The Sports Concussion Institute has announced plans for their 11th Annual Summit on Sports Concussions, “Advances in Treatment of Postconcussion Syndrome”
The meeting will be held on June 16, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency, Los Angeles International Airport.
Registration information can be obtained by clicking here.
Brain Injury Association of New York State Annual Conference: June 14-June 15
The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) will be holding its annual conference this year from June 14-June 16 at the Holiday Inn in Saratoga Springs, NY.
The conference, is open to persons with brain injury, their families and friends as well as professionals and brain injury service providers. The conference will feature workshops, panel discussions and personal testimonials from brain injury survivors and their family members. This is the 35th year BIANYS is hosting an annual conference.
In addition to the annual conference, BIANYS is also hosting the following additional programs at the conference location.
Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) Training – June 13, 2017
This training is intended to review material for the Certified Brain Injury Specialist examination. The deadline to register for this class is April 14th.
Starting six weeks prior to the class, enrollees will have access to weekly webinars and receive study tips and detailed home study information that corresponds with the chapters in the Essential Brain Injury Study Guide.
Professional Symposium – June 14, 2017
This symposium is intended for professionals and specialists in brain injury medicine and rehabilitation. The program will provide information on new developments in diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injuries.
Certified Education Units (CEU’s) for Certified Brain Injury Specialists and other professionals as well as Contact Hours for Social Work will be provided to attendees. Live stream is available for professionals who are unable to attend in-person.
Registration is now open for all of these programs. For further information, visit the Brain Injury Association of New York State web site.
The following brain injury conferences have been scheduled:
Brain Injury Association of Minnesota Annual Conference Brooklyn Center, MN
Brain Injury Association of Wisconsin Annual Conference
Wisconsin Dells. WI
Rehabilitation of the Adult and Child with Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic Brain Injury Conference
Brain Injury Association of New York State Annual Conference
Saratoga Springs, NY
Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania Annual Conference
National Neurotrauma Society Annual Conference
American Society for Neurorehabilitation
State of the States in Head Injury Meeting
Brain Injury Association of Michigan Annual Conference
Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Conference
Brain Injury Association of Vermont Annual Conference
Society for Neuroscience Annual Conference
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has issued the following action alert to all of its members and affiliates for urgent action to prevent the House of Representatives from repealing essential benefits vital to the brain injury survivors under the Affordable Health Care Act. The proposed amendments would deprive victims of traumatic brain injury the essential services they require. it is important that all brain injury survivors, family members and friends ACT TODAY to PROTECT ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS AND REHABILITATION SERVICES TO BRAIN INJURY SURVIVORS.
The House Freedom Caucus is pushing for an amendment to the American Health Care Act to eliminate essential health benefits (EHB) requirements in the private market. Eliminating EHB requirements would allow insurers to once more use benefit design to avoid covering services for high cost enrollees. This would have a devastating impact on people living with brain injuries, who would again struggle to find health insurance plans covering needed services. Rehabilitation is an EHB and is essential to individuals with brain injury post injury. Continued rehabilitation may also be necessary throughout their lives.
EHB includes many services that people living with brain injury depend on, such as outpatient care, emergency services, hospitalizations, maternity care, mental health and substance abuse disorder services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services, laboratory services, preventive services, and pediatric services. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, many insurers in the individual market avoided covering these services, with 62% of insurers omitting maternity coverage, 34% omitting coverage for substance use disorder treatments, and 9% omitting prescription drug coverage. If this amendment passes, many insurers would once again exclude services based on pre-existing conditions, preventing many people living with brain injury from getting the care they need for their most pressing health care concerns. Insurers would likely also purposefully choose to offer poor benefits in order to attract healthy enrollees while discriminating against people living with brain injury.
It is vital that individuals with brain injury and their families/caregivers/providers make it clear to their representatives today that it is unacceptable to strip these minimum consumer protections out of the health insurance market. The House intends to vote on the American Health Care Act, potentially with an amendment to repeal EHB, today, March 23, 2017. Advocates can dial 1-866-426-2631 (English) or 1-877-736-7831 (Spanish) to be connected to their representatives.
This is a sample script that can be used:
Hello my name is _______ and I live in [city, state]. I am a person [living with a brain injury/concerned about individuals with brain injury]. I am calling to demand that you vote against the American Health Care Act. I also urge you to vote against any amendment that would remove critical consumer protections like essential health benefits. The American Health Care Act will hurt people living with pre-existing conditions by making it harder and more expensive to get the care they need. All Americans deserve better. I urge you to support the 5.3 million individuals living with disabilities as a result from a TBI and oppose the American Health Care Act.
Below are a list of moderate House Republicans who are especially important to reach today:
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) submitted written testimony this week to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies calling for increased fiscal year 2018 appropriations for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Act programs, including the state grant program, and for TBI Model Systems research funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).
