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      How to get your questions answered. A few observations, and requests of all members. All folks who come here are volunteers who do this on their own time and their own dime.To avoid burning out our best contributors please follow these guidelinesf you are reading a post and it reminds you of a question you want to ask, start a new topic, if you place your question in someone thread it will be difficult to distinguish your question from the original poster, you will get better results posting a new topic with your question. 1. Before Posting please do a search and see if your question has already been answered. If you find the answer print it out and put it in a file to use as a reference file, I find this helpful myself. 2. If you can not find the answer and you do post a question, please print out those answers and refer to them to avoid duplicate questions. 3. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions4. Duplicate questions will come up from time to time but the keeping them to the minimum will lighten the load on the regular volunteers.5. Respect folks privacy do not request their personal phone numbers for claims help, it is inappropriate and not why they are here.6. Keep the topics focused on veterans issues, in closing Search first Search ... Ask second.it may save a lot of time or at the very least enlighten you.
    • Listen Live Every Wed 5:30 PM CST to SVR Radio, Veterans Issues are discussed with various guests.

      Listen Live Every Wed 5:30 PM CST to SVR Radio, Veterans Issues are discussed with various guests. Please check the little home I am carving out for our SVR partners. http://www.hadit.com/svr.html
    • A bit about Tbird and HadIt.com for those who've asked...

      The following is on my About page, but some have been asking how this all happened. So here is my little story. Tbird US Navy 1983 – 1990 E-6 HadIt.com the website domain registered Jan 20, 1997 the domain is registered and paid for through Jan 21, 2023 at which time I plan to register it for another 15 years Lord willing and the creek don't rise. I guess the best place to start is Jan 1991; I had gotten out of the navy Dec 1990. At my separation seminar, there was a DAV rep Jim Milton he told us to bring our medical records in and he would look through them for us and let us know if we should file a claim with the VA. Well, bless his heart, he opened my medical file, reads the first insert, looks me straight in the eye, and says you will be 50% for the rest of your life and he would file the claim for me. 50% was for surgery I had in the service. True to his word he met with me and talked with me for a long time filled out my paper work and urged me to file for PTSD. I would not file the PTSD claim, nor even discuss it. By Feb 1991 I had moved to the San Francisco bay area and was staying at a friends apartment and pretty much I was just a puddle. In desperation one night I called suicide hot line, I had no job, no idea about going to the VA. They talked with me for a long time and explained to me that I could go to the local VA hospital even if I did not have insurance. Now, I know what you are thinking if I was 50% why didn't I just go to the VA in the first place, two reasons 1, this was Feb 1991 and the 50% didn't come till May and 2, even if it had come through it is unlikely that I would have had the mental acuity at the time to put the two together. I relate this here because it is where so many of our brothers and sisters are coming from, perhaps where you started. Fuzzy and unsure, in pain and sometimes homeless they come to the VA hospital for help. And that is where I ended up. Up to the pysch ward I went, blah, blah, blah, a few days later I was released with a promise of a call from the out patient program, which I would soon be entering. Blah, blah, blah, after many missed communications, and no call backs I was at the Day Hospital everyday M-F. And this brothers and sisters is where I began to learn and formulate my plan for HadIt.com. Veterans, veterans everywhere…I spent a year in the day hospital and about another year at a sheltered workshop before I got back on my feet. So I just talked to veterans everyday waiting for appointments, waiting for prescriptions, waiting for a vet rep and I started to learn the system. While in the navy I was data analyst and had to learn a 5 volume manual and just about anything you were suppose to do was in that manual. So I figured there must be a manual on how to do a VA claim or at the very least regulations. So I found out about the Code of Federal Regulations, United States Code, Veterans Affairs Manuals and so on and so forth. Of course this was 1991/1992 I was living in a tiny studio apartment in a particularly bad neighborhood, working in a sheltered workshop making a nickel per envelope I stuffed throw in PTSD and you will see that it was a difficult task for me to get somewhere where they had copies of these, let alone that they would let me look at. And there was so much knowledge around me, it was like the gold rush in those days, I could just sit on a bench a veteran would sit down next to me a little conversation later I had another nugget, I made copious notes. Phone numbers to call, ask for this guy or that guy he'll give you the straight scoop and they'd slip me a piece of paper with a number on it. You want to read this regulation or that one and another slip of paper into my hand. I spent a lot of time on those benches watching the squirrels they gathered their nuts and I gathered mine :) So I'm thinking I could put a little handbook together print it out and hand it out at the VA. Or perhaps fliers. Still formulating, time goes by, 1994/1995 I am being treated for PTSD regularly and doing and feeling much better and I go to work for a company as a marketing systems analyst and I discover the internet. Well let me tell you that was perhaps one of the most significant life changing events I have ever experienced. And I might add finally a positive one :) It seemed only natural to me that surely there must be a website that contained all the knowledge I wanted, well as it turned out not so much, lots of stuff but I wanted to get straight to the claims information and there was a lot of stuff to wade through to get to it. So taking my lesson from the squirrels earlier I started to gather, gather, gather…and learn HTML and work as a marketing systems analyst and work my claim. 1996/1997 major PTSD cork blows and unemployed. Working my claim, working the website. 20 Jan 1997 register HadIt.com domain name right after getting off the phone with the VA and saying I've had it with this. As fate would have it the old DAV board goes down just as mine opens up and folks start to wander in. So HadIt.com has two main components the website which supports the discussion board with links, articles, research resources etc. The website starts to grow, I can't tell you how many times I had to switch servers for space and features. I continue on a downward trend and in 1998 ended up back home in St Louis living in my sisters basement in therapy and working it, I swear I would have swung a dead chicken around my head at midnight naked if I thought it would have helped. The website continued to do great during this time, I just stayed in the basement bought new software, new books, and learned how to make things work and I continued to use this knowledge to make HadIt.com better. My 100% finally came through from the VA and I had a friend who is an advocate who helped me thru my SSDI claim, he was literally at my side thru the entire process and that came through for me. My therapist and sister continued to try and get me to leave the basement, but to no avail. At some point in 1998 or 1999 I put a counter on the website and was shocked to discover how many visitors we were getting. Time goes by my sister gets married and I move from the basement to the upstairs, there is much celebration that Aunt T is living in the light again. More time goes by and I settle into my life in St Louis and spend more time on the site trying new things, finding more information. 2003 I buy my own home VA loan. For years now I have just considered HadIt.com my job and I get up every morning go to the office and work for several hours, take an afternoon break and see where the rest of day takes me. I have a place in the office to use the computer and a comfortable to place to read journals and articles and take notes. Blah, blah, blah so that is my story and HadIt.com's intertwined.
    • HadIt.com Pass It On Cards

      Hi I've updated our HadIt.com Pass It On Cards. They are in a PDF format you can print them out cut them there are 12 to a page. If you have found HadIt.com helpful and would like to pass it on to other veterans this is an easy way to do it.I hope you find them helpful, feel free to leave a few anywhere veterans gather, veterans centers, veterans hospitals, public libraries, be creative. Please make sure though, that if you want to leave some at any business you ask permission first.Here you go http://www.hadit.com...it_on_cards.pdf
    • VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index

      VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index The following is the index with links to the various Training and Fast Letters plus a few miscellaneous. These letters are not necessarily in the original formatting. I have tried to present them in an easy-to-read form instead of some forms as originally presented. Some of the paragraphs were WAAAAYYY too long. lol - HadIt.com Member fanaticbooks Something to be aware.... Some of these letters may be rescinded, outdated, or otherwise no longer viable. I have still included them because sometimes they provide additional insight or just plain more information than the newest version. Use them wisely. The oldest letters will display at the bottom with the latest letters displayed at the top, all in sequential numbers. Coding of the letters... FL = Fast Letter TL = Training Letter First two numbers = last two digits of year of origin Training Letter http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40694-va-tl-00-07/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40693-va-tl-00-06/ Fast Letter Number Title http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44262-va-fl-11-15/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44260-va-fl-11-13/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44261-va-fl-11-11/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44310-va-fl-11-09/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/42151-va-fl-11-03/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40957-va-fl-10-49/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40958-va-fl-10-46/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40959-va-fl-10-45/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40960-va-fl-10-42/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40961-va-fl-10-39/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40962-va-fl-10-35/ 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Tbi Or Post Concussion Syndrome

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Now here's a gem I got in a letter from the VA today: "Please be advised that you were previously denied Service-Connection for TBI and you are currently Service-connected for Post Concussive Syndrome." Huh?

Now, it would seem inherently logically that in having a post concussive syndrome that one must have suffered at minimum a concussion...which according to the VA's own manual is the result of a TBI.

Any opinions on how to respond to this?

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Posted · Report post

Now here's a gem I got in a letter from the VA today: "Please be advised that you were previously denied Service-Connection for TBI and you are currently Service-connected for Post Concussive Syndrome." Huh?

Now, it would seem inherently logically that in having a post concussive syndrome that one must have suffered at minimum a concussion...which according to the VA's own manual is the result of a TBI.

Any opinions on how to respond to this?

Typical VA !!!

Yes, of course they are one and the same. The VA has only defined TBI according to the time the vet was unconscious. I hope others chime in. Here's a new article found a couple of days ago from NEJM (slanted against the vet). !Wings

NEJM, Volume 360:1588-1591April 16, 2009Number 16

Care of War Veterans with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury — Flawed Perspectives

Charles W. Hoge, M.D., Herb M. Goldberg, B.A., B.Ed., and Carl A. Castro, Ph.D.

Researchers estimate that more than 300,000 U.S. veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (20% of the 1.6 million) have sustained a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), also known as concussion, with the majority going untreated.1 In response, the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have implemented new postdeployment health initiatives, including screening, communication strategies, disability regulations, and specialty care services.

Unfortunately, the clinical definition of "concussion/mild TBI" adopted by the Department of Defense and the VA — a blow or jolt to the head resulting in brief alteration in consciousness, loss of consciousness (lasting less than 30 minutes), or post-traumatic amnesia — is inadequate for achieving the objectives of these well-intentioned initiatives. The case definition lacks three essential criteria for use months after injury: symptoms, time course, and impairment. It pertains only to physiological disruption of brain function at the time of injury. Health initiatives crafted through consensus processes using this definition are likely to be causing unintended consequences.

To identify those who sustained a concussion/mild TBI during deployment, the postdeployment screening form asks service members and veterans to recall whether they were "dazed" or "confused" at the time of an injury or blast "experience." Positive responses to this single unvalidated question have accounted for two-thirds of all reported cases of concussion/mild TBI. The remaining cases are clinically similar to sports concussions, involving brief loss of consciousness (usually lasting seconds to a few minutes) or post-traumatic amnesia.2,3 Arguments that clinicians can reasonably confirm distant concussion/mild TBIs2 are unfounded, because an alteration of consciousness in combat may also result from normal responses to injury, acute stress, dissociation, sleep deprivation, syncope, or the confusion of war.

The goal of postdeployment screening is to identify and treat service members and veterans with persistent postconcussive physical, neurocognitive, and behavioral symptoms (e.g., headache, sleep disturbance, irritability, dizziness, imbalance, fatigue, inattention, and problems with concentration or memory). However, without symptoms or a time course in the definition, clinicians' attribution of such nonspecific symptoms to concussion/mild TBI is subjective.

