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Bomb Blasts Alter Brain Lipid Levels

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the easily-treated-with-peanut-butter dept.

Medicine 105

MTorrice writes "About 320,000 soldiers returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have struggled with neurological problems associated with traumatic brain injury, according to the Rand Corporation. Some veterans experience symptoms, such as memory loss and anxiety, without noticeable physical signs of brain injury. Now researchers report a possible chemical signature: Levels of a certain lipid spike in the brains of mice exposed to mild explosions (abstract; full article paywalled). This lipid could serve as a way to diagnose people who are at risk of developing neurological disorders after a blast, the scientists say."

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Nothing to worry about (2)

willpb (1168125) | about 2 years ago | (#42658705)

The government says we should be able to live a content and productive life with only a partially functional brain.

Re:Nothing to worry about (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#42659221)

Cerebral lipid increase? Those guys are a bunch of fat heads.

Saving the American way of Life in Afghanistan. ;-)

Re:Nothing to worry about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42660239)

The government says we should be able to live a content and productive life with only a partially functional brain.

The government? The mostly democrat-led government? Yeah, the would know about being content with partially functioning brains wouldn't they?

Re:Nothing to worry about (1)

Teun (17872) | about 2 years ago | (#42660325)

Ah yes, that's why these democrats are so vehemently against affordable healthcare for all.

Re:Nothing to worry about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42661935)

Yes, keeping the stupid alive and enabling the profoundly handicapped to reproduce.

This is human Progress.

Re:Nothing to worry about (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 2 years ago | (#42662791)

Actually, that is arguably one of the reasons we progressed. More often then not leading thinkers and inventors who drove the progress getting us from hunter cavemen to where we are today where ones who couldn't perform optimally and compete with others. So they had to innovate to survive.

Nowadays we get Stephen Hawking and other like him, who would likely never have made it as hunters in original, genetically and morphologically same but culturally different phase of caveman hunters.

It can indeed be argued that this kind of thinking is against the very purpose of evolutionary process. But that doesn't mean that it's bad from our race's point of view.

Re:Nothing to worry about (1)

Pav (4298) | about 2 years ago | (#42667999)

Stressing a population with poverty gets you larger family sizes... that's a well established demographic fact - just sayin. If you're suggesting "social darwinism", great. There are plenty of places with starving masses who will knife you for your lunch. Send me a postcard. I'd suggest though they'll still outbreed you in any case.

Re:Nothing to worry about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42660649)

The government says we should be able to live a content and productive life with only a partially functional brain.

Just look at Congressmen!

Re:Nothing to worry about (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 2 years ago | (#42662059)

Thats all you need to be able to sign up to the military in the first place. :P

Mind you since many US politicians are ex-military it does explain an awful lot.....

I'll admit I haven't RTFAed (5, Funny)

Kelbear (870538) | about 2 years ago | (#42658715)

But I imagine the researchers barely restraining their smirks after submitting a proposal to blow up mice as their study.

Re:I'll admit I haven't RTFAed (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42658873)

Re:I'll admit I haven't RTFAed (1)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about 2 years ago | (#42659195)

After applauding the scientists for coming forward, anthropologist Brent Wrigley suggested that the hatred of mice may be the single most important factor in the evolution of modern science.

"Despising mice may have pushed humanity out of the Stone Age," Wrigley said. "After all, the cave habitats of early man must have been infested with the horrific little monsters. The entire history of human advancement via the scientific method may be a byproduct of the higher forebrain's natural revulsion toward the nasty critters."

That would make for an interesting study in of itself. You could torture a lot of mice in the process, too.

Re:I'll admit I haven't RTFAed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42659387)

Here's the article, sans images: http://pastebin.com/0taYwZ7V

Re:I'll admit I haven't RTFAed (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#42659735)

But I imagine the researchers barely restraining their smirks after submitting a proposal to blow up mice as their study.

Just wait, People against Exploding Tiny Animals will be frothing at the mouth when they hear of this. It's sort of a Pavlovian reflex for them.

Have they tried lawyers? (1)

drainbramage (588291) | about 2 years ago | (#42659913)

The researchers are less likely to become attached to them and there are some things a mouse just won't do.

NO SHIT ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42658719)

Wow !! Now I know to avoid bomb blasts !!

the Mythbusters are in trouble (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42658745)

Maybe Jamie, Adam, Kari and Grant can donate their brains to science to see if they show the same markers. It would make a great series finale!