The TBI Act, which was originally passed in 1996 and reauthorized in 2008 and 2014, is the only federal law that specifically addresses the needs of the growing population of TBI survivors.
The programs authorized under the TBI Act provide public awareness and education through the CDC and State TBI care capacity-building and protection, legal, referral, and advocacy services at the Administration for Community Living. Furthermore, the TBI Model Systems of Care at the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) represent a vital national network of TBI research and expertise—providing the only source of non-proprietary longitudinal data on TBI experiences and a key source of evidence-based medicine.
Critical funding is also required for the CDC to establish and oversee a national surveillance system to accurately determine the incidence of concussions, particularly among the most vulnerable of Americans—our children and youth
The brain injury attorneys at DE CARO & KAPLEN, LLP, are pleased to offer a scholarship for a student who is a survivor of traumatic brain injury and is pursuing a college education. Full scholarship details and the application can be viewed at our web site, De Caro & Kaplen, LLP
Please feel free to share this information on your web site.
Every year our partners, Shana De Caro and Michael Kaplen, devote their time and dedicate a portion of our firm’s fees to brain injury education, prevention and advocacy. We are nationally recognized for our leadership roles in the field of brain injury law. Shana De Caro is a member of the board of directors of the Brain Injury Association of America. Michael V. Kaplen is three term past president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State. Shana and Michael have each served as chairperson of the American Association for Justice Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group. We have created a brain injury scholarship to assist survivors of traumatic brain injuries who want to pursue a college education.
Our attorneys help people who have sustained brain damage caused by all types of accidents. As advocates for people with a brain injury and their families, we have witnessed the incredible hardships they have endured and the dedication and determination that are necessary to help rebuild their lives. We want to recognize an individual’s hard work and perseverance in living with a brain injury and pursuing his/her dreams and goals.
This scholarship is an important reminder that each and every person who has sustained a traumatic brain injury is an individual, not just a statistic. Today many industries place profits over safety, such as the trucking and motor vehicle industry, construction industry, negligent doctors, and sports organizations, both professional and school or community-based. We lose sight of the full impact these injuries have on both the individual and family. A life can be changed in an instant.
In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month a scholarship of $ 1,000 will be awarded to one applicant for the year 2017.
Full details and the application can be viewed at: brainlaw.com
The New York State Department of Health (DOH) is continuing its efforts to transition participants in the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver Program into managed care and the Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Program. The Health Department continues its efforts despite wide spread opposition from TBI Waiver participants and other stakeholders including the Brain Injury Association of New York State.
The transition has serious implications for all TBI Waiver participants and may jeopardize their continued eligibility or the types of services they receive.
A workgroup meeting has been scheduled by DOH for Wednesday March 1, 2017 10:00 am -12:00pm, but an agenda has not been announced. [nothing like waiting to last moment to surprise everyone, but typical of the attitude of the Health Department to persons with a brain injury]
Stakeholders are invited to either attend in person in Albany at the Office of the Division of Long Term Care: One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, room 1613, or via webinar/conference call.
To participate by webinar or call you must first register.
- Click here
- Then Click "Register".
- On the registration form, enter your information and then click "Submit".
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) has been found for the first time in the brains of retired soccer players in a new study published in the Feb 14th edition of the journal Acta Neuropathologica.
Researchers examined the brains of six retired soccer players who were diagnosed with dementia. All six were found to have Alzheimer’s disease and four of the six were found to have evidence of CTE.
Although prior studies have found links between CTE football and boxing caused by repetitive head trauma, this study confirms the link between CTE and soccer.
Driving may be dangerous following a concussion, even after an individual’s symptoms improve or they think they have recovered, researchers report in an article published on line in the Journal of Neurotrauma.
"Despite being asymptomatic, concussed participants exhibited poorer vehicle control, especially when navigating curves," the authors wrote. "Driving impairments may persist beyond when individuals with a concussion have returned to driving”.
The full article is published on line: Driving after Concussion: Is It Safe To Drive after Symptoms Resolve?
Here is a list of brain injury conferences scheduled for March, 2017:
Pacific Northwest Brain Injury Conference
Scripps Brain Injury Conference
San Diego, CA
BIA of Virginia Annual Conference
BIA of Nebraska Annual Conference
The federal judge presiding over the NFL concussion settlement case at a hearing earlier this week reminded players that they must register for the settlement by August 7th to be eligible for any benefits. Awards cover ALS, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and some deaths for players diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The settlement does not provide any cash benefits for those players suffering with the post concussive syndrome, but players should still register and be tested to be eligible for benefits if their conditions worsen. Registration information is available by at the official settlement website
A new study sponsored by the United States Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration will track service members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan to learn more about mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) including evaluation, treatment and long term outcome.
