More Area Soldiers Return With Brain Injuries

Dr. Tim Atchison, WTAMU
Dr. Tim Atchison, WTAMU

Traumatic brain injuries are common among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, often going undiagnosed and untreated.

But a West Texas A & M University neuropsychologist is working to help veterans and their families recover.

Road side bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan are the main reasons for an increase in brain injuries among our soldiers. The blasts throw off energy waves that have the capability of mildly or severely injuring the brain.

Many soldiers fighting overseas shrug off ailments including being briefly knocked out, headaches and dizzy spells, as a discomfort that will work itself out.

But neuropsychologists say as many as 20% of combat veterans have suffered at least one concussion or traumatic brain injury including dozens in the Panhandle.

WTAMU's Dr. Tim Atchison says soldiers in the current war are coming home with more brain injuries than in previous wars. To meet the growing need for therapy in our area he has started a panhandle focus group geared for soldiers and their families.

"We're finding that there's more kind of these particular injuries than we've seen in the past," says Atchison, "Partly because there are so many more explosive devices being used or had been used. "

If you or a family member would like to be a part of the focus group it is free and available to anyone in the panhandle.

To contact Dr. Atchison and his team you can call 651-2729 or e-mail at