Neurology Group issues important new position statement on sports concussion management

Doctors have an ethical obligation to educate and protect athletes from sports concussion and clear them to play only when the athlete is medically ready, standing firm against objections from players, parents or coaches according to a new position paper of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), released yesterday in their medical journal, Neurology.

An AAN press release issued in connection with this announcement stated, “With nearly four million sports-related concussions in the US each year, it is imperative doctors are educated and protect these athletes who may have sustained a concussion,” said lead author Matthew P. Kirschen, MD, PhD, a neurologist with The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “Concussions can have devastating effects such as short-term impairments in athletes’ cognitive and athletic performance. Repeat concussions have been linked to long-term impairments in brain function, such as problems with learning, memory and behavior.”

The AAN statement also:

  • Supports wider use of baseline cognitive testing
  • Recommends that concussion evaluation and management training be added to neurology residency programs
  • Suggests the development of a national concussion registry with mandatory reporting, which may help to document more rigorously the incidence and recurrence of concussion at all levels of play

The statement concludes that physicians caring for athletes during and after a sports-related concussion should have adequate training and experience in the recognition and evaluation of both the existence and severity of potential brain injury.

July 10, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

World Cup Soccer Hasn't Heard-When in Doubt, Keep Them Out!

My comments on the cavalier conduct of World Cup soccer in allowing players with head injuries to prematurely return to play before proper clearance were published last evening by the New York Daily News.  Click here to read the article.

July 10, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Almost Half of Homeless Men Had Traumatic Brain Injury in Their Life

In a study investigating traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the homeless population of Toronto, it was determined that almost half of all homeless men who took part in the study had suffered at least one traumatic brain injury in their life and 87 percent occurred before these men lost their homes. The study is published in the journal CMAJ Open.  "Traumatic brain injury among men in an urban homeless shelter"

Another study published by Dr. Stephan Hwang in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation found that the number of individuals who are homeless or vulnerably housed and who have suffered a traumatic brain injury may be as high as 61 percent-seven times higher than the general population.  Almost half of homeless men had traumatic brain injury in their lifetime  

The important question raised by these studies: Is TBI a risk factor for homelessness?

 

 

July 10, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

World Cup Soccer Plays Russian Roulette with Javier Mascherano's Brain

A few moments ago I learned of the shocking decision by officals at the World Cup Soccer tournament allowing Javier Mascherano to return to play after sustained what appeared to be a potential concussion.  What's wrong with these people?  Haven't they learned their lesson from the serious injuries sustained by so many athletes who were allowed to return to play following a concussion?  Haven't they heard of the tragic death of Natasha Richardonson or the condition known as second impact syndrome.  World Cup soccer is playing russian roulette with the health and lives of their playrs.  Don't they know,  WHEN IN DOUBT, KEEP THEM OUT.

Click here for more on this tragic story Javier Mascherano plays through apparent concussion during Arentiana-Holland Wordup semifinal   

July 9, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Even Phineas Gage would be denied benefits under the NFL class action settlement if received his injury while playing football!

Illustrative of the inadequacy of the NFL class action settlement are the injuries sustained by Phineas Gage and how he would fair under this agreement.

Perhaps the most famous traumatic brain injury patient in the history of medicine was Phineas Gage.  In 1848, Gage was a 25-year-old railway construction foreman, working with explosive powder and a packing rod. A spark caused an explosion that propelled the three-foot long pointed rod through his head. It penetrated his skull at the top, passed through his brain, and exited through his temple. Before the accident Gage was a quiet, mild-mannered man; after his injuries he became an obscene, obstinate, self-absorbed man. His personality and behavioral problems persisted until his death in 1861.   

Had Phineas Gage sustained these injuries while playing professional football, he would not be entitled to any benefit under the proposed settlement agreement.

July 8, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

NFL settlement fails to provide redress for majority of players

It  is unfortunate that the U.S. District Court Brody granted preliminary approval to the proposed settlement of the NFL class action lawsuit without first holding a hearing to examine significant issues affecting the ability of players to obtain the compensation they deserve. 

