Changes in personality after mild traumatic brain injury from primary blast vs. blunt forces

Brain Inj. 2013;27(1):10-8. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2012.722252.


Introduction: Injuries from explosive devices can cause blast-force injuries, including mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI).

Objective: This study investigated changes in personality from blast-force mTBI in comparison to blunt-force mTBI.

Methods: Clinicians and significant others assessed US veterans who sustained pure blast-force mTBI (n = 12), as compared to those who sustained pure blunt-force mTBI (n = 12). Inclusion criteria included absence of any mixed blast-blunt trauma and absence of post-traumatic stress disorder. Measures included the Interpersonal Measure of Psychopathy (IM-P), the Big Five Inventory (BFI), the Interpersonal Adjectives Scale (IAS) and the Frontal Systems Behaviour Scale (FrSBe).

Results: There were no group differences on demographic or TBI-related variables. Compared to the Blunt Group, the Blast Group had more psychopathy on the IM-P, with anger, frustration, toughness and boundary violations and tended to more neuroticism on the BFI. When pre-TBI and post-TBI assessments were compared on the IAS and FrSBe, only the patients with blast force mTBI had become more cold-hearted, aloof-introverted and apathetic.

Conclusion: These results suggest that blast forces alone can cause negativistic behavioural changes when evaluated with selected measures of personality. Further research on isolated blast-force mTBI should focus on these personality changes and their relationship to blast over-pressure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Afghan Campaign 2001-
  • Aggression*
  • Blast Injuries / complications*
  • Blast Injuries / physiopathology
  • Blast Injuries / psychology
  • Brain Injuries / etiology*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / psychology
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iraq War, 2003-2011
  • Irritable Mood*
  • Male
  • Military Personnel / psychology
  • Military Personnel / statistics & numerical data
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • United States
  • Veterans / psychology*
  • Veterans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / complications*
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / physiopathology
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / psychology