The eighth World Congress on Brain Injury will be held in Washington DC from March 10-14, 2010. The world congress is sponsored by the International Brain Injury Association. (IBIA). They have just issued a request for abstracts in connection with this congress. For information on how to submit an abstract visit the international brain injury association web site
Learned from boing-boing of free videos posted by Stanford University from professors whose research explores the human brain. The video topics include: Building a circuit diagram for the brain; Understanding blindness and the brain; Brain computer interfaces; Controlling the brain with light; Deafness-emerging strategies for a cure. The brain videos can be viewed at: Stanford videos: The Future of Human Health are posted on You Tube.
This year's 27th annual conference of the Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) is scheduled to be held on June 4-5, 2009 in Albany, New York at the Marriott Hotel.
This year's featured speaker is Lee Woodruff, co-author with her husband, Bob Woodruff of the memoir, In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing. The theme of this year's conference is "Navigating Life After Brain Injury: Opportunities and Challenges"
Each year BIANYS annual conference has been a resounding success with over 500 participants including persons with a brain injury, family members and professionals. It is one of the largest conferences on brain injury in the country and certainly one of the best. In the past, the conference has been such a success that late registrants had to be turned away. So my suggestion to all is to register early!
You can get more information at the Brain Injury Association of New York State web site.
The Brain Injury Association of Americas has requested that I publish this week's brain injury legislative update:
Congressional Brain Injury Task Force Awareness Day on Capitol Hill
On Wednesday, BIAA participated in a day-long awareness day on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force.
During the first event of the day, the Brain Injury Awareness Fair, BIAA manned an exhibit inspired by always creative BIA of Wyoming. The brain injury "empathy experience" allowed both members of Congress and their staff to participate in several activities that simulated some of the long term effects associated with experiencing brain injury.
With over 45 exhibits, this year's fair proved to be the best attended yet! Many of BIA's state affiliates and survivor advocates were able to participate making the day as a whole wildly successful.
The fair was followed by a briefing in the Cannon Caucus room pertaining to this year's theme, "From the Football Field to the Battlefield." The speakers included, Chris Nowinski, Founder of the Sports Legacy Institute, Author, Former WWE Professional Wrestler and member of BIAA's board of directors.
The final event of the evening, the Congressional reception, honored the hard work of both Congressman Pascrell and Platts, as co-chairmen of the Task force for their dedication to further education and awareness of brain injury and their support for funding for basic and applied research and access to brain injury care.
Brain Injury Awareness Month Resolution
On Monday the House adopted by voice vote, H.Res.178, a resolution expressing the need for enhanced public awareness of traumatic brain injury and support for the designation of a National Brain Injury Awareness Month. Several Congressmen, including Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., Co-Chairman of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force were on hand to extend comments on the house floor regarding the importance of this issue.
In conjunction with the House Resolution, President Obama issued a proclamation officially designating March as Brain Injury Awareness Month. This show of support from both the House of Representatives and the Executive branch is unprecedented in recent years. BIAA has worked tirelessly with the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force to ensure its success.
This week, both House and Senate Budget Committees adopted budget resolutions creating the framework for this year's spending bills.
Although both plans largely adhere to the priorities that President Obama laid out in February, they also scale back some of his spending and tax measures for fiscal year 2010, with the House proposing $7 billion less in discretionary spending and the Senate trimming about $15 billion.
Notably, the House resolution, adopted late Wednesday night, contains reconciliation instructions for legislation to implement President Obama's health and education policies. More specifically, these provisions would allow Congress to move both an overhaul of the health care system and changes to education programs through the budget reconciliation process, a fast-track procedure that limits debate and bars filibusters in the Senate. The Senate resolution includes no similar provisions.
The President's full budget, including a detailed appendix that would include specific programs, is expected to be revealed next month. Congress will then review the proposed spending levels for these individual programs in order to begin assembling FY10 Appropriations measures.
BIAA will continue to monitor these developments and take action accordingly.
National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) Policy Conference
On Thursday, BIAA participated in the first annual NASHIA Policy Conference. The conference focused on various healthcare reform proposals and their impact of those with Traumatic Brain Injury. The conversation revolved around both civilians and veterans who need access to a range of both acute and post-acute rehabilitation along with other support services.
