The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts is sponsoring a Pediatric Brain Injury Conference which is scheduled for November 29th from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Best Western Royal Plaza in Marlborough, Mass.
The conference will provide information and resources on how to better meet the needs of young people with brain injury in acute care and rehabilitation facilities, at home, in school and on the sports field. For more information or to register go to the Massachusetts Brain Injury Association or call 508-475-0032.
Can repeated blows to the head cause brain damage even if no concussion takes place?
A new study reported in the November 14th issue of the Journal of the Medical Association (JAMA) examines the risk of brain injury as a result of heading the ball in soccer.
Soccer is the only sport in which the unprotected head is a primary point of contact with a ball. The study sort to examine the effect of repeated sub concussive blows to the head using a form of MRI known as diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)
The study found differences in white matter integrity in the sample of soccer players tested that were consisted with abnormal findings found in patients who suffered from mild traumatic brain injury.
The changes were in regions of the brain that are responsible for memory and attention according to one of the study authors who was quoted in news articles.
Results of the study are published as a research letter in the Nov. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, “White Matter Integrity in the Brains of Professional Soccer Players Without a Symptomatic Concussion”, JAMA, Vol. 308, No. 18 at pages 1859-1861.
Additional evidence further confirms the link between head injury and developing Parkinson disease according to a new study published in the Journal, Neurology, November, 2012.
The study examined individuals who suffered brain trauma and also were exposed to a pesticide known as “paraquat”
The study reported that Traumatic Brain Injury and exposure to paraquat each increased the risk for developing Parkinson Disease, but when the two risk factors were combined in the same individual, the risk of developing Parkinson disease tripled.
In the late 1980’s I successfully handled a law suit in New York City proving a link between my client’s development of Parkinson’s disease and the head trauma she sustained when the taxi cab she was a passenger is was struck by a New York City bus. This is one of the few jury verdicts establishing that Parkinson disease can be caused by brain trauma. My summarion resulting in a 2 million dollar jury verdict was published in the Summation volumne of the Art of Advocacy Seried published by Matthew Bender.
The study is reported in Neurology, 2012, Volume 79 at pages 2061-2066 entitled, “Traumatic brain injury, paraquat exposure and their relationship to Parkinson disease"
A story by Fox News today reports that a new survey suggests that pediatricians and pediatric nurses often the first medical providers to see a child following a concussion or other head injury may lack the tools and training to diagnose and treat them.
Sixteen (16%) percent of the doctors and nurses surveyed said they didn't have the right training to tell families about their child's diagnosis.
As quoted by Fox News, "It was very revealing in that we need to make sure providers are educated about all the signs and symptoms of concussions," said lead author Dr. Mark Zonfrillo, an emergency physician and injury researcher at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Injury Research and Prevention.
The survey is published in the journal Pediatrics. The survey asked providers about their knowledge of concussion symptoms and treatments and what may stand in their way of helping patients. Just over half of the surveys were returned. They showed 91 percent of respondents had treated at least one child with a concussion in the last three months. The majority of those providers referred their concussion patients to another doctor. When the researchers asked why, 49 percent of primary care providers - such as family doctors - said they were not comfortable treating a concussion and 47 percent said they did not have the resources.
This survey reinforces the need for all physicians and nurses to receive updated training in concussion diagnosis and treatment.
Read more by clicking here.
Many veterans of the United States armed forces who have traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post-traumatic stress disorder also have undiagnosed, chronic vision problems, according to two studies presented today at the 116th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, jointly conducted this year with the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology. The studies are reported in the November 11, 2012 edition of Psychology & Psychiatry.
In a study conducted at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in Washington, D.C., researchers found that vision problems in veterans with mild TBI are much more common and persistent than previously recognized, with 67 percent of the 31 patients studied reporting chronic vision disorders. Though none of the affected veterans had suffered direct eye wounds, their vision continued to be impaired more than a year after they endured the injuries that caused their TBI.
The vision problems most frequently reported by the veterans in the study were convergence, which is the ability to focus both eyes simultaneously in order to read or see other nearby objects, and sensitivity to light. Veterans' ability to readjust their focus when moving their gaze between far and near objects, known as accommodation, was also reduced. Other complaints included double vision and "floaters," which are spots or spidery shapes that seem to move across the visual field. Full recovery of visual function took five years or more in many of the veterans, which is much longer than is typically seen in sports concussions and other non-blast-related TBI.
"Physicians who care for veterans with TBI need to know that many of them have vision problems," said M. Teresa Magone, M.D., staff ophthalmologist with the Washington, D.C. Veterans Affairs Medical Center, who led the study. "It is critical that these patients receive vision assessment and when appropriate, be referred to ophthalmologists to make sure they get the eye care they need, for as long as they need it."
A sport related concussion seminar will be held in the Buffalo area on January 4th to explore important safety issues pertaining to concussions and brain injury in sporting activities.
The event is presented by the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association and the New York State Athletic Trainers Association and is sponsored by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Western New York. It will be held from 1 PM to 5 PM at the Niagara Convention Center.
This program is free and is intended for medical professionals, educators, coaches and parents of children in all sports.
The featured speaker is Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC-UNC, the distinguished professor and director of the Matthew Gfeller sport-related traumatic brain injury research center and the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes at the University of North Carolina.
You can read the full release for this conference by clicking here
New drug may provide significant benefits to brain injury survivors and stroke victims, even years after an injury occurs
A new study in the journal, CNS Drugs reports that a drug, etanercept, seems to provide clinical improvement to brain injury survivors and stroke survivors, even years after the stroke or traumatic event by reducing brain inflamation.
The study of 629 patients, conducted over the course of nearly two years, documents a diverse range of positive effects, including statistically significant rapid clinical improvement in motor impairment, spasticity, cognition, etc. in the stroke group, with a similar pattern of improvement seen in the traumatic brain injury (TBI) group. The study involved 617 patients treated an average of 42 months after stroke and 12 patients treated an average of 115 months after TBI, long after further spontaneous meaningful recovery would be expected.Here is the full citation to the study: Tobinick E, Kim N, Reyzin G, et al. Selective TNF Inhibition for Chronic Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury – An Observational Study Involving 629 Consecutive Patients Treated with Perispinal Etanercept. CNS Drugs, 2012; 16 (12)
The Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey is presenting a free webinair on guardianship issues, entitled “GUARDIANSHIP: When a loved one has a brain injury”
The program will be on line on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 from 7:00PM–8:00 PM
Topics covered will include:
■Overview of Guardianship
■Different types of Guardianship
■Petitioning for Guardianship
■Responsibility/Liability of Guardian
■Alternatives to Guardianship
The Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey is a statewide, non-profit organization whose mission is to support and advocate for individuals affected by brain injury and raise public awareness through education and prevention.
You can register for this guardianship webinair, by clicking here.