Re:the Mythbusters are in trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42659097)

So... you love Tory, eh?

Re:the Mythbusters are in trouble (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42659515)

So... you love Tory, eh?

It would be funnier if he was Tory... /. does seem like the kind of place those guys would hang out.

Re:the Mythbusters are in trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42660573)

So... you love Tory, eh?

It would be funnier if he was Tory... /. does seem like the kind of place those guys would hang out.

It was probably Grant suggesting that Tory has nothing to donate. :)

Re:the Mythbusters are in trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42660613)

/. does seem like the kind of place those guys would hang out.

They seem like pretty friendly, upbeat, and unpatronizing people.... so I highly doubt it. (except for maybe Jamie)

Re:the Mythbusters are in trouble (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42662449)

Whats that quote about unix being friendly, its just really picky about who its friends are?
I donno the comparison shows some eerie similarities between MB and /.:
1) Only about 0.1% of the population cares, if that
2) Roughly the same smart / technical / nerdy / geeky / maker-y audience
3) All the hard science and serious engineering discussion is worse than half baked
4) Endless discussion and retesting of internet memes. In fact about 50% is just endless rehashing / retesting of the same old thing
5) Tons of hearsay and bizarre technical assumptions.
6) Strange hats . Berets, red hats, fedoras ...

On the other hand no one blows stuff up on /. and we're totally missing the Kari factor (and no, tubgirl, goatse, lemonparty and 2G1C don't count, nor does rickrolling). To the best of my knowledge mythbusters has no astroturfers, although I'm sure they could test that myth, inevitably ending up with an exploding crash test dummy.

I wonder if they could adapt this blood test (5, Interesting)

idontgno (624372) | about 2 years ago | (#42658753)

Maybe as a routine locker room procedure for impact and contact sports like football (either kind). It would beat the current "3rd concussion, you're in the injured reserve" regime, especially if it picks up sub-symptomatic TBI.

Re:I wonder if they could adapt this blood test (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 2 years ago | (#42658943)

Correction: it's not currently a blood test, it's:

...matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging. The technique detects the types of proteins and lipids at each point in a tissue slice, allowing the scientists to produce a chemical map of the animals' brains.

So currently, you have to cut out the brain and slice it up to scan it. As it stands, not very helpful as a diagnostic.

I hope they can do some kind of minimally-invasive test with this. It might be possible:

Because the team observed the lipid increase in areas connected to the brain's circulatory system, Agar wonders if they could detect the lipid in spinal fluid or even blood. If so, the ganglioside could serve a biomarker for traumatic brain injury.

Re:I wonder if they could adapt this blood test (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42659595)

It's possible that you could tune MRI signals to pick up a particular form of lipid. Certainly, different MRI interrogation techniques [plosone.org] can show lipid rich and lipid poor areas.

Although homogenizing football players has a certain visceral charm.

Re:I wonder if they could adapt this blood test (2)

rs79 (71822) | about 2 years ago | (#42660201)

"Moreover, these changes were accompanied by depletion of ceramides."

What happens if you put them back?

That is, two things seem to happen. An increase in ganglioside GM2 and depletion of ceramides.

In very rough terms overproduction of something tends to work itself out if the stimulus is mitigated. That is, if a bomb was going off every day and GM2 was constantly being produced, I'd worry, but a one time increase? Let's assume that goes away over time.

The depletion of of something is more interesting I think. It's unclear what they mean by depletion, whether they mean "there's less of it" or "there's none of it left" (is that even possible?).

At any rate, my first thought would be "put the stuff back" and see what happens. Of possible interest here is David Horrobin's 1985 paper on a phospholipid hypothesis for mental disorders. He maintains that a disruption in the bilipid layer where fatty acids are replaced with other molecules (trans fat being the worst) causes changes that render neurotransmitter receptors, large proteins that exist in the bilipid layer, compromised, and far far less efficient. This would also explain type II diabetes, especially the "the body makes enough insulin but can't seem to use it" part. And it would also explain depression, where the serotonin level is normal but the person is depressed until SSRI's increase the amount of serotonin to near dangerous levels.

The correct phospolipds would come from marine sources (oily fish: sardines, trout, salmon, tuna, mackerel etc) and certain terrestrial seeds (flax, chia) but not in many other places, there's a small amount in grass fed, but not corn fed, beef for example). Over time, consumption of these should replenish the bilipid layer with the correct phospholipids, but this will take months.

