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Category Archives: Brain Injury Treatment
Posted: August 14, 2017 at 3:48 am
Our knowledge about the dangers of sports-related concussions has come a long way in the past decade.
There was a time when the NFL celebrated the biggest hits in popular weekly videos and many held the misguided belief that athletes, from pros to pee-wees, should be expected to play hurt and just shake it off when they had their bell rung.
That thinking has not been eliminated, but the scientific evidence about how serious, even deadly, brain injuries can be has raised awareness about the risks involved with athletic competition. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are about 300,000 sports-related brain concussions in the United States each year.
New Jersey was among the first group of states to address the issue at the scholastic level, when legislators passed an interscholastic athletics program in 2010 that required special head-injury and concussion diagnosis and treatment training for high school physicians, coaches and trainers. The law outlined protocols for when a student suffered a serious head injury.
Shortly after that, the law was expanded to include cheerleaders.
Last month, New Jersey legislators wisely expanded the program beyond athletes competing against other schools to include students participating in recreational and intramural sports.
The step makes it less likely that student head injuries will go unnoticed or untreated.
Part of what we have learned about concussions is that most instances do not involve loss of consciousness. New Jerseys parent/guardian acknowledgement form for sports participation points out that people can sustain a concussion even if they dont hit their head that a blow elsewhere can transmit an impulsive force to the brain.
These facts show how important it is to have those who coach and supervise students involved in athletics at any level to be trained in recognizing the symptoms of a serious head injury and the steps that need to be taken immediately and in the long run.
We have learned the importance of immediately removing victims from play and not participating in further sports activity until they are evaluated by a proper health care professional and given written clearance to return.
There is a significant danger, even more so with younger people, of reinjuring a brain still symptomatic from a previous concussion. That can result in Second Impact Syndrome, which can involve brain swelling, increased pressure inside the cranium, coma and even death.
The information is frightening. So are stories about young athletes whose lives are ruined after playing through multiple concussions. And so are the latest stories about 96 percent of deceased NFL players whose autopsied brains showed evidence of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease associated with concussions.
The many benefits to students of sports and recreation activities should not be forgotten. But expanding New Jerseys scholastic concussion protections is a step that demonstrates the states dedication to making sure those benefits come with as few risks as possible.
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Expanded concussion program protects more NJ student athletes – Press of Atlantic City
Posted: August 12, 2017 at 10:41 pm
A study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that ISRIB, a new drug, even when used weeks after the initial injury, can restore memory and learning functions in mice after traumatic brain injury (TBI).
With almost two million TBI victims in the U.S. each year, the new drug offers a lot of hope for treatment where other drugs have failed. Since TBI can also cause Alzheimers and other types of dementia, ISRIB has the potential to treat these diseases as well.
In the study, mice with focal contusions, which hinders spatial memory, and mice with concussive brain injuries, which tampers with memory capabilities, were both aided by ISRIB. Both types were tested in various abilities, including maze solving and swimming, before and after drug doses. The mice with TBIs, who struggled with the tests initially, performed just as well as normal mice after receiving treatment and kept their abilities and memory even when only a trace of ISRIB remained in the body.
The drug works by inhibiting Integrated Stress Response, or ISR, which reduces the speed of DNA translation after an injury. When ISRIB blocks ISR it allows DNA translation to resume normally. However, scientists are are still investigating the mechanism behind ISRIBs action and are unsure why this aids in memory retention and brain repair at the moment.
Despite the promise ISRIB offers many more trials and tests lie ahead before it can be used to treat human patients but researchers are optimistic about its future.
More News to Read
Louisiana woman alleges brain injury as result of negligent medical treatment – Madison County Record
Posted: at 10:41 pm
EAST ST. LOUIS A Louisiana couple alleges the wife was injured by the negligent acts of two physicians.
Donna Faye Deville and Charles Todd Menier filed a complaint on Aug. 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against Z.H. Chowdhury MD and Andrew Johnson MD alleging negligence.
