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Exercise aids recovery from brain injury

Medical Xpress | Nov 20, 2017

A review from University of Queensland's School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences uncovered the benefit of exercise on a particular protein involved in brain re-organization and re-learning following a neurological disorder, such as after a stroke.

Ex-NFL player confirmed as 1st case of CTE in living patient

CNN | Nov 16, 2017

Researchers published, what they say is the first case of a living person identified with the degenerative brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. While unnamed in the study, lead author Dr. Bennet Omalu confirmed to CNN that the subject of the case was former NFL player, Fred McNeill -- who died in 2015. Omalu is credited with first discovering CTE in professional football players. The only way to definitively diagnose the disease is with a brain exam after death. The discovery was first made in 2012 using an experimental brain scan that can trace a signature protein of CTE called tau. The case study was published in the journal Neurosurgery this week.

Still more to learn about link between head injuries, veteran suicides

Arizona Daily Star | Nov 16, 2017

During the last decade, the link between traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and suicide has finally begun to receive growing attention in medical, military and academic circles. Unfortunately, the growing body of research has revealed only indications of what may, or may not, be links and causes between these respective conditions. Complicating the issue is that it's not simply a matter of studying veterans with head injury and compiling statistics on suicide. That’s because suicide is also linked to PTSD, and TBI and PTSD often occur together, sometimes the event leading to head injury being the catalyst event for the PTSD.

After a bad week, the NFL's concussion protocol comes under scrutiny once again

Chicago Tribune | Nov 16, 2017

The NFL's concussion protocol received a fresh round of criticism after multiple quarterbacks returned to the field in Week 10 after showing clear signs of a potential concussion or experiencing symptoms afterward. The NFL is doing more than ever. Is it doing enough?

Service members with brain injury find benefits in music therapy program

U.S. Department of Defense | Nov 16, 2017

Past and present service members and family members suffering from traumatic brain injury can now take part in a Creative Forces music therapy program. For people with TBI, music therapy can be instrumental to rehabilitation. Music therapists use evidence-based techniques to stimulate speech, movement and cognitive emotions in patients.

Preventing concussions: Helmets, mouthguards and military spending

Inside Science | Nov 15, 2017

Enormous public attention has fallen upon concussion in sports, particularly football in recent years. But traumatic brain injury has also emerged as a signature injury of overseas military conflicts. "The combination of those two facts has led to the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, and other funding agencies substantially increasing the resources that are devoted to research in the field of traumatic brain injury and concussion," said Okonkwo. Inside Science reports how new and improved sports protection equipment could help in concussion prevention.

CTE, concussion dangers mostly dismissed by elite high school football players

USA Today | Nov 15, 2017

USA TODAY Sports asked more than 40 Under Armour and U.S. Army All-Americans their thoughts on continuing to play a sport in high school, through college and perhaps professionally that is proven to cause brain trauma. While most players deem concussions as much a part of the game as ball spikes and cutbacks, some have taken steps to protect themselves.

How do doctors define concussion?

Inside Science | Nov 15, 2017

Many people link concussions to a loss of consciousness, but that's actually the minority of concussions. Today doctors consider concussions to be functional injuries. They are not defined by what a doctor sees in a brain scan but rather by how someone is doing after suffering an injury to the brain.

Concussion laws work at lowering head injury risk for young athletes, CU study finds

Denver Post | Nov 14, 2017

New laws that require better reporting and monitoring of concussions for high school athletes appear to be working to reduce the number of traumatic brain injuries that young players suffer, according to a study co-authored by a University of Colorado researcher.

Soccer ball 'heading' may affect women's brain more negatively than men, study says

U.S. News & World Report | Nov 14, 2017

Todd Rubin, a doctoral student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine presented research on Tuesday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting showing that heading the ball, a very common occurrence in soccer, disrupts axons in the brain. Furthermore, Rubin reports that women are affected more strongly than men, which could account for differences in recovery time that scientists have observed.

Research finds head impacts affect memory, even without concussions

McMaster University Daily News | Nov 14, 2017

Melissa McCradden, a neuroscience postdoctoral fellow at McMaster University, presented research that outlines how sustaining a concussion or even just playing a single season of a contact sport can hurt an athlete’s performance on memory tests. She and her colleagues suspect that repeated impacts, even without traumatic brain injury per se, can inhibit the generation of new neurons in the hippocampus, a brain region associated with memory.

