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Senate Armed Services Committee Gives Critical Eye To TBI Treatment

Editor's Note: This story was published on 2010-06-22 on a previous version of

The US Senate Armed Services Committee took a closer look today at the military's effort to diagnose and treat Traumatic Brain Injuries among troops and veterans.

The hearing comes after an NPR investigation revealed thousands of mild Traumatic Brain Injury cases were going undiagnosed and untreated. That's despite checks and balances the military have in place to catch the disorder. Colorado Senator Mark Udall questioned Army General Peter Chiarelli about an e-mail from one doctor asking what the harm was in leaving mild TBI's undiagnosed. 

Senator Udall:

"Can you help me understand whether funding ways to diagnose and treat mild TBI is important to the Army? 

General Chiarelli:

"It's extremely important to the Army. And Doctor Hoge represents a population of psychologists and psychologists quite frankly you can find one who will support any different way of attacking this."

The hearing also touched on recent reports about rising suicide rates among service members and war veterans. General Chiarelli defended steps the military is taking to prevent them. But he did say there is a shortage of behavioral health workers available to treat returning troops.