Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Report: Cognitive Testing Program Fails Soldiers, Leaving Brain Injuries Undetected

Test­ing Pro­gram Fails Sol­diers, Leav­ing Brain Injuries Unde­tect­ed (ProP­ub­li­ca):

In 2007, with road­side bombs explod­ing across Iraq, Con­gress moved to improve care for sol­diers who had suf­fered one of the war’s sig­na­ture wounds, trau­mat­ic brain injury.

Law­mak­ers passed a mea­sure requir­ing the mil­i­tary to test sol­diers’ brain func­tion before they deployed and again when they returned. The test was sup­posed to ensure that sol­diers received prop­er treat­ment.

Instead, an inves­ti­ga­tion by ProP­ub­li­ca and NPR has found, the test­ing pro­gram has failed to deliv­er on its promise, offer­ing sol­diers the appear­ance of help, but not the real­i­ty.
Rac­ing to sat­is­fy Con­gress’ man­date, the mil­i­tary chose a test that wasn’t actu­al­ly proven to detect TBI: the Auto­mat­ed Neu­ropsy­cho­log­i­cal Assess­ment Met­ric, or ANAM.”

Link to StudyThe DoD ANAM Pro­gram: A Crit­i­cal Review of Sup­port­ing Doc­u­men­ta­tion (Depart­ment of the Army Office of the Sur­geon Gen­er­al).

  • Pur­pose:  Pro­vide a detailed review of the Auto­mat­ed Neu­ropsy­cho­log­i­cal Assess­ment Met­ric (ANAM) Neu­ro-Cog­ni­tive Assess­ment Tool (NCAT) pro­gram to Con­gress.
  • Facts:
  • The ANAM program’s his­to­ry is more trou­bled than has been com­mon­ly under­stood. Although the ANAM was a pio­neer­ing test, devel­oped in the ear­ly days of per­son­al com­put­ers, ANAM nev­er achieved pop­u­lar­i­ty or wide­spread clin­i­cal use.  Pri­or to the selec­tion of the ANAM for DoD use, crit­i­cal head to head stud­ies ranked ANAM toward the bot­tom of com­put­er­ized mea­sures avail­able (Tab 2).
  • The selec­tion of ANAM was nepo­tis­tic, and the long delay in exam­in­ing alter­na­tive instru­ments is baf­fling.  Efforts must imme­di­ate­ly begin to com­pare oth­er com­put­er­ized neu­ropsy­cho­log­i­cal tests, in a fair and unbi­ased man­ner, and the best instru­ment select­ed.  The Army is inde­pen­dent­ly seek­ing to com­pare ANAM to ImPACT (TAB 21). Bar­ring replace­ment of the ANAM, seri­ous effort needs to be devot­ed to repair­ing known defects in the ANAM, which may be beyond the licensed vendor’s inter­nal abil­i­ties.  If one had to select a test today, the con­sen­sus of the Army’s neu­ropsy­cho­log­i­cal com­mu­ni­ty is clear that the ImPACT is a supe­ri­or test, and the Spe­cial Forces Com­mand made is prop­er deci­sion in using it rather than ANAM.”

To learn more, you can read relat­ed arti­cles on Neu­ropsy­chol­o­gy: Tests, Con­cus­sions, TBI, and more.

Leave a Reply...

Loading Facebook Comments ...

One Response

  1. Don Ho says:

    Is this in any­way sur­pris­ing? Med­com nev­er want­ed to find them so test them with a use­less prod­uct and bet­ter yet the civil­ians and offi­cers get to prof­it from it.


Leave a Reply

Categories: Health & Wellness

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

All Slidedecks & Recordings Available — click image below

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.