Primary blast-induced traumatic brain injury: Current research at Defence Research and Development Canada – Suffield Research Centre


  1. Wang, Y.
  2. Sawyer, T.
  3. Josey, T.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Suffield Research Centre, Ralston AB (CAN)
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) has been extensively studied in the context of vehicular and sports accidents, where damage is known to occur primarily due to concussive and/or acceleration/deceleration forces. In comparison, brain damage due to primary blast has not received much attention in the past. However, the recent dramatic increase in the incidence of both frank and subtle brain damage due to the use of improvised explosive devices, particularly in Afghanistan, has increased the urgency of understanding the etiology of blast-induced TBI. In specific response to Canadian Forces Health Service (CFHS) requirements that identified blast-induced TBI as a priority, the DRDC – Suffield Research Centre has initiated a primary blast research program and validated an Advanced Blast Simulator (ABS). Studies using the ABS with rodents demonstrated that primary blast caused deficits in brain cognitive functions. It also induced changes in brain biomarkers in a manner that is different from previously published TBI studies caused by concussion and/or acceleration/deceleration forces. The characteristics of Primary blast-induced TBI (PbTBI) documented in our studies are strongly reminiscent of those found in the delayed mild TBIs (mTBIs) that have been diagnosed in many returning veterans and we conclude that primary blast may play a major role in their etiology.

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mild traumatic brain injury;neurotrauma;neuroprotection;blast;Blood/Brain Biomarkers
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2018-R268 — Scientific Report
Date of publication
01 Mar 2019
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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