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, 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)

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

November 6, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

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.

October 31, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

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.

November 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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

September 26, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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

September 8, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury Latest Medical News, Brain Injury Publications, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Brain Injury Veteran Issues

VA develops concussion app to assist in concussion management

The Veterans Administration has developed a new mobile app that provides information on concussion symptoms and the self-management of the common symptoms following a concussion.

The concussion app’s main goals are:

  • To provide education about a concussion
  • To provide a 22 question inventory about symptoms that may develop following a concussion including dizziness, balance problems, headaches, memory and concentration impairments,
  • To provide tools to assist individuals properly manage the symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury when they develop
  • To provide resources and support for professional care and web sites with information about traumatic brain injury.
  • The app can be used by anyone and is not restricted to veterans. 

More information is available by clicking here



July 31, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury Latest Medical News, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Brain Injury Veteran Issues

Post Concussion Sleep Issues-Department of Defense Issues New Recommendations

New recommendations from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) advise that all patients with concussion symptoms should be screened for the presence of a sleep disorder and patients.  Additionally, patients should be asked if they are experiencing frequent difficulty in falling or saying asleep, excessive daytime sleepiness or usual events during sleep.

These new recommendations were released this month by DOD along with support tools to assist in the identification and treatment of sleep disturbance in persons following mild traumatic brain injury, also known as a concussion.

Sleep disorders are a frequent symptom following a concussion and must be identified and treated as soon as possible.  According to many medical experts, a good sleep cycle is critical to the brain’s ability to heal and recover following a concussion. 

The new Management of Sleep Disturbances following Acute Concussion/Mild TBI Recommendations suite is composed of clinical recommendations, a clinical support tool, a provider education slide deck and a patient education fact sheet.  More information can be obtained by clicking here.

July 24, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Prevention, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Brain Injury Veteran Issues, Current Affairs

Tomorrow is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill-2014

Tomorrow is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capital Hill.  I intend to partipate in the day's events to advocate on behalf of individuals with brain injury and their families and look forward to you joining me.

Here is an updated schedule of the day's events:

Brain Injury Awareness Day 2014

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM              

Brain Injury Awareness Fair
First Floor Foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building

2014 Exhibitors
Brain Injury Assoc. of America
American Association of Hyperbaric Awareness
BAE Systems
Brain Trauma Foundation
Centers for Disease Control
Kessler Foundation/Kessler Institute
VA Office of Research and Development
VISTA Life Sciences
American Academy of Neurology
American College of Radiology
American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association
American Music Therapy Association
American Physical Therapy Association
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Arms Forces
"@" Attention Fund
Assoc. of Rehab Nurses
Blinded Veterans
Bob Woodruff Foundation
Brain Injury Alliance of Washington
Brain Injury Services, Inc.
Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine
Cheer USA
Disability Rights New Jersey
Disability Services Center, JBS International
Elder Hart
Gallant Few
Higher Ground
International Brain Research Foundation
JFK Rehabilitation Center
MedStar National Rehab Hospital
Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center
Mount Sinai Brain Injury Research Center
National Disability Rights Network
Neuro Kinetics, Inc.
NeuroVive Pharmaceuticals
New Jersey Brain Injury Association
Rehabilitation Specialists
Rusk Rehab at NYU Lagone Medical Center
Team River Runner

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM                

Briefing: "Returning to Work: Making Headway After Brain Injury" 
John O'Neill, Ph.D., CRC
Director, Employment and Disability Research
Kessler Foundation 

Dr. Grant Baldwin
Director of the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention
Centers for Disease Control 

Dr. Jim Kelly
National Intrepid Center for Excellence
Walter Reed

Sgt. John Irwin
Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan
United States Army

Brian Nichols
Warrior to Work
Wounded Warrior Project

Daniel Chamberlain, JD 
Brain Injury Association of America                                  

U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Meeting Room South

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM    
Reception Celebrating Brain Injury Awareness Month
The Gold Room 2168, Rayburn House Office Building



March 11, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack