There has been some amazing evidence that exposure to blast waves from IEDs to gunfire to other artillery rounds injure the brain in ways that are not easy to diagnose but that do lend to a heightened risk of suicide.
Soledad O'Brien in PBS series called War on the Brain, talks to a neuropathologist study this topic for the Department of Defense.
Dr Daniel Perl shows a slide with brain tissue that has undergone blast exposure and it reveals a sawdusty, brown pattern. That patter is invisible to MRI or even CAT scans. And of all the cases of Veterans with blast exposure and the brown pattern has also come PTSD.
Dr. Perl believes this brown scarring is a breakthrough discovery, possible evidence that blast exposure may contribute to PTSD.
JACOB FADLEY is a Veteran who has suffered blast wave brain injury and PTSD. Dr. Perlman's discovery is helping him finally feel like people might understand his suffering. "It makes you feel like you're not crazy. You can point to something to someone else and say, do you see this? This thing did it."