Filmmaker tells what it's like when your football star dad suffers from CTE

Chicago Sun-Times | Nov 13, 2017

There is a moment in the new documentary "Requiem for a Running Back" when director/narrator Rebecca Carpenter breaks down so hard over her late father's tragic tale, weeping so uncontrollably with a proud daughter's impotence, that little more needs to be said about the terrible, crippling toll of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. As neurologist Julian Bailes says in the film, CTE doesn't just affect the victim of the traumatic brain disease; it affects the victim's entire family

Research examines effects and potential paths toward treatment of military-related brain disorders

Medical News | Nov 13, 2017

Military service exposes soldiers to a unique set of physical challenges, including toxic chemicals and traumatic brain injury, which can have profound effects on their health and well-being. New research examines the effects of military-related brain disorders and possible paths toward treatment, as well as a potential way to harness our brain's learning capabilities to better train pilots. The studies were presented today at Neuroscience 2017, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

Working to reduce brain injury in newborns

EurekAlert | Nov 13, 2017

Research-clinicians at Children's National Health System led the first study to identify a promising treatment to reduce or prevent brain injury in newborns who have suffered hypoxia-ischemia, a serious complication in which restricted blood flow deprives the brain of oxygen. Published in Neonatology on Oct. 13, 2017, the study evaluated the standard cooling therapy (therapeutic hypothermia) alone and in combination with a selective Src kinase inhibitor, PP2, that blocks a regulatory enzyme of apoptosis (cell death), which intensifies as a result of hypoxia-ischemia.

Aaron Hernandez suffered from most severe CTE ever found in a person his age

The Washington Post | Nov 10, 2017

Aaron Hernandez suffered the most severe case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy ever discovered in a person his age, damage that would have significantly affected his decision-making, judgment and cognition, researchers at Boston University revealed at a medical conference Thursday.

The NFL studied every concussion over two seasons. What happens next may be up to manufacturers.

The Washington Post | Nov 10, 2017

The NFL revealed exhaustive results of a concussion study spanning two seasons during a presentation Thursday, compiled with an eye toward converting the biomechanical information into innovative products to protect players from the kinds of devastating head injuries that threaten the future of football. Now, the question becomes how to convert the data into results.

Scientist linking brain injury to CTE trying to evade the NFL

Inverse Science | Nov 8, 2017

There’s some promising research happening on the topic of traumatic brain injury and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, but you may not have heard about it. October 17, a study published in Nature Communications, led by Harvard Medical School’s Kun Ping Lu, M.D., Ph.D. and Xiao Zhen Zhou, M.D., described a clear molecular relationship between TBI and CTE. The strange thing is that nobody really knew about it. The study was not publicized, even though it was published in a high-profile journal, and few, if any, media outlets covered its release.

How science is moving toward diagnosing and treating the NFL's biggest problem: Brain injuries

CNBC | Nov 6, 2017

New methods of therapy and psychotropic drugs are helping former NFL players cope with brain injuries, but they often don't get enough aid.

Woman hit by off duty officer asks for him to serve brain injury community, not sentence

WGN-9 | Nov 6, 2017

There was a rare request today from the mother of a drunk driving victim who was left with serious brain injuries. She doesn't want the Chicago officer accused in the case to go to jail. Instead, she wants him to find redemption by helping people who have sustained a brain injury

He went to the ICU with a football concussion. Two months later, he's still out of school.

The Washington Post | Nov 6, 2017

16-year-old Nick still struggles with delayed speech and sensitivity to light and sound. Doctors have told Lauren Daugherty, Nick's mom, they're treating her son as if he'd suffered a stroke, not a sports injury. This looks like second-impact syndrome, they tell her, the sometimes fatal condition when a brain sustains a second concussion while still recovering from a first.

Athletic trainers on front line for concussion treatment

Argus Leader (SD) | Nov 6, 2017

Athletic trainers are on the frontline in the battle against concussions. Their struggle to diagnose the injury is further complicated by youth athletes.

NFL-funded study identifies football positions most at risk of brain injury

Inverse Science | Nov 1, 2017

A study released on Tuesday — paid for by the NFL Players Union and the NFL Foundation — links specific types of positions to increased brain injury. The findings were published in the journal Radiology.

Can science solve football's concussion crisis?

NBC News | Oct 30, 2017

A growing body of research shows that on-the-field collisions put players at risk for brain injury and a devastating neurological disorder known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Findings like these have led some pro players to retire early and some parents to keep their youngsters on the sidelines. But there's also good news for players and fans. From more protective helmets to compounds that preliminary research suggests may help protect the brain, researchers are looking for ways to make football safer.

New ID card can stop discrimination against brain injury survivors

The Falkirk Herald (UK) | Oct 27, 2017

A new initiative was launched today to help brain injury survivors combat wrong assumptions made about them on a daily basis. Part of brain injury charity Headway’s Justice Project, the card will help police identify brain injury survivors and ensure they are given appropriate support when they come into contact with the criminal justice system, either as an accused suspect, victim or witness.

Concussions make lasting changes to the brain, even after you feel fine

Popular Science | Oct 26, 2017

A new study shows that even when young hockey players who suffer concussions appear fully recovered, and doctors and trainers return them to the ice, scans still show abnormalities in the brain. The findings were published today in the journal Neurology, and add to a growing number of studies showing that neurological changes linger even after clinical symptoms of a concussion clear up. Athletes may appear back to normal on a battery of cognitive and physical tests, but not on an MRI scan.

