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.
Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Coma Recovery
Why restricting care to brain injury victims makes no sense
This week, Professor Joseph Fins wrote an article advocating for the rights of brain injury victims. The article entitled, Why advances in treating those with brain injuries require advances in respecting their rights is a worthwhile read.
Some important comments that need repeating:
[A]fter gratitude for a life that has been saved, the truly difficult part begins. Patients and families face a slow-paced and often fickle recovery. Tragically, this phase is often made more challenging by the burden of poorly designed insurance coverage.
Families struggle to get their loved ones needed rehabilitation. If they do get rehabilitation, it is often too short to make a difference. Indeed, if patients are too slow to demonstrate improvement, services can be cut off because of stringent “medical necessity” admission criteria, often from third-party insurers.
This cutoff makes no sense. if we don’t know how long it takes the injured brain to heal, how do we know the pace is too slow? In the end, the vast majority are placed in a nursing home or institution, which is euphemistically called “custodial care.”
It's time that insurance companies provide the care to brain injury victims that they deserve. Anything less is a violation of their rights.
Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Rehabilitation
12th World Congress on Brain Injury--Call for Abstracts
The 12th World Congress on Brain Injury will be held at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel March 29 - April 1, 2017. The congress has issues a call for abstracts. The deadline for submitting an abstract is November 7, 2016. More information can be obtained by clicking here.
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.
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.
Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Brain Injury Association of America--Affordable Care Act Consumer Survey
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is conducting a survey to better understand
whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is meeting the needs of individuals with
brain injuries. If you have health care coverage through private insurance
provided by your employer or by one of the health care marketplaces or
"exchange,." click here to fill out the survey. The survey is also under news and
announcements on BIAA's website
Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Broadcasts, Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Rehabilitation
The Future of Brain Injury Rehabilitation-Free Webinar Sponsored by Brain Injury Association of America
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has announced the scheduling of a free webinar to explore challenges in rehabilitation services following a brain injury under managed care medical systems. The webinar will be conducted by Bruce Gans, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer of the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, and chairman of the board of directors and CEO of the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association.
Details of the webinar are:
More Management/Less Care: What the Future Holds for Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
3:00 p.m. Eastern (12:00 p.m. pacific)
To register for this FREE webinar, click here.
My partner, brain injury attorney, Shana De Caro serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of America.
Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury Latest Medical News, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Brain Injury Veteran Issues
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy-not effective in treating post concussive brain injury according to new study
Over the years there has been much interest and controversy in the use of high pressure oxygen therapy (hyperbaric oxygen therapy) for the treatment of traumatic brain injury.
According to a new study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association –Internal Medicine (JAMA Internal Medicine) oxygen therapy administered in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber is not any more effective than compressed air for the treatment of those suffering from post-concussive traumatic brain injury.
The research involved 72 service members with chronic post-concussive symptoms. The researchers found that the service members who received high pressure oxygen therapy did not better than patients who were treated with only slightly pressured regular air leading the physicians to conclude that there was only a placebo effect for the use of oxygen therapy in both groups.
The research is the latest in a series of studies sponsored by the Defense Department to determine the effect of oxygen therapy following a traumatic brain injury.
Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Caregivers for persons with brain injury--Reseach study seeking survey participants
Researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology are conducting a research study investigating community life and wellness for caregivers of individuals with a Traumatic Brain Injury and the individuals they care for. To participate in our anonymous 30-45 minute survey, you must be 18 or older, and have either experienced a brain injury or be a family caregiver for an individual with a brain injury. Participants can enter a raffle drawing for the chance to win Amazon $20 gift cards. To participate, please click (or copy and paste into your browser) the appropriate links below:
If you are a caregiver of an individual with a brain injury click here
If you are an individual with a brain injury click here
For additional information about this study, please contact Samantha DeDios-Stern by email
Brain Injury Latest Medical News, Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Race and Ethnicity Affect Brain Injury Rehabilitation and Recovery
Does race and ethnicity affect brain injury rehabilitation? “Studies show that among minorities who receive rehabilitation after brain injury, health disparities persist and affect long-term outcomes.” Issues of cultural diversity in acquired brain injury (ABI) rehabilitation. Neurorehabilitation, August 2014 Abstract and first page of article can be found by clicking here