According to the complaint, Denville sustained an anoxic brain injury, cardiopulmonary arrest and subsequent encephalopathy as a result of the defendants’ actions or omissions on May 31, 2012.
The plaintiffs holds Chowdhury and Johnson responsible because the defendants allegedly failed to follow appropriate life support guidelines in administering CPR and failed to properly monitor and threat Denville’s pulmonary symptoms.
The plaintiffs seek judgment against each defendant for damages of more than $75,000 plus costs expended for these actions. They are represented by Joseph A. Bartholomew of Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer & Shevlin LTD in Belleville.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois case number 3:17-cv-00818
Posted: at 10:41 pm
SILVER SPRING, Md. Battle Signs: Using Art Therapy to Process TBI and PTS Injuries and Trauma, an exhibit featuring artworks produced by wounded warriors as part of an art therapy program, will be on display at the National Museum of Health and Medicine through September.
The veteran-produced artwork was coordinated by the art therapy program at Intrepid Spirit One at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Virginia. The ISO supports active-duty service members in rehabilitative treatment for traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions through interdisciplinary treatment.
The shows title is reflective of a brain trauma indicator known as Battles sign, named for English physician William Henry Battle. As the artists wrote for the introduction to the exhibit, Like Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress injuries, Battles signs often take time to show their impact upon an individual. This display of work and art are the Veterans processing of loss of friends and identity/guilt/grief, and a multitude of other struggles war and combat have placed upon them.
Artists included in the exhibit are Army Sgt. Timothy Goodrich; Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Zachary A. Burgart; retired Army Sgt. Joshua Ferguson with photographer and former Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Benjamin T. Stone; retired Marine Corps Sgt. Andrew Lavoie; and retired Army Sgt. Jonathan Meadows. Several works by an anonymous artist are included. All (except Stone) are patients at Intrepid Spirit One. Jacqueline Jones, an art therapist in the Creative Arts Therapies program at ISO, is also featured in the installation.
I can say from my own experience that not all treatments are equal, said Goodrich. Not all treatment plans are effective. In my care, this was apparently evident to everyone everyone, except me. I truly thought there was no road home for me. The day I turned back was the day I surrendered to the process of art therapy.
Art therapy tends to promote process-oriented artmaking, meaning work created is typically not intended to be displayed, said Jones. However, there are service members who create art products that they want to share publicly. It is our hope that sharing this collection of artwork will lead to greater understanding of the invisible wounds of war and of the military experience, as well as the significance of artmaking in the healing journey.
Hosting this powerful collection allows NMHM to advance our missions of illuminating the nature of military medical care and research, said Adrianne Noe, Ph.D., NMHM director. We offer not only an opportunity for service members, their Families, friends, and the public to enhance their appreciation of these complex processes; we also provide a unique scientific and historical context for that understanding.
According to Intrepid Spirit One, art therapy is one of the treatments offered to support service members in their healing. Through group and individual art therapy sessions, service members engage in the creative process and artmaking that supports clinical goals to promote deeper insight and self-awareness by providing a safe platform for self-expression and processing of issues related to injury, identity, trauma, grief, moral injury and pain. This leads to a greater ability to experience positive emotions and an improved quality of life.
NMHM previously featured an art therapy exhibit from the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. A selection of masks from the NICoE program was on display from August through September 2016. The masks were made in art therapy sessions by military service members at the NICoE, as a conduit to artistically externalize and then process their feelings, experiences and identities with the psychotherapeutic guidance of credentialed art therapists. The masks were grouped into three themes: the split sense of self/duality, patriotism, and the injury with reference to psychological and physical pain. Read more about that previous exhibit online on the museum website.
On Aug. 27, NMHM will host a special public program featuring the artists and the art therapy program. Follow NMHM on Facebook for event information as it becomes available.
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VETERAN ART: Wounded warriors’ ‘Battle Signs’ – The Fort Campbell Courier
Taxi operator’s horrific brain injuries after hooded thug split open his head with iron bar in brutal attack – Mirror.co.uk
Posted: August 9, 2017 at 3:45 pm
A taxi operator was left with horrific brain injuries after shocking film shows a hooded thug split open his head in a brutal iron bar attack.
