Previous efforts to understand brain injuries that result from nonkinetic explosive effects have focused only on a single explanation—blast overpressure. Improvised explosive device (IED)-induced injuries in Iraq, however, do not fit this hypothesis. Evidence indicates that traumatic brain injuries unique to blast exposure do not exhibit typical overpressure injuries, such as damage to gas-filled organs like lungs and bowel. DARPA’s Preventing Violent Explosive Neurologic Trauma (PREVENT) program is comprehensively evaluating the physics of the interaction between an IED blast and the brain and has identified which blast components are associated with neurologic injury.
The initial phase of the program has comprehensively evaluated the physics of interaction between an IED blast and the neurological system and has determined which components are causally associated with neurologic injury. Areas of research include:
The program also will develop test systems and predictive models that will characterize blast exposure to optimize treatment paradigms, explosive blast mitigation, and protective strategies.
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