AP: updated 5:00 p.m. ET, Wed., April 15, 2009
Vets’ mild cases should be considered concussions instead, article suggests
ATLANTA – Mild brain injuries — once considered an under-recognized problem in returning military troops — are being overdiagnosed because the government is using soft criteria instead of hard medical evidence, an Army doctor and two other officials contend.
The three are taking aim at Department of Veterans Affairs’ rule for treating such veterans and determining disability pay. They want to call many mild cases “concussions” rather than “brain injuries.” They say the latter implies an ongoing, incompletely healed problem rather than a temporary one that’s in the past.
“I think it’s fair to say there’s overdiagnosis of concussions going on,” said Dr. Charles Hoge, a top Army psychiatrist. He’s one of three authors of an article published in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine.