and the International Neurotrauma Society. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Journal of Neurotrauma website.

About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management, Tissue Engineering, and Brain Connectivity. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 70 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.