Re:I wonder if they could adapt this blood test (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42660593)

The 'feedstocks' for the lipids and what have you are probably there (although you have to deal with the blood-brain barrier). It's the cellular mechanisms to fix the damaged areas that seem to be lacking or at least don't do such a good job. It's going to be much harder than feeding salmon to shell shocked mice.

Re:I wonder if they could adapt this blood test (1)

rs79 (71822) | about 2 years ago | (#42660999)

" It's going to be much harder than feeding salmon to shell shocked mice."

Because you've tried this?

Or are you guessing?

I don't think mice like salmon and would probably try flax seed. Cheap and easy test to run though, no?

Re:I wonder if they could adapt this blood test (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42661509)

No, I have not tried to bomb the local mouse population and get back karma points by feeding them salmon. The bears would go after the salmon anyway.

My point is that feeding an organism with a blood brain barrier a building block substance is unlikely to get the chemical where and when you want it. There are hundreds of steps along the way. In addition, things like phospholipids and steroids are easily created internally and assuming the animal is reasonably well fed, giving additional precursors won't help much. This isn't simple stochiometric chemistry.

This concept of active regulation seems to trip up people in the vitamin / supplement field. Once you saturate an enzymatic reaction, you rarely can 'go faster' by adding more feedstock. If you can twiddle the regulatory system, you have a chance. You can always heat the system up, but most biologic systems have relatively narrow operating temperature ranges.

Re:I wonder if they could adapt this blood test (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42661531)

But you are correct. It's something that could be tested.

YOU go blow up the mouses. I'll watch.

Don't join the armed forces! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42658811)

Problem solved.

Re:Don't join the armed forces! (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#42658987)

It is perfectly honorable and respectable to want to be trained and ready to protect your country. What is not honorable and respectable is politicians allowing unconstitutional wars.

Re:Don't join the armed forces! (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 2 years ago | (#42660083)

It is perfectly honorable and respectable to want to be trained and ready to protect your country. What is not honorable and respectable is politicians allowing unconstitutional wars.

And then we've come full circle when your politicians do that, because then it becomes honorable and respectable to not join the armed forces, lest your commitment to your country and fellow citizens be abused and misused. Except that doesn't worry or bother the politicians, since in wartime, army joins you.

Re:Don't join the armed forces! (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#42660191)

But the politicians don't declare war if they don't see profit in it. The bigger the military, the bigger its influence on politics, and the more agressive foreign politics will become.

Now it's time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42658815)

Now it's time for society to reap the what they have sown.

After all the drumbeats to war back in '02, people being called "Un-American" for saying, "Hold on a minute! Let's think about this before we go off!", we are now reaping what we have sown: trillions of dollars in of war debt pilled onto the other debt, a fucked up economy (wars are NEVER good for an economy - WWII included), people hating us even more which has decreased our security, and a class of combat veterans that are going to have issues for the rest of their lives - and all for what?

People who should be ashamed of themselves:

Donald Rumsfeld, George W .Bush, everyone on Talk Radio and Fox News, and everyone who voted Republican from 2001 - 2008.

It's your fault.

Re:Now it's time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42658877)

Or we could, you know, talk about TFA.

You forgot Obama ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42659113)

People who should be ashamed of themselves: Donald Rumsfeld, George W .Bush, everyone on Talk Radio and Fox News, and everyone who voted Republican from 2001 - 2008. It's your fault.

Why not included Obama? How followed the Bush war plan. Surge in Afghanistan. Did *not* exit Iraq a single day earlier than Bush had planned and seems to be on the Bush schedule for Afghanistan as well.

Re:Now it's time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42659341)

People who should be ashamed of themselves:

Donald Rumsfeld, George W .Bush, everyone on Talk Radio and Fox News, and everyone who voted Republican from 2001 - 2008.

It's your fault.

They couldn't have done it without the eager assistance of the Democrats. So it's your fault, too.

Probably not a good sign... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42658823)

Given how vital lipids are to proper brain function(cellular function generally; but nerve tissue has tons of the things even by comparison to other tissues), it seems like a very ominous sign that blast trauma too minor to cause injuries visible even with an optical microscope causes noticeable changes in the lipids floating around... Even if the neural network isn't structurally disrupted at a visible scale, interference with lipids involved in chemical or electrical nerve signalling would still cause changes in how the network functions(since the characteristics of the paths are still changing, even if connections aren't being severed outright).

