The Pentagon reports that the incidence of traumatic brain injury among U.S. troops has dropped from 644.6 per month in 2011 to 372.8 for 2012, through October. TBIs – the so-called “signature wound” of the post 9/11 wars – happen when a soldier’s brain is violently shaken, and bruised, inside the skull, usually due to improvised explosive devices. It can cause all sorts of mental problems later on, ranging from anxiety, to depression, to suicide.
Not sure how much of this is due to better armor, a losing enemy, a smaller deployed force, or improved efforts by the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization.
But the bottom line is this: that annual drop of 42% in TBIs from last year’s all-time high is the biggest annual decline in this insidious injury since 9/11 (full chart here).
That’s great news, especially for the 3,300 fewer troops who won’t be suffering from TBIs this year, compared to last.