Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury Latest Medical News

Be careful driving following a concussion

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?

February 14, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Current Affairs

NFL Players Must Register to be Eligible for NFL Settlement Benefits

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

February 13, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Brain Injury Veteran Issues

Long term mild traumatic brain injury study sponsored by Dept of Defense and VA

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.

February 13, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

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 & Concussions, Brain Injury Latest Medical News, Brain Injury Prevention, Current Affairs

Domestic Violence and Traumatic Brain Injury

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.

August 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Brain Injury Veteran Issues

TBI College Support Services for Veterans

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.

August 22, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports

Strucutural damnage to brain following a concussion confirmed by new studies

A new  study establishes lasting structural damage to brain long after concussion symptoms improve. You can read further information here:   Brain changes persist in student athletes six months after a concussion, study suggests

July 8, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law

NFL Finally Admits What Everyone Else Has Known For Years.

The NFL has known about the link between CTE and repetitive head trauma for years. Just shocking how long it has taken them to admit it. Read my comments in today’s NY Daily News. NFL Accepting CTE Link

March 16, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports

Reported concussions up by 58% in NFL during 2015

Reported concussions increased by 58% in statistics reported by the NFL yesterday.  But's that's just part of the problem.  What about sub-concussive blows and repeated head trauma and the long term brain damage that these injuries cause?  Not surprisingly, the NfL doesn't want to discuss this.  See my comments in today's NY Daily News.

January 30, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Broadcasts, Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Publications, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Current Affairs

Concussion a Good Opening Gambit

Shana and I attended an advance screening of the movie Concussion, with a group of sports writers and newscasters.  Will Smith gave a compelling performance as Bennet Omalu, and his quest to determine and understand the cause of a specific type of brain damage, later named CTE, first discovered in the brain of former Pittsburgh Steeler, Mike Webster.  This was Omalu’s movie and his story, based on the 2009 GQ exposé, Game Brain by Jeanne Marie Laskas. This was not a documentary.

The title for the film, “Concussion” is misleading.  The film is not about concussions and the failure on the part of the league to inform players about the signs and symptoms of concussions, the need to refrain from returning to play before a player is healed, or the potential life-long consequences of a concussion.  It is a film about the work of Bennet Omalu and his efforts to understand Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Importantly the film is based upon a true story, but is not a complete story.  It is an excellent presentation of the path Omalu took and the painstaking investigation into the cause Mike Webster’s death.  Omalu’s dogged pursuit of answers led to the discovery of the connection between football and brain damage and opened the door to further research.  The movie indicated his conflict with the NFL in accepting this information, which the NFL still disputes.

This movie opens the door to a more important conversation, about trauma and brain damage that must continue.  The cinematic decisions about the portrayals of different characters and the complete omission of any reference to the Concussion Legacy Foundation in Boston, the past and current role of Commissioner Goodell and the NFL marketing department in deflecting criticism were interesting choices made by the film’s writer and director.

It was a compelling introduction for the public to the health issues generated by trauma in football.  This theme must be expanded. If this movie provokes a national conversation about the larger issues associated with all types of brain damage, from football, other sports and everyday accidents, then it has been a great public service.  It would be misleading, if however, it leaves the impression that the problems have been remedied or that the only public health concern is CTE.  This is the tip of the iceberg of the full-range of chronic life-altering effects of concussions. 

Brain injury is a chronic condition with life-long consequences.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each year there are over 200,000 visits to emergency departments by children under the age of 19 suffering concussion related problems from organized sports.  Omitted from these statistics are visits to urgent care facilities, physicians’ offices, and cases where concussion is not the principal diagnosis. The CDC estimates that the accurate number is between 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports related concussions documented each year!  This is a true public health crisis.  Labeling a condition does not address treatment issues and how we, as a society, address the impact of a chronic condition that has consequences for families and society.

We applaud the efforts of all those involved in making this important film, and hope it engenders continued investigation and research into not only prevention, but improved identification and treatment options that will assist this vulnerable population.

SHANA DE CARO, ESQ. is a member of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of America and immediate past chair of the American Association for Justice  Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group.

MICHAEL V. KAPLEN, ESQ. is a Professorial Lecturer in Law teaching the only course in traumatic brain injury law at The George Washington University Law School, a member and immediate past chair of the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Coordinating Council, three term president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State and a past chair of the American Association for Justice Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group.

DE CARO & KAPLEN, LLP is a New York based law firm with a focus on representing victims of traumatic brain injury throughout the nation.  Shana and Michael are frequently invited to lecture attorneys and public advocacy groups nationwide on the legal issues pertaining to brain injury, public health concerns and the impact of brain injury on the lives of its victims.

Shana and Michael authored the New York Law Journal expert column on brain injury law and the chapter on brain injury law in the special issue of Psychiatric Clinics of North America.    

December 17, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)