VA examines link between blast exposure and lung injuries

NPR | Oct 26, 2017

A new study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs suggests that even mild exposure to blasts in Iraq and Afghanistan may cause long-term breathing problems.

Portland State study calls for new approach to studying concussion

Science Newsline | Oct 25, 2017

Understanding the puzzling and complex nature of concussion and how to treat it will take a whole new way of approaching the problem, according to new research led by Portland State University. The researchers advocate the use of systems science - a discipline that analyzes complex problems as whole systems and integrates research findings from different disciplines.

‘I’m a miracle’: How ex-Husky Darin Harris has learned to live with his traumatic brain injury

The Seattle Times | Oct 25, 2017

"As a player you think, ‘Oh, that won’t happen to me. That won’t happen to me. I’ll never get hurt.’ Then it happened to me." says, Darin Harris. Harris suffered a brain injury as a UW senior against Brigham Young in 2008. He has become an important voice in the education of the effects of brain injuries and is a past president of the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington.

DOD awards Neural Analytics $10M to develop brain injury device

FierceBiotech | Oct 25, 2017

Neural Analytics has bagged a $10 million contract to develop a point-of-injury device for assessing combat-related traumatic brain injuries. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is putting up the money to give the army a better way of measuring moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries in combat situations.

Concussions in teenagers tied to multiple sclerosis risk

The New York Times | Oct 18, 2017

A large-scale new study found that concussions in adolescents can increase the risk of later developing multiple sclerosis.

Conference topic focuses nn traumatic brain injury, incarceration

WBOI | Oct 18, 2017

An estimated 60 percent of people in the prison system have suffered some type of traumatic brain injury or TBI. Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana executive director Dr. Lance Trexler says failure to address this issue has far reaching societal impacts.

‘State of Play: Managing Brain Injury Risk in College Sports‘ released by Gallagher

PR Newswire | Oct 18, 2017

The link between sports-related concussions (SRCs), chronic encephalopathy (CTE) and mental injury is still unsettled. However, the concern about injury to participants arising from a SRC while participating in a sponsored athletic program is very real to colleges and universities. In response, Gallagher hosted a think tank with risk management professionals from colleges and universities to explore the risk of SRCs for both athletes and their institutions. Gallagher's white paper on this important issue, "State of Play: Managing Brain Injury Risk in College Sports," explores evolving medical science related to SRCs and CTE, the current litigation landscape, insurance coverage concerns, and risk management strategies to respond to this emerging exposure.

Football’s Last Taboos: Part 5 - We need a discussion about concussion

Roker Report | Oct 18, 2017

The subject of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is now one of the hottest topics in global sporting competition, and one of sport’s biggest taboos. Taboo because the ramifications of tackling this issue could potentially have a defining, transformative impact on sporting disciplines we all know and love. Quite literally human lives and billions upon billions of pounds are potentially at stake over this issue.

Brain damage and high school football, Part 1: The Culture

Richmond Times-Dispatch | Oct 12, 2017

In a five-part series, the Richmond Times-Dispatch is examining the potential short- and long-term effects of brain injury for high school football players, and how those effects are discussed and handled in Richmond-area high schools. Part 1 is focusing on "The Culture" — High school football players think about and respond to brain trauma in a variety of ways — some are walking away from the game, while others continue to play through brain injuries.

Head injury, concussion awareness increases in world soccer

Sports Illustrated | Oct 12, 2017

Head injury awareness is becoming a more prevalent topic in world soccer–especially when it comes to young academy players. The Football Association and Professional Footballers' Association in England are stepping up the research being undertaken, and the way Alzheimer's or memory loss has afflicted several members of England's 1966 World Cup winning squad has sharpened the need to investigate.

Wounded Warrior Project and Cohen Veterans Bioscience partnership aims to improve PTSD, TBI diagnosis

Healio | Oct 11, 2017

The Wounded Warrior Project and Cohen Veterans Bioscience recently announced the Research Alliance for PTSD/TBI Innovation and Discovery Diagnostics, a shared initiative to improve diagnosis and treatment of PTSD and traumatic brain injury.

The man diagnosed with pathological laughter

BBC News | Oct 11, 2017

Paul Pugh was in the most critical meeting of his life. He was being told what his future would be like after receiving a brain injury in a brutal assault. He laughed the whole way through the discussion but, to him, it felt like he was sobbing. He would later be diagnosed with pathological laughter.

Key molecule sheds light on common brain injuries, possible new treatment strategy

Medical Xpress | Oct 11, 2017

"Getting at the precise mechanisms of what happens after axon damage has been really challenging," says Anne Marion Taylor, PhD, an assistant professor in the UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. "But we think we've finally figured out a key part of what happens and why." In a Nature Communications paper, Taylor and colleagues have revealed new molecular details of axotomy - when neurons are damaged or completely severed.

