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UEFA Introduce New Rules on Head Injuries to Players
BBC / September 19, 2014

UEFA, the governing body for European soccer, has adopted a new procedure allowing referees to stop matches for up to three minutes to assess head injuries when a concussion is suspected.

After traumatic brain injury, a young man’s astounding recovery
The Washington Post / September 16, 2014

Speedy treatment and the support of friends contributed to a recovery that astonished doctors.

Do MLB teams need to take concussions more seriously?
MassLive / September 16, 2014

Play through as much pain as you can. It's a long season and as Aug. and Sept. roll around most managers will often say the same thing: Nobody is playing at 100 percent. That's fine. It's part of the game. Play through a bruise here, a sore muscle there. But for any concussion-related symptoms, do baseball players need to change their outlook?

New test detects concussion impairments that may be overlooked
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / September 16, 2014

Researchers at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh have developed a simple new test that can detect symptoms of a concussion current tests often miss. The new test concerns the vestibular ocular system, which is responsible for integrating vision, balance and movement. It’s what allows us to keep our eyes focused and stable when we move our head around. It’s located in the vestibulum of the inner ear.

Army Col. spends time at Camp Legeune to raise TBI awareness
Defense Video & Imagery / September 16, 2014

Army Col. Sidney R. Hinds, the national director of the DVBIC visited Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune to tour the TBI and hospital facilities aboard base. Hinds is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization’s mission, which is to ensure service members receive state-of-the-art medical care. He also visited to discuss the initiative, “A Head for the Future,” which is designed to promote TBI awareness, education and prevention.

NFL says a quarter of players will end up with brain problems
Reuters / September 15, 2014

About one in four National Football League players are likely to end up suffering dementia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease or other cognitive impairments during their lifetime, according to a report filed in court by the league's lawyers.

New Brain / PTSD Center Opens
NBC News / September 15, 2014

Fort Campbell cuts the ribbon on $11 million Intrepid Spirit Center to treat traumatic brain injury and psychological conditions, the third of nine planned facilities, financed by private donations.

Group of Ex-Players Asks Court to Intervene in NFL Concussion Case Settlement
The New York Times / September 12, 2014

The winding three-year legal battle against the N.F.L. over its handling of concussions took an unusual turn Wednesday when seven former players argued that a federal appeals court should intervene in a proposed settlement before it is made final. Steven Molo, a lawyer for the players, told a panel of three judges that the deal, which includes a promise by the N.F.L. to pay an unlimited amount for players with severe neurological conditions, was significantly flawed because retirees with other medical problems would receive no money. The judges, Molo argued, need to remedy this defect because appealing the settlement after it is made final months from now will lead to even further delays in getting money to players in need.

Compound Protects Brain Cells After Traumatic Brain Injury
Iowa Now / September 12, 2014

A new class of compounds has now been shown to protect brain cells from the type of damage caused by blast-mediated traumatic brain injury (TBI). Mice that were treated with these compounds 24-36 hours after experiencing TBI from a blast injury were protected from the harmful effects of TBI, including problems with learning, memory, and movement. Traumatic brain injury caused by blast injury has emerged as a common health problem among U.S. servicemen and women, with an estimated 10 to 20 percent of the more than 2 million U.S. soldiers deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan having experienced TBI. The condition is associated with many neurological complications, including cognitive and motor decline, as well as acquisition of psychiatric symptoms like anxiety and depression, and brain tissue abnormalities that resemble Alzheimer's disease.

The Brutal Mechanics of a Bike Crash Will Convince You to Wear a Helmet
Gizmodo.com / September 11, 2014

Bike wrecks happen fast. In two milliseconds—that's one-hundred-times quicker than a blink of an eye—a regular ride can turn into a disastrous noggin-buster. If you ever doubted the importance of strapping on a helmet before you roll out, cycle giants Giro explain what happens to your head and the mechanics of a crash. Collisions can be made up or two types of forces—linear and rotational—but more often than not are a crushing combo of both. Skulls are our natural main brain protection, but even these are buffered by a thin cover of cerebrospinal fluid and then a scalp on top of that, which creates a kind of "sliding layer."

Michael Schumacher Moved Home to Continue Rehabilitation
The New York Times / September 10, 2014

The family of Michael Schumacher, the 45-year-old former Formula One champion, said Tuesday that he had been moved from a hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, to the family estate 25 miles away on Lake Geneva. They also said that efforts to rehabilitate him after the severe brain injuries he suffered while skiing in France nine months ago “will continue from now on from home.” The move home had been expected since reports began circulating in the weeks after Schumacher’s accident at the Meribel resort on Dec. 29 that his wife, Corinna, was planning to build a fully-equipped clinic on the family’s estate at Gland, which is situated on the shore of Lake Geneva midway between Geneva and Lausanne.

Device Can Rapidly Test Soldiers, Athletes for Brain Injuries that Otherwise Could Go Unnoticed
The Huffington Post / September 9, 2014

A device in development may soon be able to make identifying brain injuries in emergency medical circumstances much easier, a new study suggests. And private donors investing their wealth thoughtfully are largely to credit. BrainScope announced on Aug. 26 that a peer-reviewed study by New York University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that its product, which can diagnose traumatic brain injury (TBI) by being placed on and connected to a patient's head to gauge brain function, has clinical potential. While the device is currently unavailable commercially, BrainScope claims the handheld, rapid, non-invasive and non-radiation emitting device could be implemented for military use in war zones, as well as for athletes who may suffer from concussions in contact sports.