The researchers hope to be able to follow approximately 1,100 service members for 20 years to study the long term effects of mild TBI.
Information about the study can be found in the journal Brain Injury.
About 80 percent of those being enrolled have a history of at least one mild TBI, while the others have no TBIs. That will allow the researchers to compare the two groups. The focus is strictly on mild TBI; those with more severe brain injuries are excluded.
The study will include an extensive interview and comprehensive testing including brain scans, eye movement studies, neuropsychological testing, balance testing and blood tests.
The study is currently enrolling participants at four VA sites in Richmond, Tampa, San Antonio, and Houston--and one Defense site, the National Center for the Intrepid at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. Three more VA sites will begin enrolling this spring--Boston, Minneapolis, and Portland.
You can read more by clicking here.
The National Hockey League is taking a page from big tobacco in challenging the research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and its link to repetitive head trauma. See article from New York Times, The N.H.L.’s Problem With Science. How can NHL condone fighting as part of sport? Time for Congress to shine the spotlight on NHL!
The 12th World Conference on Brain Injury is scheduled to take place from March 29 to April 1, 2017 in New Orleans, LA. My partner, Shana De Caro and I are both scheduled to attend and participate in the legal conference. The international conference is the largest multidisciplinary gathering of brain injury professionals with an outstanding faculty and program. Click here for more information.
Vultures are circling to take advantage of NFL players in concussion settlement. Read article in today’s New York Times ,Lender Deceived Ailing N.F.L. Retirees, Suit Claims including my comments on these predators.
Traumatic brain injury is a major cause of epilepsy. Epileptic seizures can develop days, weeks or even months following head trauma.
The National Institutes of Health has just announced a grant of $21 million to develop betters means of preventing epilepsy or seizure disorder following a traumatic brain injury.
The study will be lead by researchers at UCLA School of Medicine and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York.
According to a new study published online in the journal of the American Academy of Neurology, soccer players who repeatedly head the ball are three times more likely to have concussion symptoms than players who do not. The study is entitled: Heading in soccer: More than a subconcussive event?
The study raises important implications for heading in the ball in soccer, since these players at risk for concussion symptoms are suffering sub-concussive blows to the head.
Most recent research implicates repeated sub-concussive blows as a major risk factor for long term disability.
You can read more by clicking here.
This week, Professor Joseph Fins wrote an article advocating for the rights of brain injury victims. The article entitled, Why advances in treating those with brain injuries require advances in respecting their rights is a worthwhile read.
Some important comments that need repeating:
[A]fter gratitude for a life that has been saved, the truly difficult part begins. Patients and families face a slow-paced and often fickle recovery. Tragically, this phase is often made more challenging by the burden of poorly designed insurance coverage.
Families struggle to get their loved ones needed rehabilitation. If they do get rehabilitation, it is often too short to make a difference. Indeed, if patients are too slow to demonstrate improvement, services can be cut off because of stringent “medical necessity” admission criteria, often from third-party insurers.
This cutoff makes no sense. if we don’t know how long it takes the injured brain to heal, how do we know the pace is too slow? In the end, the vast majority are placed in a nursing home or institution, which is euphemistically called “custodial care.”
It's time that insurance companies provide the care to brain injury victims that they deserve. Anything less is a violation of their rights.
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has provided the following legislative update for December 2016:
Brain Injury Association of America Submits Amicus Brief Today to United States Supreme Court To Reject NFL Concussion Settlement
I am pleased that the amicus brief that Shana De Caro and I wrote was submitted today on behalf of the Brain Injury Association of America to the United States Supreme Court in support of the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to reject the NFL class action concussion settlement.
"This action, commenced for the multi-faceted repercussions of brain damage as a result of longstanding NFL misconduct, fails to compensate the majority of players who have suffered the devastating and enduring effects of traumatic brain injury. The court has an obligation to protect the entire class based upon well-researched, recognized, and cogent medical science. Any settlement that does not, should be rejected as unfair and contrary to the best interests of the majority of class members."
A conference reviewing developments in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy will be held at the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center on November 3rd & 4th, 2016.
Boston University, Metcalf Trustee Center, 1 Silber Way, 9th floor, Boston, MA 02215
More information can be obtained by clicking here.
The following legislative update was prepared by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA).
Protection and Advocacy for Veterans Act
Members of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Task Force on Veterans and Military Families submitted a letter of support last Friday to Representatives Martha Roby (R-Ala.), Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Timothy Walz (D-Minn.) and Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), sponsors of H.R. 5128, the "Protection and Advocacy for Veterans Act." H.R. 5128 would establish a pilot program within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure veterans receive proper support in the areas of mental health and substance use. As a member of the CCD Task Force, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) signed the letter.