Postdeployment screening is founded on the assumption that a causal connection has been established between concussion/mild TBI and persistent postconcussive symptoms. Regardless of the etiology of these symptoms, the structure of the screening questionnaires — which combine questions concerning the case definition and symptoms — produces a foregone conclusion that these variables are causally related. One study reported an odds ratio for this association, violating the statistical principle of independence of variables.2 The screening process has led to reports that 40% of service members who have had concussions experience one or more persistent symptoms2 — much higher than the 3 to 5% rate expected on the basis of studies in civilians.4

Proponents of these screening procedures argue that trained clinicians can discern the cause of symptoms.2 Yet, clinicians have no validated diagnostic criteria. Substantial evidence demonstrates the difficulty of attributing symptoms to mild TBI, suggesting that clinical interviews will result in erroneous conclusions. Studies have shown high rates of symptoms in healthy populations, poor validation of postconcussion syndrome case definitions, and a prevalence of postconcussion-like symptoms after non-head injuries that is similar to the prevalence after mild TBIs.4 The relationship between the number of concussions sustained and outcomes has not consistently demonstrated a dose response. Psychological factors, compensation and litigation, and patients' expectations are strong predictors of the persistence of symptoms.4 In veterans of the Iraq war, postconcussive symptoms have been more strongly correlated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression than with concussion.3 (Information on additional reference materials can be found in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this article at NEJM.org.)

Concussion is associated with axonal stretching, swelling, and metabolic changes that may result in secondary disconnection.4 However, the threshold and determinants of clinically meaningful neurophysiological disruption and recovery are ill defined. Studies have been hampered by inadequate control groups and an overrepresentation of samples from emergency departments and hospitals. Promising neuroimaging techniques, such as diffusion tensor imaging, currently have limited clinical usefulness.

A 2008 Institute of Medicine report on the long-term consequences of TBI, commissioned by the VA, concluded that there was "inadequate/insufficient" evidence that "mild TBI" causes neurocognitive deficits or adverse social and occupational functioning but "sufficient" evidence that "TBI" is associated with postconcussive symptoms. Unfortunately, the latter conclusion is uninterpretable because concussion was not distinguished from moderate and severe TBI.

Postdeployment screening is administered within a structure of care encompassing communication, treatment, and disability initiatives — influenced by definitional issues — all of which are likely to promote negative expectations for recovery. Multiple studies have shown that expectations exert a powerful effect on the persistence of symptoms after concussion.4

Widespread use of the terms "mild TBI," "signature injury," "invisible wound," and "silent epidemic," as well as patient-education materials that combine mild TBI with more serious types of TBI, are examples of poor risk communication. "Mild TBI" is often misused to refer to postconcussive symptoms, conveying a present-tense state of an incompletely healed brain injury (brain "damage"), whereas "concussion" refers to a past event, consistent with its definition. Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, approximately 1000 service members have been treated for moderate or severe TBI, although 300,000 are publicly reported as having "TBI."1 A RAND Corporation report, biased by a lack of population-based data, illogically suggested that a concussion, which usually resolves rapidly (within hours to days), costs more in 1 year than a case of PTSD or depression, including suicide, costs in 2 years.1 Attribution theories involving blast also fuel negative expectations. One of the most widely cited studies purporting to show a relationship between primary blast exposure and postconcussive symptoms failed to define concussion.5

Lacking an accepted medical definition for postconcussive symptoms or impairment, the VA created a disability category called "residuals of TBI." The 2008 federal regulation creating the category assigns a 40% disability to persons who have three or more subjective symptoms that "moderately" interfere with functioning or who have "objective evidence" of "mild impairment of memory, attention, concentration, or executive functioning resulting in mild functional impairment." The regulation ignores extensive literature demonstrating the strong association between compensation and persistence of symptoms after concussion.

