Logo small Europe Regional Medical Command
Public Affairs Office
CMR 442 APO AE 09042
U.S. Army Hospital – Nachrichten Kaserne
Postfach 103180 69021 Heidelberg, Germany
Contact Steve Davis 371-3317 Tel. 06221-17-3317
November 17, 2008
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    Warrior Care Month
    Early detection of mTBI improves treatment results

    HEIDELBERG, Germany – Early detection of and treatment for mild Traumatic Brain Injuries significantly improves recovery, and medical officials in Europe are taking steps to improve the chances of early detection.
    Plans are underway to ensure that Soldiers deploying from Europe receive a computer-based test that measures reaction times, short-term memory and other areas that an mTBI can affect.
    The test, called the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics (ANAM), is not new. But the requirement to administer it to all Soldiers is.
    “Doctors use a variety of tests to evaluate Soldiers who may have had an mTBI. The ANAM is just one of them,” said Maria L. Crane, who holds a doctorate in psychology. Dr. Crane is the ERMC Traumatic Brain Injury program manager. She explained that this test is one of the better tools available to doctors.
    Crane said the test takes about 20 minutes to complete.
    “It is not an intelligence test. Instead, the results record the Soldier’s performance at that time. After an accident, a doctor can order a new test. By comparing the baseline performance to the new test results, the doctor has a better chance of identifying an mTBI early,” Crane said.
    “It’s important that Soldiers be as open to testing, medical exams and questionnaires as possible, Crane said. “Doing so helps us provide the best and most timely care possible. This is especially important when considering mTBI. The earlier it is detected and treated, the better the outcome.”
    She said the best time to identify an mTBI is right after deployment and before block leave, so that early treatment and recovery can take place during block leave, when Soldiers are more relaxed.
    “My office is establishing testing of all Soldiers so we can comply with the Army Surgeon General’s order making it mandatory,” Crane said. That includes working with medical clinic commanders and staff to educate them on how to better identify Soldiers in need of further care or referral, she said.
    “If you have been exposed to a blast, have hit your head and felt dazed or been knocked unconscious or think you may have an mTBI, make an appointment with your primary care provider for an evaluation,” Crane recommended.