I am hopeful that hearing scheduled for November 19th, will explore the obstacles, roadblocks, and hurdles that players in all classes of injury must overcome before receiving compensation under this settlement proposal.  The majority of players suffering with brain injuries are not embraced within the settlement and will receive no compensation.

The revised settlement is flawed in many respects.  The proposal neither recognizes nor compensates the majority of players who suffer the long-term consequences of brain trauma, but merely carves out certain, small and discrete groups.  The majority of players who have physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral impairments will remain uncompensated under this settlement.

Though this settlement proposal purports to generously provide financial stability for the futures of thousands of players who suffer from traumatic brain injury and its consequences, closer scrutiny reveals something entirely different. An examination of the terms and conditions of the settlement reveals a design to systematically exclude players from participation and reduce payments to the small group who meet the arbitrary criteria.  It imposes unfair and illogical restrictions on the categories of compensable injuries and requires players to have participated in NFL play for excessively long periods, implicitly denying that a player can sustain a life-altering concussion after only a short NFL career.  The plan is replete with complex, arbitrary, and overlapping omissions in its unwieldy and overly intricate criteria, which are then further reduced by offset for liens.      

July 8, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Hearing needed before NFL revised settlement agreement is considered by Federal Court

The revised NFL brain injuy settlement agreement is fatally flawed.  Judge Brody should hold a hearing before she even considers granting preliminary approval to the settlement. 

Here are some preliminary observations that were published yesterday by my partner, Shana De Caro and myself on the Huffington Post:

Same Play Different Day

The revised proposed settlement of the class action lawsuit against the NFL remains fundamentally flawed. The settlement neither recognizes nor compensates the majority of players who suffer the long-term consequences of repeated concussive injury.

The foundation of the lawsuit was the deliberate and longstanding misrepresentations by the NFL and its committee on traumatic brain injury, concerning the known health risks that players confronted from repetitive brain trauma so ingrained in the game. For years, the NFL has staunchly refused to acknowledge the accumulating body of objective medical evidence revealing the risk of permanent brain damage from repeated head trauma. The NFL remained shrouded by inaccurate statements propagated by its own Committee on Mild Head Injury, including false declarations that "mild TBIs in football are not serious injuries" and that "many NFL players can be safely allowed to return to play on the day of the injury after sustaining a mild TBI." This deception imperiled professional football players and was calculated to mislead players and the public.

Today's proposed revised settlement persists in disregarding the issues that are essential to the vast majority of players that are affected. A concussion is a brain injury. A mild brain injury is only mild if it is someone else's brain. The silent majority of players who have cognitive, emotional, and behavioral impairments because of their reliance on the fraudulent conduct by the NFL will remain uncompensated under this settlement.

The court has an obligation to protect all players who are part of this class action lawsuit. Any settlement that fails to address the claims and interests of the majority of players should be rejected as imprudent and contrary to the best interests of the majority of class members.

The claims of the preponderance of players must be allowed to continue in order to expose the reprehensible pattern of deception and intentional misconduct committed by the league, whose control of the negotiations of this settlement, elevates profits over player safety.

July 3, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Traumatic brain injury and risk of dementia in older veterans

Traumatic brain injury and risk of dementia in older veterans

An important study was published today, Traumatic brain injury and risk of dementia in older veterans in the Journal Neurology. The study has important implications for all those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, but most importantly for individuals including athletes who have sustained repetitive head trauma. 

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is common in military personnel, and there is growing concern about the long-term effects of TBI on the brain; however, few studies have examined the association between TBI and risk of dementia in veterans.

The study concludes: “TBI in older veterans was associated with a 60% increase in the risk of developing dementia over 9 years after accounting for competing risks and potential confounders. Our results suggest that TBI in older veterans may predispose toward development of symptomatic dementia and raise concern about the potential long-term consequences of TBI in younger veterans and civilians.”

You can read more by clicking here.

 

July 1, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Soccer: Is heading the ball safe?

The increased attention this week on the World Cup has also focused renewed questions on the safety of heading the ball in soccer.  The New York Times on line edition has published an interesting debate today on this issue. When to Use Your Head

 

June 27, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Traumatic Brain Injury Act unanimously passes U.S. House of Representatives

Late last evening the United States House of Representatives unanimously approved passage of H.R. 1098, the Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization (TBI) Act of 2013. 

