Family is very important in helping to diagnose and treat a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

  • A traumatic injury happens when a person’s brain is physically injured, usually by sudden force.
  • With military members, this injury is usually because of a concussive blast or explosion.
  • Because the damage is internal, there may be no visible head wound.
  • Seizures are described by a sudden change in movement, behavior, sensation or consciousness caused by an abnormal electrical discharge in the brain.
  • Epilepsy, also called a seizure disorder, is a medical condition that causes seizures affecting a variety of mental and physical functions.
  • When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they are considered to have epilepsy.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment are important but military members tend to under-report mild TBI to avoid removal from combat situations or active duty and go undiagnosed.
  • If you think your loved one is having seizures, encourage them to see a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.

There are additional resources to help educate you and your loved one in the military.

  • Contact the Epilepsy Foundation affiliate in your community for local resources. (drop-in the link to connect user to the “Find an Affiliate” page on the National website).
  • Epilepsy Centers of Excellence (ECoE) are funded by the Veterans Administration (VA) and provide a variety of services including educating veterans and their family impacted by epilepsy about high quality epilepsy care. You can read more about their services and locate an ECoE in your community by visiting www.epilepsy.va.gov/ecoe.asp.
  • Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Disorder (DCoE) has a wealth of information on their site regarding traumatic brain injury to help meet the needs of military members and their families.  www.dcoe.health.mil
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