Re:Probably not a good sign... (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 2 years ago | (#42658951)

The abstract mentions that this is the first time anyone's seen a GM2 reaction in mice due to an external stimulus. I'm curious - how much do we know about brain lipid levels? Are they generally static, or do they vary with age, disease, mood, diet, etc.?

Re:Probably not a good sign... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42659509)

I'm sure that we know less than we would like to(since invasive chemical sampling of the brain isn't really an option in humans except after death or in exceptional cases, and even in animals you can chop up whenever you want the brain is absurdly complex); but it probably helps that GM2 is also associated with Tay-Sachs disease, so at least there has been some incentive, in the form of a fairly rare but dramaticly unpleasant human disease, to explore GM2 and associated processes.
 
Given that there is presently no treatment or cure for Tay-Sachs and victims usually die fairly quickly even with supportive treatment, though, I'm guessing that we haven't learned everything we might like to know about the matter(you know that a genetic disorder must be bad when a special Jewish eugenics group [wikipedia.org] pops up to try to prevent it...)

Re:Probably not a good sign... (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42659601)

WRT vary with age, its kind of important to note the study sliced and diced at 2 hrs, 24 hrs, and 72 hrs... not like a decade later or whatever. So they did an acute study not a chronic study like most /.ers seem to assume. So... 2 hours after getting whacked in the head, you're whacked in the head... I was getting the impression from /. comments that this persisted for "a long time" but apparently not.

Re:Probably not a good sign... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42660945)

I was getting the impression from /. comments that this persisted for "a long time" but apparently not.

You try mincing mouse-brains for three days, it sure felt like a long time.

Re:Probably not a good sign... (1)

reverseengineer (580922) | about 2 years ago | (#42659931)

There are many types of lipids involved with the nervous system, and a wide variety of disorders associated with abnormal levels. For example, the neurological problems often seen in severe vitamin deficiencies can usually be traced to the roles vitamins play as cofactors in lipid metabolism. Problems with lipid transport and breakdown are thought to play important roles in many neurodegenerative diseases- for example, vcertain ariants of a protein involved in lipid transport called apoliprotein E are associated with a much higher Alzheimer's risk.

Normally, GM2 levels should remain fairly static. It's a fatty acid that resides in the plasma membrane of your neurons and acts as a cell surface marker- it has a small chain of sugars that extend off the surface. If cell machinery is acting normally, GM2 will be recycled by an enzyme called hexosaminidase A. In Tay-Sachs disease, a mutant copy of HEXA with no activity means GM2 is not broken down, and its accumulation eventually kills neurons.

Of course, in the case of traumatic brain injury, the affected have working HEXA. The spike in GM2 may be a direct result of neuronal damage (membrane lipids spilling out into the extracellular space), or a temporary hiccup in the metabolism of GM2 (normal bodily processes often get shut down in case of emergency). There has been some research done into the drug pyrimethamine that has shown it can increase HEXA activity and slow the progression of the late-onset form of Tay-Sachs. Perhaps it might be of use with traumatic brain injury patients?

Re:Probably not a good sign... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42659435)

The same sort of thing was estimated to happen even in the line of an airplane take-off zone, or long periods of high-decibel sound in general.
I'd like to see these people test those who have been around heavy machinery, planes and so on, it could provide a lot of insight if it were true.

But on the other side, it would result in some serious concern from millions out of the potential billions that would actually hear about it. They have every right for concern, but it could also be very disruptive when the damage is possibly small compared to explosion-based damage, even mild car crashes and the like.

It would also explain the rocks and metals and why most tend to be thick as bricks when they are in their older ages.

What is missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42658863)

The brain is putting on weight (so to speak). What is being shorted as a result? Are synapses being pressured or is an important biological being substituted with lipids? Once diagnosed, confirming that they indeed suffered exposure to an explosion that, everyone knows occurred, what might be done to help? What is the cause, exterior or interior pressure, etc? If nothing is being done, or planned to be done, to help the afflicted, then the ongoing work is a waste of time.

progesterone and traumatic brain injuries (1)

nido (102070) | about 2 years ago | (#42658897)

one of the neatest recent developments in treating traumatic brain injuries is the finding that the human hormone progesterone [perfectprogesterone.com] dramatically improves the survival chances and outcomes of humans who sustain a traumatic brain injury [nytimes.com] . As someone who doesn't remember a 2-week period following a concussion/near drowning at the lake some 13 years ago, I wonder what my experience would have been like had my doctors known about this use for Progesterone USP.

Progesterone is the body's most important steroid hormone, because the body transforms it into the other steroids (cortisol, aldosterone, testosterone, estrogen) through the process of steroidogenesis [wikipedia.org] . Birth control uses fake progesterone to help shut down women's hormonal cycling (and ovulation), which always results in progesterone deficiency (the chemicals in birth control do NOT fit into the steroid cycle).

Re:progesterone and traumatic brain injuries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42659593)

Yeah, but you start using progesterone as a concussion remedy, then you're going to have star athletes getting all irrational and emotional and bitchy once a month.

Re:progesterone and traumatic brain injuries (4, Informative)

nido (102070) | about 2 years ago | (#42659697)

testosterone promotes agression in the male brain by being converted to estrogen. Women usually feel really good when they're on a progesterone-high, and only get cranky when the progesterone goes away (triggering menstruation/childbirth).

Mentally Ill (-1, Flamebait)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about 2 years ago | (#42658925)

If your so F'd up that you think going to War or even joining the military is a good idea then you deserve to have mental health problems set in. What the country wants to do is give you a number and tell you that your life is worth as much as gum on there shoe. They don't care if you die, if you get injured, if you live or even if you make your country look good. They want to use you as a means to an end and they really don't care. Take responsibility for your own life and tell your government to F off, If you really care about your life then don't join the military, go to school, get a job and really show what you can do when your not just a number.

Re:Mentally Ill (0)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#42660057)

If you are so fucked up that you can't recognize that countries need militaries then perhaps you should go live in Somalia.

If you think that you are better than those who willingly serve then I propose that you do the world a favor and completely remove yourself from society.

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

pla (258480) | about 2 years ago | (#42660329)

If you are so fucked up that you can't recognize that countries need militaries then perhaps you should go live in Somalia.

Countries only need militaries because other countries need militaries. Perfect chain of iterated circular logic.


If you think that you are better than those who willingly serve then I propose that you do the world a favor and completely remove yourself from society.

I've never killed a man because some greybac... er... hair handed me a gun, mailed me to a faraway desert, and told me to hate the people I found there. Living nicely with my conscience in that regard, thanks. You?

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#42660759)

Countries only need militaries because other countries need militaries. Perfect chain of iterated circular logic.

Unfortunately so. No one will disarm until everyone disarms, until everyone disarms it would be criminally negligent to disarm.

I've never killed a man because some greybac... er... hair handed me a gun, mailed me to a faraway desert, and told me to hate the people I found there. Living nicely with my conscience in that regard, thanks. You?

I haven't either but I am not going to insult those who do put themselves in that position and I am not going to think that I am better than them just because I am not willing to put my life on the line for my country. That would be foolish.

Re:Mentally Ill (0)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about 2 years ago | (#42660455)

Funny story is that a country doesn't need a military. The massive secret no one seems to have figured out is that you just don't piss everyone else off and no one attacks you. A military is the bully's friend, after the bully gets suspended the friend come in to "fix" the reason the bully got suspended. A military is no different, the leader of a country orders an attack and when that fails or when a little slap back happens they feel the need to act like the boss and just go full force. The only point of the military is to pointlessly kill people, a solder is just the name of a human who can murder legally. Hence when a solder gets injured or suffers pain it's really a very funny situation.

I don't think I'm better then those who willingly serve, I know I'm. I have a purpose in life, I have potential, I have a life I want to live. I don't need to be killed because the leader of my country wants to act like a 5 year old playing with army men. To all the men and women who served from Canada and the US in Iraq, it was a great example of natural selection. Those who have purpose and dignity don't need to try and prove it on the battlefield, we do that without needlessly and pointlessly risking our lives.

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#42660597)

Lets say for the sake of argument that the United States did not have a military, for whatever reason we decided that the world loves us enough that no one would ever think of causing us harm.

But Mexico has a military, and they aren't doing quite as well as the US so they decide to invade because they think if they steal stuff from the US that it will make their situation better. Read up on history and you will find this has in fact happened many times and is the reason that some of the great societies were destroyed.

The military is not just the "bullies friend", it is the friend of those who do not protect themselves, but instead rely on others to protect them, kinda like you.

Perhaps one day, when there is absolute world peace, where there is no crime and no evil intentions, then perhaps we will disband all the militaries of the world, but until that day I like the fact that there are people willing to risk their lives to make sure that I have a good quality of life.

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

Hartree (191324) | about 2 years ago | (#42662735)

"I have a purpose in life"

Trolling slashdot?

