16 May 2012
Vol 4, Issue 134

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Traumatic Brain Injury in War and Peace. Soldiers exposed to conventional and improvised explosive devices during combat are at increased risk for traumatic brain injury (TBI). Many of the neuropsychiatric symptoms of TBI such as memory loss, depression, difficulties concentrating, and the inability to carry out complex tasks are similar to those of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and both can lead ultimately to dementia. CTE is a neurodegenerative disease caused by brain deposits of phosphorylated tau protein and has been associated with repeat concussions such as those suffered by athletes playing high impact sports like American football. Working with postmortem brain tissue, Goldstein et al. now show that the brains of blast-exposed soldiers and concussed athletes have the same CTE pathology thus linking together two different forms of brain trauma and providing a common pathogenic mechanism that has also been implicated in Alzheimer's disease. [CREDIT: MASTER SGT. A. DUNAWAY/U.S. AIR FORCE]