Bull rider Ty Pozzobon's' donated brain reveals CTE

Kelowna Capital News | Oct 11, 2017

Professional bull rider Ty Pozzobon’s donated brain has revealed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), according to researchers from the University of Washington. It is the first confirmed case of a professional bull rider with CTE,It is the first confirmed case of a professional bull rider with CTE.

Concussion leads to post-career mental issues: FIFPro study

Reuters | Oct 10, 2017

Athletes who suffer concussions during their careers are more prone to anxiety, depression and sleep disturbance after retirement, according to new research by soccer’s world players’ union FIFPro. A survey of 576 male former first division soccer, ice hockey and rugby players from France, Finland, Ireland, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland found that multiple concussions resulted in higher rates of common mental illness.

Naperville students propose statewide concussion protocols

Chicago Tribune | Oct 10, 2017

Two high schoolers are pushing to make a big difference for students with concussions. Rekha Iyer and Jash Desai, two juniors from Naperville, Illinois have proposed a law change that standardizes the protocols for students to return to the classroom after sustaining a concussion. They’ve written the legislation in response to Iyer’s struggles returning to school after she sustained a concussion her sophomore year. "In an ideal world, each student would have an individualized plan. The practicality of that is that it all takes a very long time,” said Iyer.

Service-connection for PTSD important for spouse, children

The Fort Campbell Courier | Oct 10, 2017

Today’s veterans, family members and health care providers are keenly aware of post-traumatic stress and the importance in veterans seeking help. Unfortunately, many veterans suffer in silence, which not only hurts them, but their families as well, and in ways they may not realize. One of the touchiest subjects to discuss with veterans and their families is the risk of suicide and its potential financial impact outside of the emotional toll such an act takes on family members.

Football’s decline has some high schools disbanding teams

AP News | Oct 6, 2017

Maryland is one of 14 states where participation in football was down 10 percent or more over the past five years, according to NFHS data. In all, 41 states saw a decline between the 2011-12 and 2016-17 school years, and just nine states and the District of Columbia saw increases. “There’s no question about it. The amount of publicity, beginning with the NFL and what you see on national news, has caused concern among parents,” said Bob Gardner, the National Federation of State High School Associations executive director. “Probably some who would have been more inclined to let their young men play, maybe are making different decisions now.”

Concussion recovery can take twice as long for young female athletes

PsychCentral | Oct 4, 2017

Young female athletes tend to experience concussion symptoms twice as long as their male counterparts, according to a new study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. The researchers believe that the longer recovery period may be due to underlying conditions typically more prevalent in girls, such as migraines, depression, anxiety and stress.

Scientists awarded $1.3 million to study relationship between TBI and dementia

Medical News | Oct 4, 2017

The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a team of scientists and physicians from leading health care institutions across Phoenix a $1.3 million grant over three years to study traumatic brain injury and its relationship to dementia. The collaboration is between the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix, the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Barrow Neurological Institute and Arizona State University.

Managing head trauma in children

The New York Times | Oct 2, 2017

Unlike broken limbs, usually detected because of pain and clearly diagnosed with X-rays, head injuries are tricky to diagnose and manage. In many cases where the concern is concussion, there is no medication or surgery that can make a difference — the primary treatment is rest. Public awareness over the ties between concussions and later problems for children, and publicity about chronic traumatic encephalopathy in athletes may be making parents even more anxious about treating head injuries.

Cost of contact in sports is estimated at over 600,000 injuries a year

The New York Times | Oct 2, 2017

Yale researchers calculated that if contact sports could be made noncontact — like flag football, for example — there would be 49,600 fewer injuries among male college athletes per year and 601,900 fewer among male high school athletes. The savings could be as much as $1.5 billion per year for colleges and $19.2 billion per year for high schools. And that takes into account only the immediate consequences of an injury.

1 In 5 teens reports a concussion diagnosis

NPR | Sep 29, 2017

A new analysis of data confirms what many doctors fear — that concussions start showing up at a high rate in teens who are active in contact sports. About 20 percent of teens said they have been diagnosed with at least one concussion. And nearly 6 percent said they've been diagnosed with more than one, according to a research letter published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Should I be worried about how many concussions I've had?

Popular Science | Sep 29, 2017

We always think of football when we think concussions, but athletes in plenty of other sports—from soccer to hockey—get regular head injuries. A recent report found that about 20 percent of teenagers in the U.S. have had at least one concussion.

I played youth football for years. What will they find in my brain?

Esquire | Sep 29, 2017

How much have former youth football players experienced the effects of CTE? A new study from a team of neuroscientists at Boston University adds to the growing collection of research about the dangers of football. The results suggest children who play tackle football before the age of 12 are at more risk for significant brain issues as they grow older.

Yes, Aaron Hernandez suffered brain injury. But that may not explain his violence.

The New York Times | Sep 25, 2017

Aaron Hernandez brain damage was so severe that scientists all but gasped. The sheer extent of the damage inverts the usual question about violence and so-called chronic traumatic encephalopathy. If accumulated head trauma can cause such damage, might the injuries in turn lead to murder and suicide? The links between biology and behavior are complex, and a number of factors contribute to violence. Yet evidence is mounting that CTE may be involved.

