Panetta pressed on troop brain injuries

- Gregg Zoroya

The co-chairman of a congressio­nal task force on brain injury asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to account for potentiall­y thousands of troops who suffered concussion­s in Iraq or Afghanista­n and were never diagnosed or treated.

Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., citing a USA TODAY story Thursday about enhanced efforts to diagnose brain injuries implemente­d in 2010, expressed concern in a letter to Panetta that troops wounded before then could “slip through the cracks.” The Pentagon declined to comment. Last spring, 16 troops per day suffered brain injuries, most of them mild and because of blast exposure, Pentagon data showed. —

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