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 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 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 & 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 Association Information, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Veteran Issues

Save VA Benefits for Brain Injured Veterans

The Brain Injury Association of America has just issued the following Action Alert:


Protect Access to Care for Veterans

Call Congress Today!


As a member of the large and growing community that understands the importance of thoughtful, comprehensive care for individuals living with brain injury, we wanted to inform you of an important program for America's veterans that is in danger of shutting down if Congress does not act soon. 


Established by Congress in 2008, the Assisted Living TBI Pilot Program has made it possible for hundreds of wounded warriors to receive specialized, post-acute brain injury rehabilitation in the community.The program provides critical, real-life skills to help veterans return to their homes and communities. It has been a lifeline for dozens and dozens of veterans.


Unfortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that it will end the pilot program on September 30, 2014 unless Congress takes action to extend it. This means that the VA will soon begin to discharge veterans from the program.The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted the importance of the program and the challenges faced by many if Congress doesn't act soon.


We need your help to make sure the Assisted Living Pilot Program for Veterans with TBI continues to make a meaningful difference for America's heroes.


Please call your Member of Congress and make sure they know how important the program is to veterans and urge them to support extending the pilot program. You can reach your Representatives and Senators by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 where you will be transferred directly to their offices. Thank you for your crucial contribution to this effort.

July 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Latest Medical News, Brain Injury Veteran Issues

Traumatic brain injury and risk of dementia in older veterans

Traumatic brain injury and risk of dementia in older veterans

An important study was published today, Traumatic brain injury and risk of dementia in older veterans in the Journal Neurology. The study has important implications for all those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, but most importantly for individuals including athletes who have sustained repetitive head trauma. 

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is common in military personnel, and there is growing concern about the long-term effects of TBI on the brain; however, few studies have examined the association between TBI and risk of dementia in veterans.

The study concludes: “TBI in older veterans was associated with a 60% increase in the risk of developing dementia over 9 years after accounting for competing risks and potential confounders. Our results suggest that TBI in older veterans may predispose toward development of symptomatic dementia and raise concern about the potential long-term consequences of TBI in younger veterans and civilians.”

You can read more by clicking here.


July 1, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Veteran Issues

House of Representatives Passes Amendment Directing Research on the Mechanism of Blast Injuries and Brain Damage in the Military

Congratulations to U.S Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr (D-NJ) for sponsoring legislaition that passed the United States House of Representatives today directs the U.S. Department of Defense to conduct a study on blast injury mechanics impacting soldiers on the battlefield. Rep. Pascrell's amendment was included in National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (H.R. 4435), which passed with a vote of 325-98.

"It's imperative we provide our brave men and women in uniform the care they were promised upon returning from the battlefield," said Rep. Pascrell, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. "Although the Department of Defense has taken important steps toward identifying and treating our soldiers who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, we must ensure every resource possible is available to those serving our nation.  Key investments in this type of traumatic brain injury research will help prevent soldiers from sustaining this devastating injury by ensuring that the necessary data exists to design soldiers’ protective gear in a way that limits the impact of primary blast."

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is commonly known as the signature wound of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  More research is necessary to establish the connection and mechanism associated with blasts and brain damage.

It is commonly believed that primary blast injury occurs when an explosion generates a blast wave traveling faster than sound and creating a surge of high pressure immediately followed by a vacuum. Studies have shown that the blast wave shoots through armor and soldiers' skulls and brains, even if it doesn't draw blood. Researchers still do not know the exact mechanisms by which primary blast injuries damages the brain's cells and circuits.

However, the blast wave's pressure has been shown to compress the torso, impacting blood vessels, which then send damaging energy pulses into the brain. The pressure can also be transferred partially through the skull, interacting with the brain. Understanding how a primary blast injury affects the brain is imperative to developing appropriate prevention measures, including ensuring proper equipment.

Rep. Pascrell's amendment would direct the Department of Defense through the Peer-Reviewed Psychological Health and TBI Research Program to conduct a study on blast injury mechanics covering a wide range of primary blast injury conditions, including TBI, in order to accelerate solution development in this critical area.



May 22, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Broadcasts, Brain Injury Veteran Issues

Webinar: Unique Needs of Veterans and Returning Service Members with Traumatic Brain Injuries

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is sponsoring a webinar: The Unique Needs of Veterans and Returning Service Members with TBI to be broadcast on April 7, 2014 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. ET

Military personnel are at an increased risk for sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to the nature of military service, but many with a TBI may not come forward because they are unaware of their injury, unsure if help is available, or fear stigma of asking for help.

Being part of military culture presents unique challenges that are not always understood by professionals delivering their care in a civilian community. For example, some veterans and returning service members have co-occurring conditions such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, along with TBI, that make it difficult to diagnose and treat appropriately.

How are states identifying military service members who have a TBI to make sure they get referred for appropriate screening and treatment?  How are states building cultural competence among health professionals and others who interact with this population? What supports and services offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to individuals with a TBI and their families could complement state efforts?

These issues will be explored on the webinar n April 7 at 3:00 p.m. ET when HRSA grantees and a representative from the Department of Veterans Affairs will discuss:

•         How to reach veterans and returning service members when they have not come forward or do not know they have a TBI

•         Examples of successful outreach to veterans, returning service members, and their families

•         Unique issues facing veterans and returning service members, including women and people of color

•         Training and outreach to health care providers, college/university staff, and other professionals to help them better understand the military culture

•         Collaborations between the VA and the civilian medical system to help ensure access to appropriate care and services

•         Ways that the VA supports veterans and returning service members with TBI nationally and how these programs can complement efforts at the state-level                                

RSVP by clicking here   

April 1, 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