Concussion concerns: When is it safe to get back behind the wheel?

GoUpstate News (SC) | Sep 25, 2017

A tool to help measure concussion patients’ responses in driving situations is helping to generate data that determines when it’s safe for those patients to get back behind the wheel.

Protein worsens brain damage from Alzheimer’s ‘toxic tangles’

Futurity | Sep 25, 2017

A new study shows that the presence of ApoE4 exacerbates brain damage related to the Alzheimer’s protein tau. “Once tau accumulates, the brain degenerates,” says senior author David Holtzman, a professor and head of the neurology department at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “What we found was that when ApoE is there, it amplifies the toxic function of tau, which means that if we can reduce ApoE levels we may be able to stop the disease process.”

Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE when he died at age 27

The New York Times | Sep 22, 2017

The brain scan came as a surprise even to researchers who for years have been studying the relationship between brain disease and deaths of professional football players. Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end and a convicted murderer, was 27 when he committed suicide in April. Yet a posthumous examination of his brain showed he had such a severe form of the degenerative brain disease C.T.E. that the damage was akin to that of players well into their 60s. It was, a lawyer for his family said, in announcing the findings on Thursday, “the most severe case they had ever seen in someone of Aaron’s age.”

Intensive rehab can help military patients work after brain injuries

Reuters | Sep 22, 2017

our in five military service members who suffer brain injuries may be able to return to military or civilian work after they get treatment at inpatient rehabilitation facilities, a UK study suggests. Almost one-third of these service members can return to a full-time military job after intensive rehab, the study also found. The results suggest that the costs of treatment in residential rehabilitation programs can pay off in the long run, said Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Markus Besemann, a chief of rehabilitation medicine for the Canadian Forces Health Services and a lecturer at the University of Ottawa.

High school football player who suffered traumatic brain injury blocked from suing coach, district

Pennsylvania Real-Time News | Sep 22, 2017

A high school football player who suffered a traumatic brain injury when he continued to practice after suffering a concussion can't sue his coach or school district, a federal appeals court panel has ruled. The simple fact is that no legal precedent was in place to hold the coach or the school liable when Sheldon Mann suffered his injury in November 2011, Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie wrote in the opinion by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

The NFL’s new helmet is supposed to make players safer from brain injuries. It’ll almost certainly do the opposite

Quarts Media | Sep 22, 2017

This fall, some of the most elite football players in the NFL and on college teams around the country have taken the field wearing a new kind of helmet. The Vicis Zero1 helmet looks almost identical to the standard football helmet, but it has a soft shell that crumples on contact—similar to an automobile bumper—reducing impact against the brain

After head injury, brain cell births may cause seizures

Futurity | Sep 21, 2017

New research challenges the prevailing scientific assumption that, during recovery from head trauma, excessive neurogenesis (birth of new brain cells) is advantageous. The excessive burst of new brain cells after a TBI that scientists have traditionally believed helped in recovery could instead lead to epileptic seizures and long-term cognitive decline, according to a new study out of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

The future of detecting brain damamge in football

The Atlantic | Sep 21, 2017

A new technique could revolutionize how a neurodegenerative disease afflicting contact sports is treated. Sam Gandy, a neurologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, was studying the brains of retired soldiers and football players, looking for signs of trouble like this. The scan that stood out was of a retired NFL player - the red areas of the scan closely corresponded to the damage that scientists see of the disease in autopsied brains.

Concussion treatment for children

Consumer Reports | Sep 21, 2017

Most children who experience a blow to the head that leads to concussion recover well, within a week to two, says Robert Cantu, M.D., clinical professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Boston University Medical School and co-founder of its CTE Center. But what's the appropriate concussion treatment? Here's what experts advise if your child or teenager sustains a concussion while playing contact sports such as tackle football, soccer, or hockey.

VA releases veteran suicide statistics by state

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs | Sep 21, 2017

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released findings from its analysis of Veteran suicide data for 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The release is part of VA’s comprehensive examination of more than 55 million records, from 1979 to 2014, which will be used to develop and evaluate suicide prevention programs across every state. The new data include Veteran suicide rates and overall suicide rates by state, age group, and gender and list the most common suicide methods.

Walk For Thought highlights struggles, misconceptions about brain injuries

Fox 9 News (MN) | Sep 21, 2017

This weekend, hundreds of Minnesotans in the middle of their own recoveries are banding together to support one another and raise awareness at the Walk for Thought. Not only does the walk celebrate people’s journeys in recovery, but it also brings important awareness of how brain injuries can alter lives.

I'm a brain scientist and I let my son play football

Yahoo! Sports | Sep 20, 2017

My name is Peter Cummings. I am a forensic pathologist and a neuropathologist, which means I study brain trauma for a living. I am also a football coach and I let my 11-year-old son play football. I may be the only neuropathologist on Earth who lets his kid play football.