The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) is sponsoring a conference examining the impact of traumatic brain injury in returning service members.
Some of the topics for discussion include:
- the clinical and psychosocial implication of brain injury sustained in combat
- the challenges faced by wounded warriors returning to the community
- the overlap among Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other conditions
The conference is scheduled to be held in New York City on April 21, 2009 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the OMRDD auditorium located at 75 Morton Street, Manhattan. You can get further information at the Brain Injury Association of New York State web site,
the clinical and psychosocial implications of brain injury sustained in combat
New Sesame Street Program Deals With Traumatic Brain Injury and Other Injuries to Returning Service Members
Thanks to BrainLine for tipping me off to a new PBS program on difficulties faced by returning service members including the "invisible injury" of traumatic brain damage.
According to BrainLine, Queen Latifah, John Mayer, and Elmo are teaming up for a new prime-time special entitled "Coming Home: Military Families Cope with Change." The new half-hour special is scheduled to air on April 1, 2009 on PBS - check your local listings for details. The program will tell the stories of U.S. service members who return home with injuries, both visible and invisible, and explores the struggles that their families face.
A new class of Alzheimer's disease drugs may prevent long-term damage from traumatic brain injury, suggests a study of mice by Georgetown University Medical Center researchers.
The drugs -- gamma-secretase inhibitors -- are designed to target amyloid plaque that accumulates in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease, according to background information in the study.
What researchers have found is that this plaque begins to accumulate one day after a traumatic brain injury takes place. It is also known that people who've suffered a brain injury have a 400 percent increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
The study is published in this month’s Nature Medicine.
The North American Brain Injury Association (NABIS) has announced that the Seventh Annual NABIS Conference on Brain Injury will be held at the Austin Downtown Hilton Hotel in Austin, Texas. This year NABIS will be holding a full-day Pediatric Symposium on Brain Injury on Wednesday, October 14, 2009, with the full Conference taking place from Thursday, October 15, through Saturday, October 17, 2009. Further details and registration will be published when received.
Each year the conference has a legal program and a medical program. The programs have been well attended and have provided a good deal of useful information. I have been honored to present at the legal section each year the conference has taken place and look forward to speak before the brain injury attorney section again this year.
You can get further information and updates at the North American Brain Injury Association web site.
Teenage boys who regularly eat fish may be doing their brains some good, a new study suggests.
Swedish researchers found that among nearly 5,000 15-year-old boys they surveyed, those who ate fish more than once per week tended to score higher on intelligence tests three years later.
The findings are published in the journal Acta Pediatrica, March 2009.
Researchers believe that the omega-3 fats found in fish -- particularly oily fish like salmon, mackerel and, to a lesser extent, albacore tuna -- are important to early brain development and to maintaining healthy brain function throughout life.
The findings are based on data from 4,792 male adolescents who completed detailed questionnaires on diet and lifestyle when they were 15 years old, then underwent standard intelligence tests when they were 18.
On average, the researchers found those who ate fish more than once per week scored higher than those who ate fish less than weekly. This remained true when the researchers accounted for several other factors that influence both children's diets and their intelligence scores -- like parents' education levels and the family's socioeconomic status.
An Arizona jury awarded a verdict of $11 million to the widow of a 36-year-old man with traumatic brain injury who died after ingesting foreign objects while in the care of a Phoenix assisted living facility.
Earl Scherrer suffered a severe traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident. Following the accident, he lapsed into a coma and after 16 months slowly began to recover. He was confined to an assisted living facility that was to provide 24-hour care.
One month after being placed in the vicinity he began vomiting and died in the hands of his wife.
An autopsy revealed a number of items, including plastic bags, unopened packets, candy wrappers and paper towels in his stomach and small intestines. The medical examiner determined these foreign objects were significant contributing factors to his death.
The nursing home was sued for abuse and neglect causing his wrongful death.
Reportedly at trial, it came to light that care facility made numerous false entries in its charts with respect to this resident’s care, including notations of care on days when his wife had brought him home.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect happens far more often than is realized by the average person. Cases of injury or death to nursing home residents require the investigation by a skilled nursing home malpractice attorney. The brain injury lawyersat De Caro & Kaplen, LLP can assist victims of nursing home abuse.