CCTV of the sickening incident shows Abbas Yasin, 25, and another driver working in the office of their family-run taxi business before they’re ambushed by a lone thug.
Shocking footage shows the hooded attacker wielding a metal bar shortly after entering the office before firing repeated blows at the dad-of-one’s head, leaving him laying in puddles of his own blood.
Abbas’s skull was crushed into his brain after one devastating blow sent him smashing into the floor of the office.
He has since undergone an eight-hour operation to remove fragments of bone from his brain and remains in intensive care.
It is understood the violent attacker entered the taxi rank posing as a customer and had hidden the bar up his sleeve before flicking it down into his hand “like something out of a movie”.
He then fled Ace Budget Cars in Bradford, West Yorkshire, empty-handed in an Audi TT, but the motive behind the attack is not yet known.
Taxi bosses say the office was left covered in blood following the savage attack shortly before midnight on Sunday, August 6.
The business was closed for around 12 hours while forensics officers gathered evidence and the family then had the grim job of cleaning up.
The attacker, believed to be a white man, struck when switchboard operator Mr Yasin and driver Waqaas Mohammad, 30, were the only staff inside the offices.
Business owner Munir Hussain, Mr Yasin’s father-in-law, said: “We don’t know what the motive is for the attack but it’s a shock.
“I’ve not slept since.
“He came in posing as a customer. When he was opening the door, just before he pulls the handle down he pulls the bar out of his sleeve.
“He’s laid into the driver and hit him.”
He added: “The whole base was just covered in blood. There were just puddles.”
Mr Hussain, who has owned the business for 25 years, said his son-in-law went to defend Mr Mohammad and the attacker hit him on the head with the metal bar and “cracked his head open”.
The police have since taken the CCTV footage and Mr Hussain’s son Amir, who manages the office, said it made horrifying viewing.
Amir claimed the attacker fled without taking anything and Mr Mohammad raised the alarm.
He said: “I still can’t believe it. It’s really upsetting. My sister’s a real wreck now.”
Mr Mohammad, also believed to be a father-of-two, received hospital treatment for injuries to his arm, leg and back but was later discharged.
At the time of the attack, he had been only minutes away from clocking off for the night and going on holiday with his family.
Detective Inspector Alan Weekes, of Bradford District CID, said: “Police were called to premises in Thornton Road at about 12.02am on Monday to a report of an assault where a weapon was alleged to have been used.
“Officers attended and found a man in his 20s with a serious head injury.
“He was taken to hospital for further treatment for the injury, which is not believed to be life threatening.
“Following inquiries at the scene it was established that a second man had suffered less serious injuries and had attended hospital for treatment.
“The suspect is described as a man in a blue hooded top and it is thought he arrived and left the scene in a white two-door vehicle.
“Inquiries are continuing and anyone who may be able to assist the investigation is asked to contact Bradford District CID, quoting crime reference 13170361730.
“Information can also be reported anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Posted: at 3:45 pm
The idea that pugilism leads to traumatic brain injury is nothing new. Even by the 1950s it was well-trodden ground among the boxing faithful. Once known simply as being punchy or punch drunk, modern science has taken a keener eye towards concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (or CTE) as a result of sports competition.
Much of the current research into these injuries is centered around the NFL, as fresh data suggests that the number of pro football players suffering from CTE may be staggeringly high. But, that doesnt mean its not still a haunting problem in the combat sports world.
The latest fighter to bring up the issue is UFC flyweight Ian McCall.
Uncle Creepy, as hes also known, has been sidelined since a decision loss to John Lineker in 2015. Following that fight, a myriad of issues have kept him out of the cage: first injuries to himself, then opponents who couldnt make weight or fell ill, and then his own bout of illness, which apparently has yet to be entirely cured. And while all those are setbacks in their own right, his most recent revelation, during an interview with Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, is much more troubling (transcript via MMA Fighting).
