Information on the mental status of soldiers operating at the limits of human tolerance will be vital to their management in future deployments; it may also allow earlier intervention for conditions such as undiagnosed Gulf War illnesses and Parkinson's Disease. The Army needs a parsimonious set of neuropsychological tests that reliably identify subtle changes for: (1) early detection of individual health and military performance impairments and (2) management of occupational and deployment health risks. Testing must characterize cognitive lapses in healthy individuals faced with relevant operational stressors (i.e., anxiety, information overload, thermal strain, hypoxia, fatigue, head impact, chemical or radiation exposures, metabolic challenges). This effort must also explore the neuropsychological methods in militarily relevant conditions to extend our understanding of relevant functional domains and how well they correspond to modes of testing. The ultimate objective is unobtrusive real-time mental status monitoring.

Author notes

The opinions and assertions in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the Department of the Army or the Department of Veterans Affairs