The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANY), a statewide non-profit membership organization that advocates on behalf of individuals with brain injuries and their families, works together with individuals and agencies throughout New York State to build awareness of combat-related traumatic brain injury and its impact on returning or former members of the military. The BIANY reports, “Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the signature injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you were exposed to a blast, were in a vehicle crash, or had your head hit or jolted while you were deployed, you might have a brain injury. Many troops may not know that they have an injury or that treatment is available, and it may be months before symptoms of a brain injury begin to appear.”

TBI in Combat

A TBI is caused by a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. Exposure to blast events can affect the body in a number of ways. These different injury mechanisms can interact and result in more impairments or prolonged periods of recovery.

Blast injuries can result from exposure to the pressure wave that is generated by the blast itself. TBI resulting from blast exposure can be much more complex compared to TBI from other causes. Blasts also cause TBI via propelled fragments (shrapnel), hitting against stationary objects with force, significant blood loss, and/or through inhalation of toxic gases.

Difficulties experienced as a result of a closed brain blast injury may include a range of physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms. Many of these symptoms also occur with other conditions such as depression or combat stress. It requires an experienced clinician familiar with the many variables involved in brain injury, to properly diagnose and treat these injuries.

TBI and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur as the result of exposure to events that involve actual or threatened death, intense fear, extreme stress or violence, or feeling helpless. You may have been exposed to these events daily. There are similarities and differences between PTSD and TBI.

Common symptoms of PTSD include irritability, depression, sleep problems, feeling jumpy, difficulty concentrating, inability to recall details of the trauma, reliving the trauma, avoiding close contact with family or friends, flashbacks, and feeling detached or disconnected from emotions.

These symptoms could also be indicative of a TBI. It is not unusual for people to experience both diagnoses. The differences are often subtle. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to talk to a professional who can help you understand what is happening.


Located in Peekskill, NY, the Orthopedic & Brain Injury Law Group of Goldblatt & Associates, P.C.represents the legal interests of those individuals who have sustained traumatic orthopedic and brain injuries due to the negligence of others. In representing our clients, the firm oversees and handles all aspects of insurance issues ranging from ensuring client’s medical bills are paid and assisting clients in getting reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses, including lost wages. We also pursue claims to compensate clients for injuries sustained that have impacted, and may continue to impact, their abilities to perform activities of daily living.