Football can damage kids' brains — even if they don't get concussions

WBUR | Sep 20, 2017

Kids who start playing tackle football before the age of 12 are at much higher risk of developing behavioral and emotional troubles as adults, according to a new study out of Boston University's Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center.

Playing tackle football before 12 is tied to brain problems later

The New York Times | Sep 19, 2017

Athletes who began playing tackle football before the age of 12 had more behavioral and cognitive problems later in life than those who started playing after they turned 12, a new study released on Tuesday showed. The findings, from a long-term study conducted by researchers at Boston University, are likely to add to the debate over when, or even if, children should be allowed to begin playing tackle football.

Cyclists' recovery from brain injuries can be slow, but death rate has dropped

The Washington Post | Sep 11, 2017

Improvements in treating moderate to severe traumatic brain injury have come primarily because doctors now take a far more holistic view of the brain and surrounding organs during the acute phase of care. They carefully manage blood pressure, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, and focus on nutrition to help support healing. Yet increased survival offers no guarantees about recovery, as Ryan Brown and his wife, Jessica, have learned.

Military struggling with traumatic brain injury fallout

Inside Sources | Sep 11, 2017

Top current and former officials in the U.S. Military are raising the alarm over the disturbing combination of high rates of Traumatic Brain Injury in the armed forces and a lack of public policy solutions to adequately address the problem. Researchers are only now getting their arms around the magnitude of the class of injuries that are difficult to treat and have affected an estimated 400,000 service members since the September 11th attacks in 2001.

Football season starts under shadow of traumatic brain injuries

St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Sep 11, 2017

As football season kicks into high gear, players and fans will be counting yards, touchdowns, wins and losses. But beneath the thrill of the sport looms a more chilling statistic. New findins on the game’s potential to cause brain damage has some questioning their fondness for football.

After a brain injury ruined his memory, student beats the odds, returns to class

TODAY | Sep 11, 2017

It's been a long medical journey that began in January 2016, when Becker was skiing with his family in Wisconsin. As he and his father, Bryan, skied down a run, Bryan slowed to watch Becker as he headed toward a jump. But something went terribly wrong. “He overshot the landing... and hit his head,” Bryan told TODAY. When Bryan reached his son, Becker was unconscious and blue. After being rushed to the hospital, Becker spent three weeks in the intensive care unit.

Concussions and traumatic brain injuries in football: What we know we don't know

Inside Science | Sep 11, 2017

As the 2017 NFL season kicks off, it’s a question on the minds of parents, fans and players alike. But it's also on the mind of neuroscientists. Figuring out how science can help answer many of the unresolved questions about brain injuries -- and how to make contact sports like football safer -- remains a major problem for neuroscientists to tackle.

'I don't know if it's a miracle, but it's working for me.' Treatment may help with PTSD

The Sacramento Bee | Sep 11, 2017

Rick Burth, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said a novel treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder helped calm his symptoms of anxiety and anger. The procedure involves an injection of local anesthetic to the neck.

'Almost Sunrise' documentary orofiles Ohio veterans' struggles with PTSD

WOSU | Sep 11, 2017

The documentary "Almost Sunrise" opens with the voice of Tom Voss explaining why he joined the U.S. Army and why he took on a new mission to walk 2,700 miles, cross country as a way to deal with trauma. The film follows the journey of Voss and fellow Iraq War Veteran Anthony Anderson as they both struggle with PTSD, thoughts of suicide, and a newer term known as “moral injury,” which in the context of war can mean dealing with harming or killing someone else during combat.

Study Of marijuana's effects on PTSD struggles to recruit vets

Task & Purpose | Sep 8, 2017

After seven years of struggling to launch the first government-approved study of marijuana’s effects on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, lead researcher Sue Sisley was optimistic in February, when her team was finally allowed to start enrolling veterans to participate. Seven months later, though, Sisley has screened thousands of veterans, yet enrolled only 26 who meet the eligibility criteria – prompting concern the study’s parameters must change. If that happens, the study could be delayed, Sisley said.

Researchers correlate cognitive fatigue after TBI with activation of the caudate

EurekAlert | Sep 5, 2017

Kessler Foundation researchers have authored a new article that further elucidates the mechanisms for cognitive fatigue, a disabling symptom that affects many individuals after traumatic brain injury (TBI). The findings underscore the role of the caudate nucleus in the mechanism of cognitive fatigue in traumatic brain injury.

Make pot legal for veterans with traumatic brain injury

The New York Times | Sep 5, 2017

The explosion that wounded me during a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan in 2010 left me with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. At first, I didn’t object to the pills that arrived by mail: antidepressants, sedatives, amphetamines and mood stabilizers. Stuff to wake me up. Stuff to put me down. Stuff to keep me calm. Stuff to rile me up. Stuff to numb me. Initially the prescriptions helped — as they do for many veterans. But when I continued to feel bad, the answers from my doctors were always the same: more pills. And higher dosages. And more pills to counteract the side effects of those higher dosages. Yet none of them quite worked.