Approximately 2.5 million Americans experience TBI each year and an estimated 5.3 million Americans are living with long-term, severe disabilities as a result of brain injury.

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) and its executive director, Susan Connors as well as the leaders of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. and Tom Rooney all need to be thanked for their hard work in passing this important legislation.

Originally passed in 1996 and reauthorized in 2000 and 2008, the TBI Act represents a foundation for coordinated and balanced public policy in prevention, education, research, and community living for people with TBI. The TBI Act specifically allocates federal funds for programs supporting individuals with brain injury to federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institute for Health (NIH) and the Health Resources Administration (HRSA).

BIAA and other TBI Act stakeholders are continuing to work with the United States Senate to introduce a companion bill.

June 25, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Major study of brain injury rehabiliation services-Researchers needed

How much rehabilitation should adults with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) receive, in what setting, and at what time?

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has partnered with the Brain Injury Research Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to answer these questions. Clinicians with expertise in post-acute rehabilitation are needed to participate in a three-year investigation beginning July 1, 2014.

Individuals who sustain TBIs rarely have access to rehabilitation of sufficient timing, scope, duration, and intensity that would allow them to recover to the maximum extent possible. That's because treatment decisions are controlled by payers - insurance companies and public policymakers - instead of by doctors, patients, and family caregivers. When a person's care is delayed, discontinued, or denied altogether, the result is often increased re-hospitalization rates and greater levels of disability. This creates a cycle of joblessness, homelessness, and dependence on public programs.

BIAA and Mount Sinai are addressing this problem through the development and widespread distribution of Guidelines for the Rehabilitation and Disease Management of Adults with Moderate to Severe TBI. The goals of this project are to:

1.Identify and fully describe the continuum of care available following TBI;

2.Determine the evidence for various rehabilitative treatments and, based on that evidence and/or expert opinion, make recommendations for treatment and management in various settings;

3.Produce a document that supports improvements in the quality and consistency of rehabilitation treatment; and

4.Broadly disseminate the recommendations to payer, provider, patient and advocacy communities in an effort to increase access to and quality of care.

Fifty of the nation's top researchers and clinicians are needed to review and assess evidence in functional, medical, cognitive, behavioral, and social domains. If you have expertise in any one of these subject areas and are interested in serving on one of the panels, you can send your CV to Marianna Abashian, BIAA Director of Professional Services.  Indicate which panel interests you. Panels have limited membership. 

June 22, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

TBI and the Juvenile Justice System Webinar

 The HRSA Traumatic Brain Injury Technical Assistance Center has scheduled a Webinar: Children & Youth with TBI: Diversion Programs and Proper Identification and Treatment After Entering the Juvenile Justice System

June 17, 2014  at 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. ET

The webinar will address the following questions:

How do you help a child with an undetected TBI who has entered the juvenile justice system because of behavioral problems? What do juvenile justice personnel, courts, schools, and others need to know to be able to detect a TBI and refer them for appropriate treatment? What are the legal implications?

The webinar will focus on the following topics:

•         National efforts to address the school to prison pipeline

•         Barriers and challenges for youth with TBI in the juvenile justice system, including what happens when they are misidentified or improperly evaluated

•         What HRSA’s Protection and Advocacy (P&A) grantees are doing across various states to divert children from the juvenile justice system and make sure that youth with TBI get referred for appropriate screening and treatment

•         Individual justice planning tools that P&As and others can use to divert children and youth from the juvenile justice system and alternative sentencing options                               

RSVP by clicking here                          

June 13, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

On line discussion of the crisis of sports concussions

I have been invited to share my thoughts following my participation at the White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit Sports

This afternoon, at 12:30 PM (eastern time), I will be a gues of Ed Berliner on his internet news show, "Mid Point"-NewsMax TV to discuss the crisis of sports concussions.  you can access the show by clicking here.

President Obma's inaugural concussion summit presented a watershed moment in valdiating and tackling the public health crisis of the long-term hazards posed by concussions in sports and its ramifications.

