Brain Injury & Epilepsy, Brain Injury Latest Medical News

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

Brain Injury Latest Medical News

Depression in children following concussion and brain injury twice as likely as general population

A presentation at the American Academy of Pediatrics demonstrated that children who had suffered brain injury or concussion were twice as likely to develop symptoms of depression as their peers.

“Wylie MC, Gjelsvik A, Linakis JG, Vivier P. Depression in Children Diagnosed with Brain Injury or Concussion. American Academy of Pediatrics Presentation. 2013.

For more details, click here.

October 25, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury Latest Medical News

Genetic predisposition may predict recovery following traumatic brain injury

An individual's recovery months after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is difficult to predict, and some of the variability in outcomes may be due to genetic differences according to an article published in the Journal of Neurotrauma.

The genes that regulate a person's inflammatory response to injury can impact clinical outcomes in TBI, according to the study. The article is available free on the Journal of Neurotrauma website by ciicking here

October 19, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Latest Medical News

Hyperbaric chamber found not to be effective for brain

An article in USA Today, Hyperbaric chamber treatments did not help with mild TBI reports a study, published this week in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, which reports that using hyperbaric oxygen therapy
does not improve the outcome in soldiers suffering from traumatic brain injuries.  This study confirms an earlier study published in 2011 with similar results.

This is the latest study to test the hypothesis that using oxygen under high pressure to perfuse brain tissue promotes healing of damaged brain cells.  In studies sponsored by the Pentagon and the Veterans Administration, this therapy has been found to be ineffective for treatment of traumatic brain injury.

September 23, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Latest Medical News, Brain Injury Veteran Issues

Department of Defense to establish brain bank to study long term effects of brain trauma in service members

In an effort to study the long term effects of head trauma and traumatic brain damage, the Department of Defense (DOD) has established a brain tissue repository.

DOD is attempting to collect the brains of deceased service members which will be studied at The Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine Brain Tissue Repository for Traumatic Brain Injury which has been established in Bethesda, Md.  

The study is being funded with a federal grant to advance the understanding and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in service members with a goal of understanding the long term effects of head trauma and particularly how head injury leads to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

CTE is a neurodegenerative disorder that involves the progressive accumulation of a protein in nerve cells within certain regions of the brain. As the protein accumulates, it disturbs function and appears to lead to symptoms seen in affected patients such as boxers and football players with multiple head trauma.

The study and the brain tissue repository will be headed by Dr. Daniel Perl, a neuropathologist.

For information on donation to the brain tissue repository email  or call 855-366-8824.

 

July 7, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Latest Medical News

BigBrain map to provide 50 times more detail in examing brain anatomy

BigBrain, a new technology to map the anatomy of the human brain has been developed by scientists in Germany and Canada.  The map which is 50 times more detailed than previous map is reported in the current issue of Science. 

The brain map shows the human brain in a three dimensional model and will provide 7,400 sections in microscopic detail and photographs which will be a great reference tool for researchers studying the human brain. 

According to a news item in the New York Times, “This kind of anatomical map is not what neuroscientists are pursuing in the new brain initiative from the Obama administration, nor does it show the expression of genes or connectivity that other projects are pursuing. But David Van Essen, a neuroscientist at Washington University in St. Louis and a principal investigator in the Human Connectome Project, which uses M.R.I. images of active human brains, described the work as a “technological tour de force,” adding that the three-dimensional reconstruction could help distinguish the many small areas of the brain with greater accuracy.”

July 5, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury Latest Medical News

Screening for proteins in the blood may accurately diagnosis closed head brain injury

The diagnosis of “mild” brain injury remains elusive, but medical professionals believe that an accurate diagnosis of brain trauma may be made by screening suspected individuals for proteins that are released in the blood stream following a head injury. 

According to reports from the University of Rochester Medical Center, Jeffrey J. Bazarian, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor of Emergency Medicine at URMC, believes he’s the first to show that measuring a combination of two proteins released into the bloodstream after a head injury might be the best way to diagnose a mild traumatic brain injury. The protein S100B is already routinely used as screening tool in several countries in Europe and Asia. The study is reported in the Journal of Neurotrauma.

 

July 3, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Latest Medical News

Active ingredient in marijuana found to offer protection to brain cells following a traumatic brain injury

New research reports that the active ingredient in marijuana , THC, offers neuro-protection and may protect the brain from long term damage following a brain injury.

Professor Yosef Sarne of Tel Aviv University’s Adelson Center for the Biology of Addictive Diseases at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine reports that THC protects the brain from long-term cognitive damage in the wake of injury from hypoxia (lack of oxygen), seizures, or toxic drugs. Brain damage can have consequences ranging from mild cognitive deficits to severe neurological damage.

According to Professor Sarne, in an article published in the journals Behavioural Brain Research and Experimental Brain Research,, his research demonstrates that even extremely low doses of THC — around 1,000 to 10,000 times less than that in a conventional marijuana cigarette — administered over a wide window of 1 to 7 days before or 1 to 3 days after injury can jumpstart biochemical processes which protect brain cells and preserve cognitive function over time.

The study suggests that the active ingredient in marijuana prevents the death of brain cells following a traumatic brain injury and the use of THC can prevent long-term cognitive damage that results from brain injury, the researchers conclude. The study offers promise for the treatment of persons following a traumatic brain injury as well as a preventive measure for individuals undergoing surgical procedures such as open heart surgery where cognitive declines often take place as a result of low oxygen levels in the blood.

May 31, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Latest Medical News, Brain Injury Legislative News

Mapping the Human Brain

The New York Times reports this morning that the Obama admiration will announce a plan latter today for the investment of $100 million starting in 2014 focused on research to understand how the human brain functions. “Obama to Unveil Initiative to Map the Human Brain”

The plan is to develop new technology that will enable scientists to map and understand the complex circuits that comprise the human brain.  According to the Times story, “The effort will require the development of new tools not yet available to neuroscientists and, eventually, perhaps lead to progress in treating diseases
like Alzheimer’s and epilepsy and traumatic brain injury. It will involve both government agencies and private institutions”.

The plan has been named the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, or Brain for short. Government agencies to be involved in the project are: the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation.

April 2, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury Latest Medical News

More proof that “mild” traumatic brain injury is anything but mild

Scientific evidence is being to accumulate to establish the permanent consequences of mild traumatic brain damage, long referred to as the “invisible injury”.

In research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health at the Human Brain Lab located at the Medical College of Gerogia, scientists have been able to capture in real time, the damage to brain cells that takes place following a concussion. 

The research, published in the journal Brain reports proof of the swelling of blood vessels resulting in reduced flow of blood and resulting nourishment to nerve cells following mild brain trauma.  The secondary damage to the nerve cell takes place in the hours following initial injury.

The neuroscientists say they watched as the astrocytes, the small cells that supply neurons with nutrients and help maintain normal electrical activity and blood flow, swell and smoother the neurons.  Sergei Kirov, lab director is quoted as saying, “we saw every branch, every small wire and how it gets cut. We saw how it destroys networks.  It really goes downhill. It’s the first time we know of that someone has watched this type of minor injury play out over the course of 24 hours.”   

Hopefully this work will lead to better treatment in the immediate hours following the initial brain trauma and ways to protect nerve cells and brain function.

March 10, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack