One thing many may not think about is that there may be a difference in one’s vision after a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Those in the military were studied to determine the mechanisms of TBI and the visual consequences that ensued from it.

The article studied two different types of mechanisms one could receive brain injury from including blast related traumatic brain injuries (BR) and non-blast related TBIs (NBR)1. The difference being in a BR the TBI is caused by a blast wave itself or by direct head trauma caused by the events surrounding the blast and an NBR is caused by direct head trauma1.

Blast-related mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has been called the ‘signature injury’ of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan due to the significantly high prevalence in veterans previously deployed in these regions1,2. Over 300,000 United States (US) Armed Forces veterans have sustained a brain injury since 20031,2.

What can be done to help military men and women from receiving such a high number of concussions?

This week we honor our servicemen and women who lost their lives while defending and protecting our country. To those family members and friends who have lost a son or daughter an aunt or uncle, a cousin, a friend, a parent- our heart goes out to you.

For those who have served in the military, we thank you for your service. Men and women of our nation who continue and currently serve our nation we thank you for your bravery.

Each day this week we will focus on health issues that affect our military men and women more frequently than the lay person. We care for many veterans and believe them to be a very underserved population. We hope the articles and resources this week will help those serving our country be better served themselves.

The Hypoglossal Nerve (Cranial Nerve XII)

The hypoglossal nerve is the twelfth cranial nerve, and innervates all the extrinsic and intrinsic muscles of the tongue, except for the palatoglossus which is innervated by the vagus nerve. It is a nerve with a solely motor function[1]. It starts in the medulla oblongata and moves down into the jaw, where it reaches the tongue[2].

The Accessory Nerve (Cranial Nerve XI)

The eleventh cranial nerve is the accessory nerve. It is a motor nerve, responsible for innervating the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) and the trapezius muscles. The SCM is a muscle in the neck that allows rotation (looking side to side) and flexion (looking down) of the neck[1]. The trapezius muscle acts to shrug the shoulder.