The 1991 Persian Gulf War was considered a brief and successful military operation with few injuries and deaths. However, soon after returning from duty, a large number of veterans began reporting health problems they believed were associated with their service in the Gulf.
Under a Congressional mandate, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has reviewed a wide array of biologic, chemical, and physical agents to determine if exposure to the agents might be responsible for the veterans' long-term health problems. In this 2008 report, Gulf War and Health, Volume 7: Long-term Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury, the IOM assesses the possible long-term health outcomes of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The committee details numerous outcomes that might be associated with mild, moderate, and severe injuries. These include: neurologic, endocrine, psychologic outcomes, in addition to problems with social functioning.
In addition to the report's findings, recommendations are provided for study of blast injuries and the report suggests methods of data-gathering for future research to improve our understanding of blast injuries which ultimately would improve veteran care. The report is part of the IOM's Gulf War and Health series and was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.