Service members and veterans with suspected postconcussive symptoms are referred to specialty TBI or polytrauma clinics designed for moderate and severe TBI — contrary to evidence-based best practices centered in primary care that were established after the first Gulf War for the treatment of postwar symptoms. The treatment of symptoms such as headaches, irritability, or sleep problems does not vary according to the presence or absence of a history of mild TBI. Cognitive or multidisciplinary rehabilitation designed for moderate and severe TBI has not been effective for mild TBI. The perspective that mild TBI is part of a medical continuum with moderate and severe TBI guides interventions, despite strong evidence that they are distinct clinically and epidemiologically.4

Debate over the nature of postconcussive symptoms and their relationship to PTSD clouds treatment strategies. Postconcussive symptoms, not the mild TBI itself, overlap with numerous illnesses, including postwar health conditions that have been described for centuries. The current emphasis on attributing postwar "postconcussive" symptoms to one of two potentially stigmatizing diagnoses — mild TBI or PTSD — reflects a lack of understanding that the strategies most likely to be effective are evidence-based treatments for functional somatic symptoms.

The consequences of misattributing symptoms include side effects of medications and inappropriate treatment, including a failure to address underlying conditions (e.g., depression, PTSD, or substance abuse), the use of unproven rehabilitation procedures, and the prescribing of medications for nonapproved indications (e.g., an atypical antipsychotic for sleep). Unproductive and time-consuming tests, including neurocognitive assessments, may reinforce patients' negative perceptions of illness.

The care of veterans who have any war-related injury or health concern is of the highest priority. Devoting increasingly more personnel and time to the illusory demands of mild TBI could hinder service members' and veterans' recovery. Interventions based on flawed definitions and perspectives have resulted in unintended consequences that reinforce the perceived necessity for the interventions, producing a self-fulfilling prophecy.

On the basis of this analysis, a different public health approach is recommended. This approach would establish case definitions and evaluation tools that fulfill criteria for causation, have clinical validity, and do not lead to misattribution; ensure that screening does not include nonspecific questions, is conducted near the time of injury, and maintains the independence of variables; use communication strategies that promote expectations of recovery — replacing the term "mild TBI" with "concussion" at least for cases involving low risk (e.g., loss of consciousness lasting less than 5 minutes or amnesia lasting less than 30 minutes); apply knowledge from studies on the relationship between compensation and persistent postconcussive symptoms to ensure that disability regulations do not generate disability; concentrate resources on a comprehensive structure of care for all deployment-related health concerns, including postconcussive symptoms, that is centered in primary care and conforms to evidence-based step-care and collaborative-care models; and reduce the impact of flawed assumptions, conformity to consensus processes, and lack of scientific rigor on health policies and outcomes.

The goal of these objectives is to enhance patients' expectations of recovery, reduce the severity of symptoms, prevent long-term disability, and provide optimal care for service members and veterans returning from war.

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

The views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official policy or position of the U.S. Army or the Department of Defense.

Source Information" Dr. Hoge is the director of the Division of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Mr. Goldberg is chief of risk communication and quality assurance in the Battlemind Training Office, at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD. Dr. Castro is the director of the Military Operational Medicine Research Program, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, MD.

References

Tanielian T, Jaycox LH, eds. Invisible wounds of war: psychological and cognitive injuries, their consequences, and services to assist recovery. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2008.

Terrio H, Brenner LA, Ivins BJ, et al. Traumatic brain injury screening: preliminary findings in a US Army Brigade Combat Team. J Head Trauma Rehabil 2009;24:14-23. [CrossRef][Medline]

Hoge CW, McGurk D, Thomas JL, Cox AL, Engel CC, Castro CA. Mild traumatic brain injury in U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq. N Engl J Med 2008;358:453-463. [Free Full Text]

McCrea MA. Mild traumatic brain injury and postconcussion syndrome: the new evidence base for diagnosis and treatment. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Cernak I, Savic J, Ignajatovic D, Jevtic M. Blast injury from explosive munitions. J Trauma 1999;47:96-103. [iSI][Medline]

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Now here's a gem I got in a letter from the VA today: "Please be advised that you were previously denied Service-Connection for TBI and you are currently Service-connected for Post Concussive Syndrome." Huh?