Brain injury and the civil right we don’t think about

The New York Times | Sep 5, 2017

Maggie had been thought to be in the “vegetative state” but later was found to be in the “minimally conscious state” — a term medically formalized in 2002. Unlike vegetative patients, those in MCS are conscious. They demonstrate intention, attention and memory. The problem is that these actions may be rare and intermittent, so when family members who witnessed them share their observations with staff members, they are often attributed to a family’s wishful thinking. At least one study indicated an alarming rate of misdiagnosis: it found that 41 percent of patients with traumatic brain injury who were in chronic care and thought to be in the vegetative state were in fact in MCS. If not for the astute observations of her Boston neurologist, Maggie, too, would have been misdiagnosed in perpetuity.

Head injury and chronic brain damage: It’s complicated

Scientific American | Sep 1, 2017

There are two ways to go about studying a disease. Let’s call them the retrospective and prospective methods. Both methods have yielded important discoveries, but the retrospective method is much more prone to distortion than the prospective method. Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center recently reported that 99 percent of NFL alumni who made brain donations at the time of death have CTE. While researchers acknowledge that those who make brain donations are not representative of retired NFL players it is remarkably easy to make the assumption that this finding generalizes to the broader population of athletes exposed to concussion.

NFL retakes control of brain research as touted alliance ends

ESPN | Aug 31, 2017

Last September, the NFL pledged $100 million, doubling down on its previous commitment as one of the largest funders of concussion research in the United States. The league and its advisers say the money will go toward the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of head injuries. But after years of donating to outside entities -- an approach that league officials said was designed to keep the research independent -- the NFL has taken the science in-house and under its control.

From shell-shock to PTSD: A century of invisible war trauma

Task & Purpose | Aug 30, 2017

We are three scholars in the humanities who have individually studied PTSD – the framework through which people conceptualize it, the ways researchers investigate it, the therapies the medical community devises for it. Through our research, each of us has seen how the medical model alone fails to adequately account for the ever-changing nature of PTSD. What’s been missing is a cohesive explanation of trauma that allows us to explain the various ways its symptoms have manifested over time and can differ in different people.

Concussions, kids And contact sports

WBUR | Aug 17, 2017

From the NFL to Pop Warner, we know the danger of concussions now. Should kids play football? Tom Ashbrook, WBUR Boston, sits down with Dr. Bennet Omalu, Tom Farrey (Sports and Society Program at the Aspen Institute), Brenda Easter (CTE Hope), and Ernesto 'Cuatro' Groos (Pop Warner Football and Cheer league).

Team Up Speak Up Day continues to promote concussion awareness

The Galt Herald | Aug 17, 2017

On Sept. 12, youth athletes and high school athletes have the opportunity to learn more about concussion awareness if their teams choose to participate in the second annual Team Up Speak Up Day, which was created to bring awareness to athletes if they think they see a teammate suffering from a head injury during a game.

Art helped me tell my story': brain injury survivors share self-portraits

The Guardian | Aug 16, 2017

Artwork on display at Submit to Love Studios, based at the brain injury charity Headway East London. Making Faces explores both the physical and emotional side of discovering identity, following traumatic incidents. A number of pieces, such as this one, have been worked on by a number of the artists.

From traumatic brain injury to a PhD and then Harvard – some life lessons learned

The Huffington Post | Aug 16, 2017

I’ve had two Traumatic Brain Injuries: one at age 6 and one at age 18, and both with life-altering results. But at the same time, and somehow, people never stopped fighting for me. And now it’s my turn to return the favor. My reason for writing this article is that young people with TBI and older adults with TBI really have hope.

How Students' Brains Are in Danger on the Field

The Atlantic | Aug 14, 2017

Recent research makes clear the drastic effects of head injuries on young athletes, and advocates are asking states and schools to do more.

Do Concussions Affect Women Differently Than Men?

Healthline | Aug 7, 2017

Past research has produced conflicting results, but a recent study with male and female mice shows there may be differences between the sexes with brain injuries.

First N.F.L. Concussion Payments Are Approved, but Some May Miss Out

The New York Times | Aug 7, 2017

Almost four years after the N.F.L. agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to ex-players who said the league had concealed the dangers of concussions from them, the first payouts — some worth as much as $5 million — have been approved. But the registration process will end on Monday, closing the window during which players can potentially receive cash awards.

How it feels to be an NFL legend’s daughter in the era of concussion and CTE revelations

The Washington Post | Aug 3, 2017

The concussion lawsuit hit Jenna Jacoby hard. "The thought that someone would put my dad’s health at risk for financial gain was infuriating. More than anything, I was hurt. They were supposed to protect him and they failed." While I am blessed to have a father who loves me unconditionally and has supported me through every decision I’ve made, I’m all too aware that many “football kids” won’t get that same opportunity with their dads.

