Mild TBI and Co-Occurring PTSD Symptoms in Service Member Populations

  • Jonathan Wolf
  • Jeannine B. Mielke
  • Johanna M. WolfEmail author


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after traumatic brain injury (TBI) can and does co-occur in both civilian and military populations. The evidence is now clear that TBI is a known risk factor for the development of PTSD in both populations. Given the lack of objective markers for mTBI and PTSD, as well as the overlapping symptoms, the disentanglement of PTSD and mTBI can be challenging. However, there are clear guidelines on how to approach treating the symptoms of each individually. While there is a paucity of research about how to treat these comorbid conditions in a comprehensive way, there are general guidelines that can be useful when treating this population, keeping in mind the use of clinical judgment and the individual needs of the patient being treated. This chapter serves to provide an overview of mild TBI and PTSD in military service member populations, outlines our current understanding of their interaction with one another, provides the current diagnostic criteria for both, outlines a high-level discussion of the interaction between mTBI and PTSD, highlights the empirical treatments for both disorders, and provides recommendations for future directions in understanding the interaction between mTBI and PTSD.


Mild traumatic brain injury Posttraumatic stress disorder Co-occurring disorders 



Alteration of consciousness


Accelerated Response Therapy


Clinician Administered Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Scale


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


Clinical Practice Guideline


Cognitive Processing Therapy


Department of Defense

DoDI 6490.11

Department of Defense INSTRUCTION 6490.11


Defense Veterans Brain Injury Center


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing


Glasgow Coma Scale


Global War on Terror


Loss of Consciousness


Military Acute Concussion Exam


Mild Traumatic Brain Injury


Operation Enduring Freedom


Operation Freedom’s Sentinel


Operation Iraqi Freedom


Operation Inherent Resolve


Operation New Dawn


Posttraumatic Disorder Checklist


Prolonged Exposure Therapy


Posttraumatic amnesia


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder


Sideline Assessment of Concussion


Traumatic Brain Injury


Veterans Health Administration/Department of Defense


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Wolf
    • 1
  • Jeannine B. Mielke
    • 2
  • Johanna M. Wolf
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, National Intrepid Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain InjuryBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, National Intrepid Center of ExcellenceBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Department of Behavioral HealthBethesdaUSA

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