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about 2 years ago | (#42662795)

To troll you have to be wrong or want to cause a situation where you needlessly make people argue with you because your being a shit head. My original point is that the government doesn't care about solders and until someone can prove me wrong I haven't trolled anything. I have never heard of a solder who came back and got the treatment they deserved. If the government really cared they would treat a returning solder like the second coming of god and not a homeless man with no medical insurance.

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

Hartree (191324) | about 2 years ago | (#42663025)

Sure sounds like trolling. Especially the "I know I'm better" part.

(I'm more amused than anything else, as it reminded me of a scene in the movie Mulholland Falls where someone is saying "I'm better than you!" just before he gets tossed out of an airplane. Ironically, in this case, it was a military type saying it.)

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about 2 years ago | (#42663221)

Actually what I said was

I don't think I'm better then those who willingly serve, I know I'm.

If you want to willingly serve go ahead but don't complain at all if you get hurt and don't let you family complain if you get killed, that's what you accept happening by going into the military, hence you want to get hurt and that to me sounds like serious mental illness, not rational.

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#42669051)

The vast majority of them don't complain at all. They do their service and move on with their life.

Some of my co-workers, friends, and family are ex-military, they don't sit around bitching about what they signed up for, they just go about their lives. That is harder for some than others due to PTSD issues, but I haven't heard a word of regret about their service.

Re:Mentally Ill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42660123)

If your so F'd up that you think going to War or even joining the military is a good idea then you deserve to have mental health problems set in.

This is a lie. You tell yourself that lie in an attempt to convince yourself that you're not a small-minded little bigot. But it isn't working.

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

tibman (623933) | about 2 years ago | (#42660629)

I doubt that you know what "the country" wants to do with it's military. You've obviously never been in one. I can only speak for the US Army but they do a good job taking care of their own. There are piles of support programs for soldiers to take advantage of (including education).

I can promise you that any government that treats its soldiers like gum on their shoe will not last a single night against a real army.

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about 2 years ago | (#42660775)

So every solder gets a gold carpet treatment? Every solder that dies get tried like queen of england getting married? Does a solder get life time medical benefits that no one argues or even doubts? My point is that the governement doesn't remotely give a care in the world about a solder. We hear more about ( at least in Canada ), Kate having a baby or the deal at Macdonalds then we do about a solder. I don't support war, solders, militaries or war efforts but looking past that, we care more about everything else then we do about the people who "defend" our freedom.

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

tibman (623933) | about 2 years ago | (#42661567)

As far as i can tell, mainstream media is a civilian/private thing, not a government one. Don't blame the government that you don't hear about soldiers in the news. Also, there is such a thing as middle ground. Not remotely giving a care in the world and treating them like the Queen of England are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Instead of pushing your idea of how you think the government treats it's soldiers, you should ask some soldiers.

It's okay to not support wars, soldiers, or any military. In my country, that is your right. When i was a soldier, i was in a position to defend that right. But try not to project how you feel onto others. Not everyone dislikes soldiers, (or wars).

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about 2 years ago | (#42662157)

If I'm not willing to project how I feel then I either don't feel that way or I don't know how I feel, in either case I wouldn't have a point. When someone can show me a war where no one dies ( without using Star Trek ), then I'll finally support the military, until then I see the military and war as nothing but a mass killing.

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#42662375)

So if a country is attacked by another country the country that is defending itself is not allowed to use lethal force?

You have officially confirmed that you do not use your brain at all.

Please leave society and take your DNA with you.

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about 2 years ago | (#42662581)

But if you didn't piss them off why are they coming in.........

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#42668811)

Do you blame the Aztecs for getting slaughtered by the Spanish?

Did they go out of their way to piss off the Spanish? Or did the reason the Aztecs got conquered have nothing to do with what they did, but instead have everything to do with the Spanish?

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about 2 years ago | (#42669505)

Find me a large undiscovered section of the Earth that has people living in it and I'll agree with you.

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#42670493)

The words you use do complete a sentence, but I am unsure on how they relate to the topic at hand.

Re:Mentally Ill (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 2 years ago | (#42662641)

If I'm not willing to project how I feel then I either don't feel that way or I don't know how I feel, in either case I wouldn't have a point. When someone can show me a war where no one dies ( without using Star Trek ), then I'll finally support the military, until then I see the military and war as nothing but a mass killing.

I'm pretty sure I know how I feel about the argument you are trying to make and yet I choose not to project it.

bomb blasts alter eyelid levels (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42659005)

lol from squity need shades to OMZG EYES WIDE OPEN RUN TYPE
lol
who does this shit no really what kinda value do i get
oh right im blown up good who cares then right

What kind of blasts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42659009)

Anyone else read that headline as "bong blasts"? I really wasn't too surprised by the rest of it ....

Simple psychological shock? (1)

Suffering Bastard (194752) | about 2 years ago | (#42659313)

Some veterans experience symptoms, such as memory loss and anxiety, without noticeable physical signs of brain injury.

I would think most people would suffer memory loss and anxiety (among many other concomitant symptoms) after experiencing round after round of painfully loud explosions, watching their buddies get blown apart and having to kill other human beings, simply due to the unbearably intense psychological strain. Looking at it as purely a physical matter seems to be missing the point a bit. Is physicality causing the mental stress, or is the causation the reverse?

Levels of a certain lipid spike in the brains of mice exposed to mild explosions

I'm picturing mice dressed like Indiana Jones and James Bond running madly from a small toy boat loaded with black cats yelling in high pitched squeaks: "Get down! She's gonna blooowww!!"

Re:Simple psychological shock? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42659653)

I would think most people would suffer memory loss and anxiety (among many other concomitant symptoms) after experiencing round after round of painfully loud explosions, watching their buddies get blown apart and having to kill other human beings, simply due to the unbearably intense psychological strain. Looking at it as purely a physical matter seems to be missing the point a bit. Is physicality causing the mental stress, or is the causation the reverse?

What makes you think that 'psychological stress', isn't physical at it's root? Unless you are proponent of some magical soul property, there have to be physical actions within the brain that trigger what we 'feel'.

Re:Simple psychological shock? (1)

tibman (623933) | about 2 years ago | (#42660687)

Because when soldiers are exposed to the same levels of stress and death but minus brain shaking explosions they don't have these kinds of problems. The guys who get blown up just aren't right in the head anymore.

They said no such thing! (1)

Jimmy_B (129296) | about 2 years ago | (#42659337)

This lipid could serve as a way to diagnose people who are at risk of developing neurological disorders after a blast, the scientists say.

No, the paper doesn't say that. I checked. It's also not true; this can't be used for diagnosis (except maybe post-mortem), because it's on the wrong side of the skull.

Re:They said no such thing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42659611)

There remains the possibility that raised levels of ganglioside GM2 might also be found in spinal fluid. If this is true, then a spinal tap would indeed allow for a simple diagnosis.

Re:They said no such thing! (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 2 years ago | (#42662605)

This lipid could serve as a way to diagnose people who are at risk of developing neurological disorders after a blast, the scientists say.

No, the paper doesn't say that. I checked. It's also not true; this can't be used for diagnosis (except maybe post-mortem), because it's on the wrong side of the skull.

By wrong side of the skull, I assume you mean because it's on the inside. I mean, if the lipids were on the outside, it would be obvious were the damage was. :)

Don't care much about the conclusions (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 2 years ago | (#42659623)

...but damn it made me chuckle to think about spending my day in a lab "exposing rodents to minor explosions".

Hell, I pretty much did that research throughout the 6th grade. Amphibians as well.

Mythbusters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42659793)

They really should be affected by this, no? And you thought it was a cool job they had! ;)

PTSD (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 2 years ago | (#42659923)

So, PTSD may be half physical brain damage?

Re:PTSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42660787)

No.

#1 Traumatic Brain Injury is an severe injury to the brain: a physical injury to tissue.
#2 Post traumatic stress disorder is a group of psychological symptoms associated with those who witness horrible, stressful incidents.

#1 involves actual physical cellular damage
#2 involves having vivide memories of all the horrifying things you saw

You can have both at the same time, and one event might cause both, OR might only cause ONE. Like if you don't remember, anything that happened, and you just wake up in the hospital, and they tell you a bomb went off outside the tank, and the concussive wave knocked you immediately unconscious, you have the BRAIN INJURY, but the guy that was standing 500 yards away, and then saw it happen, and ran up and machine gunned twenty people to death, and crawled over their screaming mangled bodies, to pull you free from the burning vehicle, and off to safety, THAT GUY might get the PTSD. The guy sitting next to you who was awake for the whole thing might have both.