Now, we need to seize upon the president's iniative and move forward with a national plan to address the crisis of concussion in sports and take all the steps necessary to prevent, preventable brain injuries from occuring and provide the needed support and care to children and adults once a brain injury does take place

 

June 11, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Centers for Disease Control Concussion App

CDC's Heads Up app helps parents and others learn how to spot the signs and symptoms of a concussion and explains what to do if they think their child or teen has a concussion or other serious brain injury. The app also includes information on selecting the right helmet for an activity and other detailed helmet safety information.

Download the CDC Heads Up Concussion App by clicking here

June 9, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sports Concussion Summit-Listen this Sunday when I share my thoughts with Bob Salter on WFAN

Last Thursday, I joined President Obama at the White House for his Summit on Youth Sports Concussions. I will be discussing my thoughts about the new sports concussion initiatives and the need for comprehensive federal legislation this Sunday morning at 7 AM with Bob Salter on WFAN Radio 66 AM, 101.9 FM  You can listen to a live stream of my interview on Sunday by clicking here.

June 6, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The White House Concussion Summit-No Quick Fixes Please

I had the honor and privilege to be a participant in yesterday’s White House Sports Concussion Summit.

President Obama’s inaugural concussion summit presented a watershed moment in validating and tackling the public health crisis of the long term hazards posed by concussions in sports and its ramifications. The President’s opening remarks were very encouraging and he deserves credit for bringing everyone together around this issue. Unfortunately, the momentum was lost when the panelists shifted the focus to protection of sporting activities from the negative publicity associated with brain injury rather than protection of players.

The White House Summit on sports was an opportunity to embrace a uniform national protocol comprehensively tackling the multi-dimensional issues related to sports concussion management.  It is critical to avoid preventable brain injuries and manage the brain injuries that unfortunately but inevitably occur.  Though many coaches and parents fear the over-protective label, they have justification for their safety concerns.

Contrary to the perspective of the panel, brain injury is not a simple event with a simple solution.  One only need listen to the many young adults who suffer permanent disability in the pursuit of athletic participation. No one is suggesting a ban on athletic activities. Yes, concussions happen. It is part of the game, but we must implement initiatives to reduce the risk of injury, and prevent, preventable injuries. 

This national summit on the public health crisis of sports related brain injury missed an important opportunity to set forth a meaningful agenda and address the needs of the millions of individuals who have sustained a brain injury both on and off the playing field. 

Increased government funding is crucial for continued meaningful and targeted research on prevention, diagnosis and treatment and much more will be necessary in our efforts to comprehend the complexities of traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury affects 5.2 million Americans.  Government initiatives must extend beyond the athletic fields and focus on all aspects of this silent but burgeoning epidemic. A brain injury is not a passing illness.  The lifelong cognitive, emotional, and behavioral consequences of this condition affect every aspect of the victim’s life.  A brain injury can affect anyone, anytime, anywhere, and unfortunately, it does.  A national proposal attempting to prevent, reduce, and treat brain injury must be comprehensive in scope. 

There are those who might have another agenda, not entirely focused on public health.  Multi-billion dollar enterprises, such as the NFL, have been jeopardized, and its image tarnished by mushrooming liabilities and the trickledown effect on college and youth sports.  The league might have other motivation in joining this project.  The NFL employs marketing masterminds to control the public’s perception of concussion risks. The league’s “Heads Up Football” tackle program attempts to convince parents that football can be made safe.  Football is a concussion delivery system.  While it is beneficial to improve and require “safe” tackling  procedures, there is no empirical evidence supporting the position that changing the tackle rules will either reduce the rate or  decrease the severity of concussions. 

Pixie dust solutions only work in fairy tales.  The dangers of concussions remain constant.  A concussion is a brain injury: a significant event with potentially life-altering consequences.   

Doubtless NFL monetary contributions to fund brain injury research are beneficial.  These funds must not be allowed to subtly influence the outcome of that research.  When the fox supervises the chicken coop, the outcome becomes predictable.  The NFL’s proposed settlement of the pending mass injury lawsuit is a perfect example of the league’s duplicity.  No settlement funds have been committed to players who continue to suffer the long-term consequences of the post-concussive syndrome.  Despite overwhelming medical evidence, the league steadfastly refuses to acknowledge that a concussion can cause life-long consequences.  Those who control the flow of funds, and research, must be vigilant to be impervious to outside influences and any invisible strings that might be attached to the money. 

