US Department of Defense
BLAST INJURY RESEARCH PROGRAM
COORDINATING OFFICE
Advancing Blast Injury Research to Protect and Heal Those Who Serve

International State-of-the-Science Meeting on Non-Impact, Blast-Induced Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Injury from blast overpressure is unique to blast events but not well understood, particularly in the area of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). To address this knowledge gap, the Department of Defense (DoD) Blast Injury Research Program Coordinating Office (PCO), in coordination with the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), hosted the International State-of-the-Science (SoS) Meeting on Non-Impact, Blast-Induced Mild Traumatic Brain Injury on May 12–14, 2009, in Herndon, Virginia. This inaugural SoS meeting explored the significant and outstanding question of whether blast overpressure alone can cause mTBI, and if so, what are the injury mechanisms. Understanding the mechanism of any injury is key to developing effective prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation strategies.

Purpose and Meeting Objectives

The purpose and objective of this meeting was to critically examine research focused on the relationship between blast exposure and non-impact, blast-induced mTBI and to review proposed injury mechanisms.

Questions for Discussion

The meeting participants were charged with answering the following questions during the working group sessions:

  • Is non-impact blast exposure associated with a physical mTBI?
  • If so, is there substantial evidence to support one mechanism as the most plausible explanation for how non-impact blast exposure is associated with mTBI?
  • What research questions warrant further study and will close the knowledge gaps regarding any association between non-impact blast exposure and mTBI?
  • How can researchers standardize research methods to facilitate research synthesis of comparable studies?
Last modified: 16-Jun-2017