Im doing brain treatment down in San Diego thats helping, McCall said, speaking of his recent layoff from fighting. Jeff Novitzky set me up with transcranial magnetic stimulation, it really does help my brain so thats a plus. I saw a lot of bad signs, still seeing a lot of bad signs just with CTE-type stuff, TBI stuff, so it scared me. I went down there and Im trying to fix it. Fix the depression and all the stuff that comes with that, well see. Ive got another month left.
McCall made it clear in the interview that hes not blaming the UFC for his troubles, nor even entirely his MMA career, telling Helwani, Picking this sport as a profession … overdosing on drugs when I was down and out. Theres a lot wrong with my brain, its not just the punching. But, even while looking for lessons in the murder-suicide perpetrated by pro-wrestling icon Chris Benoit – whom postmortem tests showed to be suffering from severe brain trauma, likely from his years in the ring – McCall isnt necessarily ready to declare himself retired.
My whole career is a regret I dont hold any ill will toward the sport, its a weird place that people at the end of their career kind of go over. And no one talks about it, people fight it. Im not gonna fight it, McCall said. People make Chris Benoit out to be – I always thought he was a f*cking monster for what he did. And then being with (my wife) Alicia and being around wrestlers and the stories you hear about Chris and how good of a person he was and how amazing of a father he was, all of this stuff, and its the TBI or drugs – Im not saying he was on drugs – or steroids or whatever.
That stuff drives people crazy and for me to think that through hurting my brain I could hurt someone else, like the people I love? Sorry. Not gonna happen. Im not going to ever, ever let that happen. So Im at least going to hop on it now and try and fix it before it gets worse and if I can fight again then cool. If I dont fight again then sure, my whole career is a regret, but whatever, I had a lot of fun.
Hopefully for McCall his time in treatment helps to stave off the effects of his past. But, even if he can get himself feeling back to normal, it may be time to look at other options beyond fighting. Or risk becoming another in a long history of cautionary tales.
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Uncle Creepy talks potential career ending ‘CTE-type’ symptoms, treatment, & regrets – Bloody Elbow
Posted: at 3:45 pm
In our Western world, weve been taught that when it comes to exercise, its no pain, no gain. But, research shows that this mindset may actually be antiquated. More and more research shows that when it comes to exercise for brain health benefits, a better mantra might be no pain, all gain. Thats because the Eastern form of exercise known as qigong (a form of tai chi) has been found to improve brain health and may even be a potential treatment for brain disease.
Qigong (pronounced chee-GUNG and sometimes spelled chi gong) is a beautiful and graceful form of gentle exercise that originates in China as part of the countrys traditional system of medicine.
A new study in the medical journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine found that people who participated in qigong three times a week for 8 weeks had improved cognitive function than prior to doing qigong. The researchers found that the gentle exercise improved attention, brain processing speed and overall mental capacity. As an added bonus, study participants experienced improved blood pressure, and heart and lung fitness.
While the exercise has beneficial effects on the brains of healthy individuals, it also has proven itself helpful in the treatment of brain diseases. A pilot study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience found significant improvements in symptoms of Parkinsons disease sufferers when they engaged in qigong for 6 weeks. They found that following qigong, people showed improvements in sleep quality and significant improvements in gait performance. While the study was small, the results were impressive. And any treatment that shows improvement in Parkinsons disease, particularly one lacking harmful side effects, is worth serious consideration. And, a recent study in the online medical journal PLoS One confirms the improvement of Parkinsons symptoms with gentle exercise.
Parkinsons disease sufferers arent the only ones who can benefit from qigong. New research published in the journal Explore found that qigong may be helpful in the recovery of people who have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury. That doesnt mean that it isnt helpful for moderate to severe traumatic brain injury survivors, but rather that this particular study didnt assess qigong with these people.
Another study in the International Journal of Behavioural Medicine found that the gentle exercise of qigong also reduced depression, anxiety and overall psychological wellbeing.
