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Fort Riley soldiers to help in study on how running might help in brain injury recovery

January 28, 2017 (Photo Credit: Orlin Wagner/AP)
LAWRENCE, Kan.  — More than a hundred Fort Riley soldiers are helping University of Kansas researchers study how intense running affects wounded soldiers with mild traumatic brain injury.

David Johnson, who is leading a two-year study, says many soldiers have significant problems with traumatic brain injuries. Many of the injuries are caused by improvised explosive devices and other blasts.

Clinical trials will assess whether intensive cardiorespiratory exercise helps wounded warriors recover from mild traumatic brain injury. Johnson's premise is that aerobic exercise helps the brain heal itself. All the soldiers participating in the study have been exposed to major explosions.

Johnson says soldiers will run to improve their aerobic capacity, with a goal of running more miles more quickly.

The research is supported by $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Defense.

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