Now, it would seem inherently logically that in having a post concussive syndrome that one must have suffered at minimum a concussion...which according to the VA's own manual is the result of a TBI.

Any opinions on how to respond to this?

militarynurse.

First, NO - "at minimum a concussion...which according ti the VA's own manual is the result of a

TBI."

It's the other way around TBI can be the result of the concussion.

Examples:

TBI = Traumatic Brain Injury,

which many cases are very severe with residuals such as learning how to do many

things over, major cognitive dysfunction, loss of speach,vision, skull loss etc,

personality disorders etc...

MTBI = Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Concussions, whether they involve LOC ( loss of conciousness) or not

can result in several residuals.

Seizures, headaches, personality disorder's, cognitive dysfunction.

Prior to Oct 2008 Diagnostic Code (DC) 8045 - Trauma due to Brain Injury

had it specific rating criteria.

In Oct 2008 - DC 8045 was revamped with dramatic changes, much more

advantageous to veterans.

I am currently at 10 % SC under the older DC 8045 criteria.

I got my letter from VA about conibg in to be re-evaluated

under the new criteria.

Here's your link to the new DC 8045.

Hope this helps a vet.

carlie

http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-....67&idno=38

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FYI - All veterans that are recieving SC, even at zero percent for

the Diagnostic Code 8045 in effect prior to Oct. 2008 are

supposed to recieve this letter informing them of the change

and that they are entitled to be re-evaluated under the

New DC 8045 of Oct 2008.

carlie

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Post Concussive Syndrome verses TBI.

If one will get you a lower rating, the VA will likely use the lesser one.

Both are an insult to the brain. Both can cause the same results.

It could also be a way for the DVA to reduce the large numbers of TBI vets on record & list some as Post Concussive Syndrome.

Another thing to keep in mind. Post Concussive Syndrome may be caused by impact, whiplash, explosions, etc.

TBI may be caused by impact, explosions, whiplash, toxins, penetrating wounds, etc.

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I am diagnoised with Post Concussion Syndrome.

I didnt find out until 5 or 6 years ago --- there are even different

types of concussion.

1 type - the brain only makes impact with the skull on one side --

I have been told my concussion was counter - something that shows

the brain made impact so hard that it first hit one side of the skull

and kept traveling and going back and hit the other side too.

I have not bothered to research this.

The newer Post Oct 2008 DC 8045 provides for better and higher ratings

than the older reg.

carlie

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Thanks everyone for the great information. Hmmm, would seem someone can't have Post Concussion Syndrome without first having a concussion and a concussion is at minimum a mild TBI. So how can a veteran possibly be service-connected for Post Concussion Syndrome yet be denied service-connection for TBI?

The VA is not stating in my letter service-connected post concussion syndrome includes TBI, it's flat out denying me service-connection for TBI yet approved the PCS claim. Must be some reason for this that escapes me.

Would being service-connected for TBI be more or less advantageous than being service-connected for Post Concussion Syndrome for VA compensation purposes?

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militarynurse,

I refer again to the change in DC 8045 that took effect Oct 2008,

I can not be more plain than that.

jmho,

carlie

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Traumatic Brain Injury in the War Zone

PubMed Citation

In Okie's Perspective article (May 19 issue)1 on traumatic brain injury

(TBI) from the war in Iraq, she alludes to mood disorders that result from

such injuries. Patients with TBI have been described as the "walking

wounded"2 owing to their lingering neuropsychological problems.

Lishman studied 670 cases of head injuries from the Second World War

and reported that "simple measures of the amount of brain damage . . .

were indeed related to the amount of psychiatric disability encountered one to five years later."3

As many as 77 percent of patients with TBI have been given a

diagnosis of depression.4 Mood disorders may result in the restriction of

social contact as well as increased loneliness and are major barriers to

functional and social rehabilitation.5

Technological improvements and better emergency medical care have reduced

the incidence of severe TBI while increasing the numbers of patients with

mild or moderate TBI. Such patients are more adversely affected by their

emotional problems than by their residual physical disabilities.6 It is

important to screen these patients for depression and to conduct

neuropsychological testing soon after head injury in order to facilitate

treatment and reentry into the community, as well as to optimize the

long-term outcome.

Rohit R. Das, M.B., B.S., M.P.H.

Boston Medical Center

Boston, MA 02118

rohit.das@bmc.org

Ranjani N. Moorthi, M.B., B.S., M.P.H.

Saint Vincent Hospital

Worcester, MA 01608

References

Okie S. Traumatic brain injury in the war zone. N Engl J Med

2005;352:2043-2047. [Free Full Text]

Rao V, Lyketsos C. Neuropsychiatric sequelae of traumatic brain injury.

Psychosomatics 2000;41:95-103. [Free Full Text]

Lishman WA. The psychiatric sequelae of head injury: a review. Psychol Med

1973;3:304-318. [iSI][Medline]

Kreutzer JS, Seel RT, Gourley E. The prevalence and symptom rates of

depression after traumatic brain injury: a comprehensive examination. Brain

Inj 2001;15:563-576. [iSI][Medline]

Morton MV, Wehman P. Psychosocial and emotional sequelae of individuals with

traumatic brain injury: a literature review and recommendations. Brain Inj

1995;9:81-92. [iSI][Medline]

Satz P, Fourney DL, Zaucha K, et al. Depression, cognition, and functional

correlates of recovery outcome after traumatic brain injury. Brain Inj

1998;12:537-553. [CrossRef][iSI][Medline]

To the Editor:

Although Okie's article described well many of the issues

involved in the current war in Iraq, we would like to clarify our comments,

reported in the article, regarding the classification of mild TBI.

We noted that the boundary between mild and moderate TBI is one hour of loss of

consciousness and that the cutoff between moderate and severe TBI is one day

of loss of consciousness. However, there is variation in the classification

of mild TBI.

Some authors use 30 minutes of loss of consciousness as the criterion, and

others 20 minutes, and still others define "brief" loss of consciousness

as lasting less than 1 hour. In practice, we more often use the duration of

post-traumatic amnesia to determine the level of severity, since that

information is available to us more often than are data on loss of

consciousness.

Deborah L. Warden, M.D.

Louis French, Psy.D.

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center

Washington, DC 20307

References

American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Definition of mild traumatic

brain injury. J Head Trauma Rehabil 1993;8:86-87.

Rimel RW, Giordani B, Barth JT, Boll TJ, Jane JA. Disability caused by minor

head injury. Neurosurgery 1981;9:221-228. [iSI][Medline]

International classification of diseases, hospital edition, 9th rev.,

clinical modification: ICD-9-CM. 6th ed. Vol. 1, 2 & 3. Los Angeles:

Practice Management Information Corporation, 2002.

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10-4 and thank you. Still I just received that VA letter today and that's what it said. No mention of any new rating criteria. IMHO, it's logically inconsistent to service-connect for PCS and deny TBI.

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It is only the residual effects of the PCS or TBI

that is considered in the percentage evaluations.

carlie

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It is only the residual effects of the PCS or TBI

that is considered in the percentage evaluations.

carlie

Carlie, Thank you for the reply. I haven't seen any new ratings under the new evaluation criteria so as far as residuals effects go, I'll take a wait and see position. Has anyone actually been rerated yet for residual effects under the new evaluation criteria?

However, would it matter if one was SC'd for TBI or PCS as far as establishing a connection for secondary conditions? As I understand it, PCS can derive from purely subjective symptoms like headaches, whereas TBI can be based on subjective symptoms and/or objective findings. Therefore, might more secondary conditions be associated to TBI than to PCS?

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militarynurse,

This is the pre Oct 2008 rating criteria for DC 8045

Under Diagnostic Code 8045, brain disease due to trauma,

purely neurological disabilities such as hemiplegia,

epileptiform seizures, facial nerve paralysis, etc.,

following trauma to the brain, will be rated under the

diagnostic codes specifically dealing with such disabilities,

with citation of a hyphenated diagnostic code (e.g., 8045-

8207).

Purely subjective complaints such as

headaches,

dizziness,

insomnia, etc.,

which are recognized as

symptomatic of brain trauma, will be rated 10 percent and no more

under Diagnostic Code 9304.

This 10 percent rating will not be combined with any other rating for a disability due to

brain trauma.

Ratings in excess of 10 percent for brain disease due to trauma under Diagnostic Code 9304 are not assignable in the absence of a diagnosis of multi-infarct

dementia associated with brain trauma. 38 C.F.R. § 4.124a,

Diagnostic Code 8045 (2007).

If you compare this to the post Oct 2008 rating criteria for DC 8045

you will see a tremendous, more adventageous rating allowed

for this disability.

I am currently rated under the pre Oct 2008 DC 8045 - Brain disease due to trauma

Post Concussion Syndrome criteria.

This limited me to 10 % due to headaches.

While on AD, I had 3 concussions back to back, within about a 4 month timeframe.

My Seizures due to the last concussion were rated separetly.

Dizziness, depression, change in personality and cognitive deficiencies were not

really even considered much or rated, under the old DC 8045.

I will soon be re-evaluated under the New criteria.

If you have a SC'd disability due to PCS - I would notify the VA that PCS

became ratable under the new DC 8045 - that went into effect Oct 2008

and I would like to be re-evaluated under the new rating criteria.

jmho,

carlie

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militarynurse,

I'm posting a copy of the VA letter I recieved, again for you.

post-60-1242045234_thumb.jpg

Hope this helps a vet.

carlie

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militarynurse,

This is the pre Oct 2008 rating criteria for DC 8045

Under Diagnostic Code 8045, brain disease due to trauma,

purely neurological disabilities such as hemiplegia,

epileptiform seizures, facial nerve paralysis, etc.,

following trauma to the brain, will be rated under the

diagnostic codes specifically dealing with such disabilities,

with citation of a hyphenated diagnostic code (e.g., 8045-

8207).

Purely subjective complaints such as

headaches,

dizziness,

insomnia, etc.,

which are recognized as symptomatic of brain trauma, will be rated 10 percent and no more under Diagnostic Code 9304.

This 10 percent rating will not be combined with any other rating for a disability due to brain trauma. Ratings in excess of 10 percent for brain disease due to trauma under Diagnostic Code 9304 are not assignable in the absence of a diagnosis of multi-infarct dementia associated with brain trauma. 38 C.F.R. § 4.124a,

Diagnostic Code 8045 (2007).

If you compare this to the post Oct 2008 rating criteria for DC 8045, you will see a tremendous, more adventageous rating allowed for this disability.

I am currently rated under the pre Oct 2008 DC 8045 - Brain disease due to trauma

Post Concussion Syndrome criteria. This limited me to 10 % due to headaches.

While on AD, I had 3 concussions back to back, within about a 4 month timeframe.

My Seizures due to the last concussion were rated separetly.

Dizziness, depression, change in personality and cognitive deficiencies were not

really even considered much or rated, under the old DC 8045.

I will soon be re-evaluated under the New criteria.

If you have a SC'd disability due to PCS - I would notify the VA that PCS

became ratable under the new DC 8045 - that went into effect Oct 2008

and I would like to be re-evaluated under the new rating criteria.

jmho,

carlie

Excellent information Carlie. ~Wings

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Wings,

Thanks :)

carlie

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Thank you all for the excellent info. :unsure:

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