Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information

Repeated heading of the ball in soccer is major risk factor for long term brain damage

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.

February 2, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Association Information

December Legislative Update Brain Injury Association of America

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has provided the following legislative update for December 2016:

December 9, 2016

Appropriations Bill Sent to Senate

The Senate has until midnight to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to continue funding federal government in order to avoid a partial government shutdown. Yesterday, the House passed House Resolution 2028 to continue funding until April 28, 2017. The current CR funding government expires today.

21st Century Cures Bill Sent to President's Desk

This week, the Senate passed the 21st Century Cures Act which is now on its way to the President's desk for his signature. The bill invests nearly $3 billion to build upon major biomedical research initiatives, including the B.R.A.I.N. Initiative and the Precision Medicine Initiative, both of which research brain-related injuries and disorders and are to create new research models to find cures and better target treatments.

Congress Includes Fairness for Veterans Amendment in Defense Spending Bill

Yesterday, the Senate passed the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report, which included a provision to help veterans who may have been erroneously given a less than honorable discharge from the military due to negative behavior resulting from mental traumas such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), who had introduced the Fairness for Veterans Act of 2016 (H.R.4683), led the effort to pass the amendment in the House defense authorization bill last week. Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced the amendment in the Senate version in May. The bill is now on its way to President Obama for his signature.

Congress Passes Distance Health Education and Technology Bill

S. 2873, introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), has passed both the House and Senate and has been sent to the President. The bill requires studies and reports examining the use of, and opportunities to use, technology-enabled collaborative learning and capacity-building models to improve programs of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). A "technology-enabled collaborative learning and capacity-building model" is a distance health education model that connects specialists with other health care professionals through simultaneous interactive videoconferencing for the purpose of facilitating case-based learning, disseminating best practices, and evaluating outcomes. The HHS Secretary is to study the impact on using this model to address issues such as mental and substance use disorders, chronic diseases and conditions, pain management, health care workforce issues and shortages, public health programs including disease prevention and public health surveillance, and the delivery of health care in rural or medically underserved areas.

House Passes Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2016

On Wednesday, the House passed H.R. 6416, the Jeff Miller and Richard Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2016, which, among other provisions, requires an independent review of process by which Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) assesses impairments that result from a TBI for purposes of awarding disability compensation; temporarily increases the number of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; and approves education and training courses for purposes of the VA vocational rehabilitation program. Rep. David Roe (R-Tenn.) sponsored the legislation.

Senators Introduce the RISE Act

This week, Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) introduced the Respond, Innovate, Support and Empower Act (RISE Act) to help ease the transition to higher education for students with disabilities. The bill provides more funding for a one-stop resource for information about disability services in college. It would also:

  1. Require colleges to accept an IEP or 504 plan as evidence of a disability. This would make it easier and less costly for students to get accommodations.
  2. Support a technical assistance center to highlight strategies that help students with disabilities to succeed in college. The center would also train college faculty on those strategies.

A number of disability-related organizations support the legislation and plan to work with bill sponsors to reintroduce the legislation in the upcoming Congress.

 

 

December 10, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Current Affairs

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." BIAA Supreme Court Amicus Brief Cover Page

 

 

October 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News, Current Affairs

Brain Injury Association of America Legislative Update

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.

September 16, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Legislative News

Congressional Brain Injury Caucus Briefing Scheduled for Tuesday Sept 13 on CTE

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.

September 9, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News, Current Affairs

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:       

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is once again under attack!   This summer, the Judiciary Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3765, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015, which would limit the power of the ADA and reduce compliance with the law.   Businesses have had 26 years to comply with the accessibility requirements of the ADA. Now, H.R. 3765 has been introduced to impose several additional steps on plaintiffs before they can file a civil action for an accessibility violation in a public accommodation case. H.R. 3765 would also impose criminal fines if demand letters or other pre-suit notifications alleging violations of ADA public accommodation requirements are not sufficiently specific.   These proposed restrictions and penalties go against the intent of the disability rights statute by putting up barriers and limiting the ability of people to assert their rights with regard to public accommodations. For these reasons, we urge you to contact your Congressional Representative to oppose the bill. Please contact your Congressional Representative today!  To contact your Representative, go to this website and enter your zip code. You can email your comments from the Member's webpage, which will also have other contact information. You may also call the U.S. House of Representatives switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Representative. Once connected to your Representative's office, tell them your name, address, and let them know: "Please oppose H.R. 3765, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015." Message points:

  • Equal treatment is a fundamental purpose of the ADA. People with disabilities must not be treated in a different or inferior manner.
  • H.R. 3765 goes against the disability rights principles of equal access to all Americans by removing incentives for businesses, social service establishments, and other places of public accommodation to comply with the ADA's accessibility requirements, unless and until an individual with a disability recognizes that the place of public accommodation is out of compliance with the ADA's requirements and provides the entity with written notice in precisely the right manner. 
  • HR 3765 requires a person with a disability to give a business owner who has barriers to access a written notice. The business has 60 days to acknowledge the problem and, then, another 120 days to begin to fix it. No other civil rights group is forced to wait 180 days to enforce their civil rights.
  • People with disabilities are important consumers of goods and services, but to be good consumers, they need access and to be integrated into the community.
  • We are an aging America. Many older adults, whether they have disabilities or not, find accommodations make it easier to shop at the grocery store and attend community events. 

Thank you for taking ACTION to move this important legislation!             

 

September 8, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News

Congressional Brain Injury Task Force to Host Briefing on Women and Traumatic Brain Injury

The Congressional Brain Injury Task Force in association with the Brain Injury Association of America have scheduled a Congressional briefing: Women and Traumatic Brain Injury: A Frontier Yet to be Explored for Tuesday, June 14, 2016 from 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm at the Rayburn House Office Building.

June 11, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News

Neuro-Data Bill Needs Your Support--Critical Action Alert

We have been requested to circulate the following action alert by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA)

Brain injury advocates have helped get the Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act (S. 849) further than it has ever advanced in the U.S. Senate. This bill would establish a data collection system to track the incidence and prevalence of neurological diseases including brain injury. Having passed committee unanimously in February, the next few weeks are critical in determining whether the Senate will bring the bill-along with other medical innovations bills-to the floor for a vote.

Email or call your U.S. Senators today to urge them to continue working in a bipartisan fashion to bring the medical innovations bills-including S. 849-to a vote. To find your Senators contact information including email address click here. Or call your Senators. Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Sample Email/Script Language

As a person with a brain injury or brain injury advocate or brain injury professional and constituent, I am contacting you today to ask that you help bring the Senate's medical innovations package to the floor and vote YES on the package. The policy proposals found in this legislation are bipartisan and were passed by the Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Of particular importance to people affected by brain injury and other neurological conditions and diseases is inclusion and passage of the Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act (S. 849).

Emerging therapies offer promise of cures for life-threatening diseases such as brain injury, Alzheimer's, MS, cancer, Parkinson's, and others. We are on the cusp of personalized medicine that takes into account a patient's unique genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. We must ensure research and regulatory institutions can keep pace. This pending legislation would streamline and modernize the biomedical research pipeline, and help bring new, safe and effective treatments and cures to Americans.

I am particularly grateful that the medical innovation bill includes S. 849-which would establish a data collection system to track the incidence and prevalence of neurological diseases. This system will provide a foundation for evaluating and understanding aspects of neurological diseases on which we currently do not have a good grasp such as the geography of diagnoses, variances in gender and disease burden-also helping expedite our path to cures.

I respectfully request you advocate to your colleagues to bring the Senate's medical innovations package including S.849 to the Senate floor and vote YES for this important legislation.

Sincerely,

Your Name and Signature

May 19, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News

Youth Sports Concussion Act Moves Out of Committee

Legislative News from the Brain Injury Association of America:

The United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, chaired by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) passed the Youth Sports Concussion Act, S. 2508 out of the committee on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. The Youth Sports Concussion Act is sponsored by Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and in the House of Representatives, Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.), co-chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. BIAA thanks Chairman Thune, Ranking Member Nelson (D-Fla.), and Senator Udall for their leadership on moving this important piece of legislation forward.

The Youth Sports Concussion Act expressed the sense of Congress that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should review the National Academies' report on sports-related concussions and future research in such area for any matter that may impact products under the CPSC's jurisdiction or inform the FTC's efforts to protect consumers.