NIH Pediatric Concussion Workshop
On Oct. 13-14, 2016, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is sponsoring a Pediatric Concussion Workshop to bring together experts in the field of pediatric concussion to present their most recent findings. The goals of this workshop are to: (1) identify gaps in knowledge about pediatric concussion, (2) identify high priority areas of research in pediatric concussion, and (3) identify populations and study designs that will prove most feasible for addressing knowledge gaps. The workshop will be held at the North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, Bethesda, Maryland. Participating NIH institutes are the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS); National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR); National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, known as the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center (NICHD); and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). For details, click here
CDC Report on Guideline for Managing Mild TBI
The Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC), an advisory board to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), met last week and accepted the mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) workgroup report prepared for Congress. The BSC recommended that CDC move forward with developing the mTBI guideline. More information on the public comment period for this guideline will be forthcoming as that process gets further underway. The TBI Act Reauthorization of 2014 directed the CDC, in consultation with the National Institutes of Health, to conduct a review of scientific evidence related to brain injury management in children and to submit a report to Congress in 2016. CDC's Injury Center is expecting to release the report around the annual Congressional Brain Injury Task Force Awareness Day in March. Click here to review the report.
The 12th World Congress on Brain Injury will be held at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel March 29 - April 1, 2017. The congress has issues a call for abstracts. The deadline for submitting an abstract is November 7, 2016. More information can be obtained by clicking here.
Neuroscience Caucus to Hold Briefing on CTE Next Week
On Sept. 13, 2016, the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus and the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, in partnership with the American Brain Coalition, the American Academy of Neurology, and the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators, will present a briefing that explores our current understanding of sports-related injuries and research efforts aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of these injuries on the human brain. The briefing, "Sports-Related Brain Injuries: From the NFL to the Laboratory," will be held from 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Capitol Visitors Center H-201A-B. This briefing will feature Chris Borland, a linebacker formerly of the San Francisco 49ers who stunned the sports world by retiring after one year in the NFL due to concerns about CTE. Chris is now forming a foundation to work with high school athletes who serve their communities. Dr. Ann McKee, a professor of Neurology & Pathology at Boston University, who is a renowned brain researcher and one of the leading authorities on TBI and CTE in the nation, will also be presenting information.
Important action alert from the Brain Injury Association of America concerning the Americans with Disability Act
The following alert has been issued by the Brain Injury Association of America concerning proposed amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Axt:
Early Preventive Therapy in Severely Brain-Injured Patients Lowers Risk of Pulmonary Embolism and Deep Vein Thrombosis
Victims of severe traumatic brain injury are at high risk for developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). Patients with TBI are at higher risk of forming blood clots because of their long-term immobility. DVT occurs when the blood in the veins pools and forms a clot in the arms or the legs. PE occurs when a clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs.
New research published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons web site advocates the use of blood-thinning medications beginning within 72 hours of hospital arrival. The research study found that staring these medications early has a significant protective effect against these conditions in patients with severe TBI, and does not increase risk of bleeding complications or death. The study can be accessed by clicking here.
Injuries from domestic violence can result in brain damage to 60% of domestic abuse victims according to research published in the journal Family and Community Health. You can read more by clicking here.
The number of adolescents diagnosed with concussions is growing, according to researchers at UC San Francisco. They recommend that adolescents be prioritized for ongoing work in concussion education, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
The study found that 56 percent of concussions were diagnosed in the emergency department, 29 percent in a physician's office, and the remainder in urgent care or inpatient settings. As such, outpatient clinicians should have the same confidence and competence to manage concussion cases as emergency physicians, Zhang said.
A 60 percent increase in concussions occurred from 2007 to 2014 (3,529 to 8,217), with the largest growth in ages 10-14 at 143 percent and 15-19 at 87 percent. Based on classification, 29 percent of concussions were associated with some loss of consciousness.
The findings appear online August 16, 2016, in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. Click here to read full article.
The University of California, San Francisco has posted information about a stem cell therapy clinical trial program for eligible individuals.
A registry has been created to identify potential participants and for future clinical research studies.
You may enroll in the participant recruitment registry for TBI research if you:
- Are age 18 or older
- Have suffered TBI
- Have ongoing symptoms as a result of the TBI
Note: Other inclusion and exclusion criteria apply for each study.
Further information can be obtained by clicking here.
Veterans returning to college following a traumatic brain injury may fact special challenges caused by headaches, sleep disturbances, pain, vision and hearing problems, dizziness, and mood changes. You may also feel overwhelmed or have difficulty staying focused.
Here is a link to an article with helpful information and resources. Click here.
Strong support systems at colleges and universities can help you through these challenges. However, it's important to be your own advocate and educate yourself about what resources are available.