May 30, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

White House - Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit

I am honored to be invited to attend the president’s Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit tomorrow at the White House.

The goals of the White House Summit on sports concussions scheduled for May 29th must embrace a uniform national protocol to comprehensively tackle the issues related to sports concussion management. This is critical to avoid preventable brain injuries and manage the brain injuries that will unfortunately but inevitably occur.  Though many coaches and parents fear the over-protective label, they have justification for their safety concerns.

Sport related concussions have multiplied to epidemic levels.  The Centers for Disease Control report almost 250,000 brain injury related emergency department visits each year by children and adolescents. The CDC has cautioned that this frightening statistic is a vast underrepresentation. The available data is limited to organized sports, omitting visits to private physicians, cases where traumatic brain injury is not the principal diagnosis and concussions that remain undiagnosed altogether.  In extrapolating, the CDC estimates a more accurate approximation is between 1.6 and 3.8 million sports related traumatic brain injuries each year.  Unbelievable but true, this is a public health crisis that commands action on a federal level.  

Yes, concussions happen. It is part of the game, but we must implement initiatives to reduce the risk of injury, and prevent, preventable injuries.  This national summit on the public health crisis of sports related brain injury and proposing meaningful safety standards is an important move in the right direction.

 

May 28, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Latest Developments in Brain Injury

The field of brain injury is rapidly evolving with new findings announced, almost daily.  It is difficult for health care professionals and the legal profession to keep pace with all the new changes that are taking place.

I am pleased to be co-chairing a program with Dr. Steven Flanagan, M.D., Medical Director, Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, New York University Medical Center on the latest developments in the field of traumatic brain injury identification, rehabilitation and treatment sponsored by the Brain Injury Association of New York.  The all day program will be held on Thursday, June 5th in Albany, New York. 

The program covers important areas including sports concussion recognition and management; neuroimaging, assistive technology; management of behavioral problems; neuropsychology and return to learn protocols.

Program and registration information can be found at the Brain Injury Association of New York State web site.

May 23, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

House of Representatives Passes Amendment Directing Research on the Mechanism of Blast Injuries and Brain Damage in the Military

Congratulations to U.S Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr (D-NJ) for sponsoring legislaition that passed the United States House of Representatives today directs the U.S. Department of Defense to conduct a study on blast injury mechanics impacting soldiers on the battlefield. Rep. Pascrell's amendment was included in National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (H.R. 4435), which passed with a vote of 325-98.

"It's imperative we provide our brave men and women in uniform the care they were promised upon returning from the battlefield," said Rep. Pascrell, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. "Although the Department of Defense has taken important steps toward identifying and treating our soldiers who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, we must ensure every resource possible is available to those serving our nation.  Key investments in this type of traumatic brain injury research will help prevent soldiers from sustaining this devastating injury by ensuring that the necessary data exists to design soldiers’ protective gear in a way that limits the impact of primary blast."

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is commonly known as the signature wound of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  More research is necessary to establish the connection and mechanism associated with blasts and brain damage.

It is commonly believed that primary blast injury occurs when an explosion generates a blast wave traveling faster than sound and creating a surge of high pressure immediately followed by a vacuum. Studies have shown that the blast wave shoots through armor and soldiers' skulls and brains, even if it doesn't draw blood. Researchers still do not know the exact mechanisms by which primary blast injuries damages the brain's cells and circuits.

However, the blast wave's pressure has been shown to compress the torso, impacting blood vessels, which then send damaging energy pulses into the brain. The pressure can also be transferred partially through the skull, interacting with the brain. Understanding how a primary blast injury affects the brain is imperative to developing appropriate prevention measures, including ensuring proper equipment.

Rep. Pascrell's amendment would direct the Department of Defense through the Peer-Reviewed Psychological Health and TBI Research Program to conduct a study on blast injury mechanics covering a wide range of primary blast injury conditions, including TBI, in order to accelerate solution development in this critical area.

