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Alberta researcher heading to Afghanistan to study soldier stress

Ibolja Cernak.

Sharon Adams/HO

A University of Alberta researcher will deploy with Canadian troops to Afghanistan soon to study how soldiers cope with stress.

Ibolja Cernak is from the Canadian Military and Veterans' Chair in Clinical Rehabilitation.

She will spend a month in Kabul as part of her assessment of how soldiers and veterans cope physically and emotionally before, during and after deployment.

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She says the three biggest problems facing soldiers are mental health, concussions and lower back pain.

Cernak hopes to come up with ways to prevent some of these problems, which can sometimes become irreversible.

About 120 soldiers from bases in Edmonton and Shilo, Man., have volunteered to participate in the study.

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