Whether youre looking to maximize your brain health or treat a wide variety of brain diseases like Parkinsons, traumatic brain injury, depression, anxiety or just boost your emotional and mental health, you might want to give qigong a try. Even if you have mobility issues or reduced exercise capacity, you may be able to participate in and benefit from this gentle form of exercise.
How to Benefit from the Research
Its easy to start benefiting from tai chi or qigong exercises. Sign up for a local class, pick up an instructional video from your library or online bookstore, or follow along with a book on the topic. Whatever you choose, the brain health rewards will likely be worth the minimal effort.
Related:The Vitamins that Protect Your DNA against Air PollutionDont Believe in Herbal Medicine? 10 Things to Change Your MindThe 5 Best Herbs to Soothe Your Nerves
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news Worlds Healthiest News, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Boost Your Brain Power in 60 Seconds: The 4-Week Plan for a Sharper Mind, Better Memory, and Healthier Brain.
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How Gentle Exercise Transforms Your Brain – Care2.com
Military Brain Injuries are the Subject of Center for Neurological Studies "Hope After Combat" Study – PR Newswire (press release)
Posted: August 8, 2017 at 1:41 pm
“Any attempt to treat veterans with traumatic brain injuries begins with an accurate diagnosis,” says Randall Benson, M.D., CNS Vice President and Medical Director. “Combat injuries are frequently mis-diagnosed resulting in inappropriate and unsuccessful treatment. We can and must do better. Better diagnoses lead to improved outcomes.”
Hope After Combat combines diagnostic testing including neurology, neuro-opthalmology and neuropsychology enhanced by CNS’ advanced magnetic resonance imaging techniques (MRI), diffusion tensor imaging and susceptibility-weighted imaging. These advanced MRI techniques developed at CNS are significantly more sensitive than traditional MRI imaging and have worked successfully on hundreds of non-combat brain-injury victims.
In the Hope After Combat study, once diagnostic testing is complete a treatment plan is developed and the veteran takes part in an individualized 60-day rehabilitation program based on his or her specific diagnosis. All disciplines continue to provide input and care for the victim and his/her family. The final study is expected to include more than 50 combat victims.
“These veterans and their families are desperate for answers and we’re trying to provide them,” says John D. Russell, CEO and President of CNS. “The veterans have been real troopers in every sense of the word and we’re learning from their individual efforts and progress. But our donors are the ones who’ve made the study possible. Without them we couldn’t bring all these disciplines together for such an important study.”
For further information or to participate in or make a contribution to the Hope After Combat study, contact John Russell at 313-228-0930 or visit the CNS website, http://neurologicstudies.com
CNS was founded in 2011 with the objective of advancing scientific research for neurovascular disease. CNS staff are available for interview on brain injuries and brain-related diseases.
SOURCE Center for Neurological Studies
Posted: August 7, 2017 at 12:42 pm
(INSIDE EDITION)–An Arkansas family says their 3-year-old is miraculously [coming] back to life after she was left with brain damage after nearly drowning in a pool more than a year ago.
Her personality is definitely back; shes got her sense of humor back,” mom Kristal Carlson of Fayetteville told InsideEdition.com. “Shes into everything. Shes a little wobbly on her feet but shes getting better all the time.”
With some help from physical therapy, 3-year-old Eden Carlson is even learning to walk, but continues to use a walker or the support of another persons hand.
In February 2016, just before her first birthday, little Eden was declared brain damaged.
Brain injuries are very scary, its very scary,”Carlson said. [But] weve seen her miraculously heal her body in the hospital.
Carlson recalled coming out of the shower and spotting Eden Carlson struggling in the pool after breaking out of the baby gate.
I was completely panicked. Completely panicked, Carlson recalled. My kids heard me scream.
Edens sister, who was 19 at the time, called 911.
She survived the doctors first hypothesis that she wouldnt live, but the family then had to tackle the following diagnosis that Eden may never be the same after the accident.
When it was becoming clear that medically there was nothing else that could be done with our daughter  we started getting online and researching different ways that brain injuries have been helped through different alternative methods, Carlson said.
When they stumbled upon hyperbaric oxygen therapy, performed by Dr. Paul Harch of LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, they decided to give it a try.
Eden was first given pressurized oxygen twice a day, then pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber five times a week.
Prior to [her first treatment], she had been uncontrollably squirming, moving side-to-side, and wouldnt focus her eyes on anything, Harch told InsideEdition.com. What I wanted to find out was if she would respond to oxygen  and how she might respond to the hyperbaric chamber.
Although they were not sure the experimental treatment would help her brain injury, Harch said it became obvious after a couple treatments that it was working.
Hours after the first treatment, they saw her improving,neurologically. She was not squirming as much. She started to focus with her gaze, Harch recalled. By the second treatment, it was very clear, her eyes were clearer. She was gazing, focusing and she had diminished with the squirming so it was obvious she was responsive to that dose.
Weeks into the treatment, Harch said Eden started walking with her moms gentle support, and yelling, Im walking, Im walking!
Its cute as can be, but perfectly spontaneous, he said. Its incredibly gratifying. You know, if my career and life ended tomorrow, this is all worth it. Its a wonderful feeling.
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Doctors reverse brain damage on 3-year-old girl – FOX 29 News Philadelphia
Posted: at 12:42 pm
A new study published in PLOS Medicine shows that by improving the classification of patients with traumatic brain injuries, a more accurate diagnosis and prognosis can be made. The results are the product of a collaboration between Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital and Helsingfors University Hospital.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most common causes of death and permanent disability in people worldwide. Traumatic brain injuries are caused by external forces directed towards the head such as falls, car accidents or physical abuse. This may result in bleeding inside the skull, in or around the brain. Previously, TBI was considered a disease of the young. Yet, today more and more elderly people are affected and treated for TBI because of the aging population and the increasing use of antithrombotic medications.
Patients who are suspected of having a bleed inside the skull are primarily diagnosed by computed tomography (CT) scanning of the brain. The CT scan provides a rapid diagnosis and shows if there are any bleedings that requires acute neurosurgical interventions. However, interpreting the results of CT scans is highly complex, particularly as different types of bleedings are often found.
Various types of CT classification systems have been developed to standardise the interpretation of CT images in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). These take into consideration information from the CT scan and are used to determine the severity of the injury and to estimate patient outcome.
“The problem with the earlier CT classification systems is that they are very crude and based on old patient materials. Improved and more updated CT classification systems have long been necessary”, says the study’s first author, Eric Thelin, doctor and researcher at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet.
In order to get more information from CT scans, researchers and doctors at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital as well as Helsingfors University Hospital have developed a new way of classifying the brain injuries one can see using CT, the so-called “Stockholm CT score” or “Helsinki CT score”. A collaboration study has compared 1,115 patients who were treated for TBI in the Department of Neurosurgery Intensive Care Units in Stockholm and Helsinki.
“The results show that by making a correct assessment of the first images obtained by CT, we can better predict how well the patients will fare. This is extremely useful as it gives the clinicians better information as to how their care can be optimised”, comments Eric Thelin.
The study showed that classification using the Stockholm or Helsinki CT score can more reliably predict how well patients will progress in the next 6 to 12 months than previously used classification systems. It also found that the extent of diffuse brain injury a type of injury that without good treatment options, was the type of injury that most affected the patients’ prognosis.
“Unfortunately, up to date there is little we can do to treat these diffuse brain injuries. But, aided by our results, we know that future research should be directed into the treatment of diffuse brain injuries. Finding effective treatment strategies for patients affected by this type of injury must be prioritised”, comments Rahul Raj, Adjunct Professor in Experimental Neurosurgery at Helsingfors University Hospital.
Explore further: Microwave helmet yields fast and safe evaluation of head injuries
More information: Eric Peter Thelin et al. Evaluation of novel computerized tomography scoring systems in human traumatic brain injury: An observational, multicenter study, PLOS Medicine (2017). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002368