 

 

May 22, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Brain Injury Associations June Conferences

The following state brain injury associations will be holding annual conferences during the month of June:

Brain Injury Association of New York State
June 5-6, 2014, Albany, New York
Click here for further information

Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania
June 15-17, 2014
Click here for further information

May 22, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Large increase seen in emergency departments visits for traumatic brain injury

Between 2006 and 2010, there was a nearly 30 percent increase in the rate of visits to an emergency department for traumatic brain injury, which may be attributable to a number of factors, including increased awareness and diagnoses, according to a study in the May 14 issue of JAMA.

May 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

White House Sports Concussion Summit

The White House has announced that President Obama will hold a summit on youth sports and concussions on May 29th at the White House entitled, The White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit. The purpose of this meeting is to bring together young athletes, academics, parents and others to raise awareness of traumatic brain injuries in our nation’s youth as a result of sports.

According to a press statement,  the administration will announce new commitments by the public and private sectors to raise awareness among athletes, parents, coaches, schools and others on how to identify and treat concussions and to conduct research to help understand how sports-related concussions affect young athletes.

 

May 20, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Karl Rove Needs to Apologize for His Derogatory, Uneducated and Misleading Statement About Traumatic Brain Injury

Karl Rove’s statement regarding a brain injury sustained by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is derogatory, uneducated, and misleading, and should be condemned.

Karl Rove should apologize to the millions of Americans who are living with the lifelong consequences traumatic brain injury related disability.  His cavalier attitude and complete ignorance about  the silent epidemic of brain injury is an affront to those suffering from this disease.  This ought not to provide fodder for a political agenda.

According to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, “approximately 5.3 million Americans are living with a TBI-related disability and the consequences of severe TBI can affect all aspects of an individual’s life.”  This includes the ability to work, be employed, perform household tasks, drive, and/or participate in other activities of daily living, and endangers relationships with family and friends.

 

May 13, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

TBI Public Funding Webinar Series sponsored by The National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA)

The National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) has announced a new series of webinars highlighting traumatic brain injury public funding programs including:

TBI Trust Fund programs;
Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers; and
Maximizing and pooling resources to support services and TBI service delivery systems.

Webinar I: TBI Trust Funds
Date and Time: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (ET)
This first webinar will focus on trends in State TBI Trust Fund programs. Presenters will provide an overview of state trust fund programs and methods for maximizing revenue resources through legislation and pooled funds.

Objectives:
1.       Identify states with TBI trust funds and resources
2.       Identify methods for maximizing and pooling resources
3.       Understand how data can be used to support increased funding

Registration information: First come, first served; limited seating.  Reserve your space now by following this link

Registration is free.  No CEUs will be offered.

Speaker presentations will be posted on the NASHIA Website

Webinar II: Medicaid TBI HCBS Waivers
Wednesday, June 18, 2014:  2:00 PM (ET)

Webinar III:  Pooling Resources for TBI Services
Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (ET)

May 7, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Comprehensive Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury-Brain Injury Association of America Webinar Program

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) will be sponsoring a webinar examining the questions,  What is the current scientific perspective surrounding mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI)? What are the necessary elements to a comprehensive approach to concussion management?

The webinar will take place on Thursday, May 8, 2014 from 3:00 p.m. Eastern, 12:00 p.m. (noon) Pacific

The scheduled speakers are Kevin Crutchfield, M.D., Vascular Neurologist and Director of the Comprehensive Sports Concussion Program at LifeBridge Health, and Jessica McWhorter, Ph.D., ABPP/RP  Rehabilitation Neuropsychologist at The Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute, will discuss current controversies in the treatment of concussion and diagnostic dilemmas in working with patients who experience persistent symptoms. They will also present a comprehensive model of care. Register by 5:00 p.m. (ET) May 6, 2014.

Click here to register.

May 2, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New study sheds light on how the brain is injured

A promising new study at the University of Rochester may provide useful information in understanding how a concussion affects the brain and why persons who have sustained a concussion develop an array of problems including memory impairment, sleep disturbances, depression and impaired judgment.