Eye movements may be key in detecting brain injury, concussion

Huffington Post | Aug 3, 2017

Dr. Samadani had finished her residency and was conducting clinical trials for brain injury when a colleague suggested using eye-tracking as an outcome measure. They began working on their technology, now known as EyeBOX™, in the summer of 2011 and applied for their first patent in 2012, which was issued in spring 2017. Dr. Samadani explained that a concussion can disrupt eye movements in at least two ways: through elevating intracranial pressure, and by physiological disruption of neurologic pathways — not bad enough that pressure goes up, but it causes irritation.

NFL, NIH end partnership for concussion research with $16M unspent

NPR | Aug 1, 2017

Almost five years ago, soon after the suicide of linebacker Junior Seau, the NFL announced it was donating $30 million to the National Institutes of Health for brain research. At the end of August, it appears that partnership will expire, with $16 million of the money still unspent.

Cookie Gilchrist's son deals with his own brain injury

USA Today | Aug 1, 2017

For Cookie Gilchrist, brain damage accumulated during a football career that took him directly from high school to the NFL in the 1960s. For his son Scott, the damage happened all at once when he fell 40 feet from scaffolding at his house under renovation in Toronto. "I had a bad accident: bleeding of the brain and traumatic brain injury," says Scott. "I have a better understanding of the last bunch of years with my dad and why he got frustrated and couldn't let things go."

PTSD disability claims by vets tripled in the last decade

Military Times | Aug 1, 2017

More than one in five veterans receiving federal disability payouts suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, a figure that has spiked in the last decade. Veterans Affairs officials told lawmakers Tuesday that the number of disability cases related to PTSD has nearly tripled in that time, from around 345,000 cases in fiscal 2008 to more than 940,000 cases today. But lawmakers still worry that current VA rules may still be excluding thousands more veterans eligible for the disability payouts, which are tied to injuries suffered during military service.

Opinion: How to defuse football's ticking time bomb, concussions

Forbes | Aug 1, 2017

A New York Times article last week reignited concerns about concussions and football. A few steps could make the sport safer and improve players' long-term health.

111 NFL brains. All but one had CTE

The New York Times | Jul 25, 2017

Neuropathologist, Dr. Ann McKee, has examined the brains of 111 NFL players — and 110 were found to have Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative disease linked to repeated blows to the head.

Female athletes are closing the gender gap when it comes to concussions

NPR | Jul 24, 2017

Thanks to research on boxers and football players, both athletes and the public are becoming more aware of the dangers of sports-related head injuries. Yet there is little data on female participants. "We classically have always known the male response to brain injury," says Mark Burns, at Georgetown University. But there have been remarkably few studies of females. The bias runs throughout the scientific literature, even in studies of mice.

'Why my brain injury gets me arrested'

BBC News | Jul 24, 2017

Dominic Hurley is regularly mistaken for being drunk and it has led to him getting arrested. His slurred speech and poor balance is actually a result of a brain injury caused by a moped crash while he worked abroad. "You can work hard to raise awareness but you may not reach every police officer and that is where the ID card comes in," says Hurley. He says three arrests have seen him separated from friends, dragged from cars, and his hands forced behind his back - harsh treatment that made him feel like a "common criminal". "Each time I was just seen as another drunk. I wasn't given much of an interview at all."

ID cards launched for survivors of brain injuries with the support of Prince Harry

Chronicle Live (UK) | Jul 24, 2017

The launch of new identity cards for people with brain injuries comes as welcome relief for survivors in the UK. Prince Harry has launched the new initiative with Headway, a UK-wide charity that works to improve life after brain injury.

Patient receives 3-D printed skull after traumatic brain injury

Science Daily | Jul 24, 2017

After two months in a coma, Chris Cahill woke up confused about where he was and what had happened to him. Cahill was found unconscious from unknown trauma resulting in severe injuries to his frontal lobe, with brain swelling so dramatic it was life threatening. Physicians performed emergent surgery to relieve the brain swelling with the intent of replacing the skull after the swelling subsided. However, the patient's own skull was infected and as a result was unusable. At that point, the doctors decided the best solution to replace the missing skull bone was to use 3-D printing to create a custom cranial skull implant.

MMA fighters, boxers may have signs of long-term brain injury in blood

American Academy of Neurology | Jul 19, 2017

Boxers and mixed martial arts fighters may have markers of long-term brain injury in their blood, according to a study released and presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s Sports Concussion Conference.

Drug for concussion, stroke found by UT scientist moves closer to human trials

San Antonio Express-News  | Jul 19, 2017

Dr. James Lechleiter, a UT Health San Antonio researcher, co-founded a pharmaceutical company that is trying to develop a pill for treating concussions and stroke. Lechleiter hopes the drug, which is at least 7 years away from market, could be easily administered by any football coach or paramedic to mitigate the effects of concussions or strokes.

After NFL concussion settlement, feeding frenzy of lawyers and lenders

The New York Times | Jul 17, 2017

The possibility of large payouts to former players, many with cognitive ailments from hits to the head, attracts offers of help with claims, for a cut.

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