Brain screenings for vets may be flawed
Review of VA centers reveals problems with patient follow-up
updated 2 hours, 54 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Thousands of Iraq war veterans who could have suffered traumatic brain injury may be getting unnecessary or inadequate health care because Veterans Affairs officials have yet to determine whether their initial screening tests are reliable, investigators say.
A draft report by the Government Accountability Office, obtained this week by The Associated Press, highlights the Bush administration's continuing difficulties in treating traumatic brain injury, a leading problem among soldiers struck by roadside bombs in the Iraq war. It also comes as a provocative military study this week found that symptoms of memory loss and irritability that have been tied to brain injury might be more accurately attributed to post-traumatic stress and depression.
The GAO review of nine VA medical centers found that months after former VA Secretary Jim Nicholson in April promoted new screenings for brain injury and pledged personal responsibility in seeing them through, the department was still struggling to determine how to best gauge the clinical accuracy of its screenings.
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