If the medical profession can understand the mechanism of concussions and brain injury, they will be in a better position to develop new and effective ways to treat individuals suffering from the post concussive syndrome and the long term consequences of brain damage.

The study is report in the online edition of the Journal of Neurotrauma.  It shows that mice with mild, repetitive traumatic brain injury (TBI) develop many of the same behavioral problems, such as, that have been associated with the condition in humans.

A statement released by the University of Rochester reported,  “This new model captures both the clinical aspects of repetitive mild TBI and CTE,” said Anthony L. Petraglia, M.D., a neurosurgeon with the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and lead author of the study.   “While public awareness of the long-term health risk of blows to the head is growing rapidly, our ability to scientifically study the fundamental neurological impact of mild brain injuries has lagged.”

You can read the entire press release by clicking here.

 

April 30, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Latest Developments in Brain Injury Identification, Rehabilitation, and Treatment

I will be co-chairing a one-day symposium for professionals exploring cutting-edge research and information on traumatic brain injury as part of the Brain Injury Association of New York State annual meeting.

The program features influential leaders in the fields of brain injury medicine and rehabilitation, providing insight and updates on brain injury services. The program will showcase information important to attorneys, medical and health care professionals, TBI program staff, Waiver and Health Home service providers, and many other professionals.

The full day program will be held on Thursday, June 5, 2014 from 9am-5pm at the Albany Marriott Hotel, Albany, New York. The annual meeting begins on June 6th.  To view the schedule and register visit the BIANYS website.

Continuing Education Units are available for Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuser Counselors (OASAS), Psychology (NYSPA), Social Work (NASW NY Chapter), and Certificates of Attendance will be provided to all attendees. This program meets the requirements for continuing education as required by the CBIS/T certification renewal process. Occupational Therapy CEUs are available for the Assistive Technology workshop.

April 23, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Commony used blood pressure medication may be effective in preventing epileptic seizures following traumatic brain injury

Epilepsy frequently results from a traumatic brain injury with reports that between 10 and 20 percent of all cases of epilepsy result from severe head trauma. There is now a report that a commonly used medication for high blood pressure can prevent many if not all seizures that take place following brain injury.

The information is reported in the current issue of the journal Annals of Neurology.

The drug, losartan (Cozaar®), prevented seizures in 60 percent of the rats tested, when normally 100 percent of the rats develop seizures after injury. In the 40 percent of rats that did develop seizures, they averaged about one quarter the number of seizures typical for untreated rats. Another experiment showed that administration of losartan for three weeks at the time of injury was enough to prevent most cases of epilepsy in normal lab rats in the following months.

 

April 23, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sports Concussion Lecture at American Association for Justice Annual Convention

 

I am honored to be invited to lecture at the American Association for Justice, Annual Convention on the Program, Pediatric and Adolescent Traumatic Brain Injuries, to be held on July 27, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland.

My title of my presentation is, From Concussion to the Classroom and Playing Field.  I will be discussing the legal issues in sports concussion management in the class room and on the athletic field. 

The program is presented by the association’s Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group.  The learning objectives of the all day program are:

1.       Educate about diagnosing and treating

2.       Recognition of signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) by attorneys

3.       Prevention measures that can be implemented 8:40 am         

April 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Upwards of 50% of incarcerated adolescents suffer from traumatic brain injury

New research establishes that approximately half of all adolescents between the ages of 16- to 18-year who are incarcerated in New York City jails have sustained a traumatic brain injury earlier in live.

The findings were published earlier this week in The Journal of Adolescent Health.  Experts involved in the research hope that the findings could lead to better training for correction officers on how to deal with the possible symptoms of such trauma, which include problems with impulse control and decision-making.

One of the study authors, Wayne Gordon, head of neuropsychology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York is reported as commenting, "You need to train the correction officers to understand brain injuries so that when somebody may be acting rude or answering back or forgetting what they're supposed to do, it's not a sign of maladaptive misbehavior or disrespect, it's a sign of a brain injury

The study found nearly 50 percent of both boys and girls reported traumatic brain injuries that resulted in a loss of consciousness, amnesia or both. And they said 55 percent of those injuries were caused by assaults.

April 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)