Visual system pathology in humans and animal models of blast injury

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In military settings, blast injuries can account for up to 60% of causalities (Capo‐Aponte, Urosevich, Temme, Tarbett, & Sanghera, 2012; Ling, Bandak, Armonda, Grant, & Ecklund, 2009) and are known as the “signature wound” of warfare (Ling et al., 2009; Mohan, Kecova, Hernandez‐Merino, Kardon, & Harper, 2013). Though previously restricted to soldiers, increased use of improvised explosive devices and terrorist attacks have resulted in a concomitant increase in the occurrence of blast‐related injuries in the general population (Abbotts, Harrison, & Cooper, 2007). Among the spectrum of symptoms, visual deficits are widespread. Although over five million Americans are estimated to experience visual impairments following blast, estimates of visual dysfunction are likely underestimated due to unreported and undetected injuries (Chase & Nevin, 2015; Ling & Ecklund, 2011). Damage to the visual system originating in the eye or brain following blast injury may be partial or complete (Dougherty, MacGregor, Han, Heltemes, & Galarneau, 2011; Dutca et al., 2014; Goodrich, Flyg, Kirby, Chang, & Martinsen, 2013; Kapoor & Ciuffreda, 2002; Lemke, Cockerham, Glynn‐Milley, & Cockerham, 2013; Suchoff et al., 2008). Given the increasing prevalence of visual dysfunction following blast, this brief review will focus on visual system pathology in humans and animal models of blast injury.
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