Only brain LIPID levels? (2)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 2 years ago | (#42660141)

Seems like a bomb blast would alter the level of everything in the brain. Of course, those levels should stabilize within a few seconds, with final values determined by the heights of the surfaces they land on.

benefits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42660193)

I wonder if benefits eligibility plays some role in such high rates of suffering from symptoms. I mean, either a "bad summary" or 320K is a very high number. Maybe researchers chasing ghosts.

Re:benefits (1)

tibman (623933) | about 2 years ago | (#42660711)

That seems very likely. But it wouldn't be true for active military.

Avoid Bombs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42660365)

I guess the ultimate neuro disease caused by a bomb is getting your brains blown right out of your head. Avoid bombs and avoid war. If you just have an absolute craving to mess with bombs it is best to be on the giving side of the equation at about 40,000 feet.
        It also tells me that gunners who fire the big weapons surely must have biological harm from the percussion at firing. Imagine being a gunner on an old battleship and just how violent the inside of those gun turrets must have been. A few months of firing those guns might get you to the point of not minding if you survived or not.

Bomb blasts are BAD for you? (3, Funny)

arisvega (1414195) | about 2 years ago | (#42660485)

Who would have thought!

Missing from this is that the brain can reset (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 years ago | (#42660595)

One of the bizarre research results is that cooling of the brain after a concussion or explosion, can actually prevent most of this damage.

Various DARPA studies are underway.

"Sarge, Corporal Potter got an IED hit!"

"Pop an ice pack on his head and call the medic, Corporal".

Off Topic (1)

edibobb (113989) | about 2 years ago | (#42660813)

Why is this on /. instead of /r/politics?

Re:Off Topic (1)

rs79 (71822) | about 2 years ago | (#42661499)

Because it's biochemistry nor politics? Is this a trick question?

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42661229)

Perhaps I'm missing something here but I thought blasts, particularly of the military kind, caused more than barely detectable chemical changes in some peoples' brains. Large craters, wrecked buildings and other things of a military significance come to mind.

This looks an awful lot like demonstrating just how sensitive testing procedures are. Reminds me of an interview I heard whereby the inventor of the then definitive test for determining if a substance is carcinogenic basically said that the test was so sensitive everything comes up as a bit carcinogenic. The thing is to determine what is size of "bit" truly significant.

What about gunshots? (1)

rs79 (71822) | about 2 years ago | (#42661487)

Is it just bombs? What if firing guns at a gun range does it too?

Anxiety leads to depression which leads to anger which leads to violence.

Could it be possible that shooting guns recreationally messes up the biochemistry of peoples heads with any number of negative possible outcomes?

Don't tell the NRA (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 2 years ago | (#42662579)

Now researchers report a possible chemical signature: Levels of a certain lipid spike in the brains of mice exposed to mild explosions

Maybe mild explosions like one experiences from the repeated firing of assualt style rifles inches from one's skull while using extend capacity clips?

TBI and MRI (1)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | about 2 years ago | (#42662841)

TFA discusses traumatic brain injury (TBI), which reminded me of another FA that I read a while ago about detecting TBI with MRI machines.

Two guys, Dr. Walter Schneider and Dr. David Onkonwo, are using MRI to identify neural tracts throughout the brain. Their new technique, HDFT, is able to visualize the brain's wiring, and it can identify where the wiring has been broken.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57389325-10391704/new-technology-could-change-how-traumatic-brain-injuries-are-diagnosed/ [cbsnews.com]

Only 99 Years (1)

dark grep (766587) | about 2 years ago | (#42665639)

So it has only taken 99 years to come up with an explanation for what was bleeding obvious since WWI. Shell shock is nothing new.

Respect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42666243)

Respect for these guys who are dedicated professionals an put their lives on the line for what they think they believe. In the mean time, stupid, incompetent non-entities like Obama, Bush, etc sit back home and try to look good at the cost of the lives of these guys. I've been in similar circumstances, but being a young guy, you don't realise how much these socalled leaders are lying to you - you find that out way too late.

In the mean time, you're faffing about in other peoples' country where you've no business being, where you're not wanted (except by the greedy, stupid, incompetent non-entities who now see an opportunity to get into power at the cost of the lives of these soldiers). There are consequences. This is one of many. I know what I'm talking about.

lipid test to renew .... (1)

niftymitch (1625721) | about 2 years ago | (#42666829)

Lipid test to renew

drivers license.

purchase condoms

obtain a marriage license.

obtain a passport

obtain entrance to the no fly list.

and more ....

Imagine meeting these researchers at a party... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42667545)

"So what you do you do for a living?"
"I explode mice."
*backs away slowly*

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