Psychiatric and neurologic aspects of war: An overview and perspective
The growing number of soldiers returning home with psychiatric and neurologic disorders, notably posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), underscores the need for an interdisciplinary framework for understanding the emergent consequences of combat. Among the challenges facing the scientific community is the development of effective treatment strategies for TBI from blast and other injuries, given the confounding effects of comorbid psychological symptoms on accurate diagnoses. At the individual level, emerging technologies-including virtual reality, the use of genetic biomarkers to inform treatment response, and new brain imaging methodology-are playing an important role in the development of differential therapeutics to best address a soldier's particular clinical needs. At the macro level, new approaches toward understanding the political, cultural, and ideological contexts of mass conflict, the decision to join in violence, and ways of preventing genocide are discussed.