The bill makes it unlawful to sell or offer for sale in interstate commerce, or import into the United States for such purposes, athletic sporting equipment for which the seller or importer makes any deceptive claim with respect to the safety benefits of such an item. Violations shall be treated as unfair or deceptive acts or practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act. The bill sets forth the enforcement authority of the FTC. States may bring civil actions in federal court to obtain injunctive relief on behalf of state residents unless a civil or administrative action has already been instituted by the FTC. The FTC may intervene and appeal in state actions.

The Youth Sports Concussion Act is an important piece of legislation because it will protect our nation's youth who participate in sports related activities from concussions and other injuries by discouraging false advertising claims regarding protective equipment used in competitive sports.

BIAA and NASHIA recently spearheaded a letter of support to the Senate Commerce Committee to include the Youth Sports Concussion Act in the next executive session. Thirty six organizations signed on in support of moving this important legislation through the committee process.

April 29, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News

Brain Injury Association of America Legislative Update

The following legislative update has been prepared by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), the nation's oldest and largest brain injury advocacy group:

BIAA Submits Testimony to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees This week, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) submitted testimony to the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. The appropriations request includes:

TBI Model Systems

BIAA calls on Congress to Support the TBI Model System program by increasing funding by $13 million over the next six years:

  • Increase funding for the National Data and Statistical Center by $100,000 annually to allow all participants to be followed; when re-competed, increase from $625,000 to $1 million annually;
  • Increase funding for centers by $150,000 annually from the current average of $437,500;
  • Increase the number of competitively funded centers from 16 to 18; and
  • Increase the number of multicenter TBI Model Systems Collaborative Research projects from one to five, each with an annual budget of $1.5 million (current funding is $600,000 each).

BIAA also urges that the TBI Model Systems receive "line-item" status within the broader NIDILRR budget.

TBI State Grant and Protection and Advocacy Grant Programs

On Oct. 1, 2015, the HHS Secretary transferred the TBI State Grant program to the Administration for Community Living, Administration on Disabilities' Independent Living Administration and the Protection & Advocacy (P&A) Grant Program to the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Only 20 states receive TBI State grants, and all the P&A grants are severely under-funded.

  • Appropriate $9.76 million to fund the Federal TBI State and P&A Grant Programs plus an additional $1 million for the Federal TBI State Grant Program to increase the number of State grants (4 additional states) and $2 million total for the P&A Grant Program to increase the amount of grant awards.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The TBI Act of 1996, as amended, authorizes funding for data, prevention, public education and research.

  • Support CDC in its mandate to review the scientific evidence related to brain injury management in children and identify opportunities for research;
  • Support TBI national surveillance;
  • Appropriate $10 million to fund CDC's TBI programs; and
  • Support the President's Fiscal Year 2017 budget request for $5 million for the CDC to accurately determine the incidence of sports related concussions among youth ages 5-21.

BIAA Advocates to Advance the Youth Sports Concussion Act

BIAA and the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) spearheaded a stakeholder letter to urge the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee to include the Youth Sports Concussion Act (HR 4460/S. 2508) in the next executive session. The Youth Sports Concussion Act is sponsored by Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.), co-chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. Thirty six organizations signed on in support of moving this important legislation through the committee process.

The Youth Sports Concussion Act expressed the sense of Congress that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should review the National Academies' report on sports-related concussions and future research in such area for any matter that may impact products under the CPSC's jurisdiction or inform the FTC's efforts to protect consumers.

The bill makes it unlawful to sell or offer for sale in interstate commerce, or import into the United States for such purposes, athletic sporting equipment for which the seller or importer makes any deceptive claim with respect to the safety benefits of such an item. Violations shall be treated as unfair or deceptive acts or practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act. The bill sets forth the enforcement authority of the FTC. States may bring civil actions in federal court to obtain injunctive relief on behalf of state residents unless a civil or administrative action has already been instituted by the FTC. The FTC may intervene and appeal in state actions.

The Youth Sports Concussion Act is an important piece of legislation because it will protect our nation's youth who participate in sports related activities from concussions and other injuries by discouraging false advertising claims regarding protective equipment used in competitive sports.

April 18, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)