The NFL Dodges on Brain Injuries
The Atlantic / September 8, 2014

As the National Football League season kicks off, the sport’s most significant contest isn’t happening on the field. Rather, it’s taking place in federal court, where a group of former players has challenged the proposed settlement of a class-action brain damage lawsuit filed against the league. Whether you’re a diehard fan or utterly indifferent to football’s charms, a  practicing neuropathologist or someone who can’t distinguish a concussion from a toothache, you might want to pay attention. Because the outcome of the legal battle won’t just affect NFL owners and retirees.  To the contrary, the concussion settlement is a matter of public health—and potentially, significant public cost.

Researchers Isolate Process that Damages Lungs of Donors with Traumatic Brain Injury
Medical Xpress / September 4, 2014

Few people would guess that some of the most detrimental damage from a traumatic brain injury is to the lungs, but transplant specialists are keenly aware of this phenomenon. Indiana University research published Sept. 3 in Science Translational Medicine sheds light on the potentially lethal process. Research conducted by an interdisciplinary team co-led by Fletcher A. White, Ph.D., the Vergil K. Stoelting Professor of Anesthesia, and David S. Wilkes, M.D., executive associate dean for research affairs and director of the Center for Immunobiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, found evidence of fluid accumulation in the lung within hours after head trauma. The fluid limits the ability of the lung to oxygenate the bloodstream; this is particularly relevant in the case of a donor lung, which may become unsuitable for transplantation. Signs of the fluid leakage in the lungs are clearly evident within four hours after the head injury, and at 24 hours, the lungs' ability to oxygenate the blood stream is reduced nearly 80 percent.

Junior Seau's Family Opts Out of NFL Concussion Settlement
The Huffington Post / September 4, 2014

The family of Junior Seau has opted out of a proposed NFL legal settlement with former players over concussion-related injuries. The family will continue its wrongful death lawsuit against the league. Seau, a star linebacker for 20 seasons who made 11 Pro Bowls, committed suicide in 2012. "We have tried to communicate it that it is not satisfactory and all we met were deaf ears," the family's lawyer, Steve Strauss, told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "The settlement does not include any value at all for the claims of his four children. Or the loss of his companionship or the loss of his future earnings."

Sports Concussions in Kids Preventable by Game Changes, Doctors Say
CBC News / September 4, 2014

Concussions in children are a public health issue, but preventable by instituting game and rule changes that eliminate head contact, Canadian doctors say. "Our children should have the right to play at all levels of skill in an environment without fear of brain injury from intentional ‘win at all costs’ violence, or unrecognized repetitive trauma," say Dr. Ross Upshur of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and Dr. Paul Echlin of Elliott Sports Medicine Clinic in Burlington, Ont., in a commentary titled "Sport-related minor traumatic brain injury: A public health ethical imperative to act."

Bipartisan Support for the Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act
The Huffington Post / September 3, 2014

With Republicans and Democrats divided on so many policy issues, it is gratifying to see the parties agree on an approach to a serious public health problem -- traumatic brain injury (TBI). In June, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 1098, the Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act (TBIRA), legislation to reauthorize programs that will provide resources for those with traumatic brain injury while also affording an investment in education and research around traumatic brain injury prevention. The bill now moves to the Senate, where we hope it will receive equally favorable treatment. Traumatic brain injury affects nearly 2 million Americans each year, of all ages and all walks of life. Those with TBI include our nation's war fighters, children and teens injured while playing sports or in car crashes, and seniors hurt in a fall.

 

New Study Shows Poorer Outcomes for Minorities Suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury
The Legal Examiner / September 3, 2014

A recent study by the Kessler foundation has raised a new issue in the battle to treat traumatic brain injury: ethnicity. The study, published in Neurorehabilitation, found that minorities do not have the same success rates in long-term treatment as Caucasians. The minority population in the U.S. is growing and along with it is the rate of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Unfortunately, traditional treatments appear to lead to health disparities among minorities and poorer long-term outcomes. Why? The answer isn’t clear at this point, but the researchers who conducted this study concluded that a better treatment paradigm would take into account the ethnicity, language, religion, and even sexual orientation of the patient.

Using Massage to Ease Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms
Massage Today / September 2, 2014

The Brain Injury Association of America states that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of disability and death in children and adolescents nationwide. The age groups most at risk for brain injury are newborns through age four and teens from 15 to 19 years of age. Every year, an average of 564,000 children are treated for brain injuries in the emergency room and 62,000 children with brain injuries are hospitalized. This is a staggering amount of children suffering with chronic symptoms that often do not have a definitive treatment in mainstream medicine.

 

Concussion Lawsuit Seeks to Force Rule Changes in Soccer
The New York Times / August 28, 2014

A group of soccer parents and players filed a class-action lawsuit Wednesday morning against FIFA, the sport’s international governing body, over its handling of concussions. Filed in United States District Court in California, the suit also names American soccer organizations, including U.S. Soccer and the American Youth Soccer Organization, charging that they and FIFA have been negligent in monitoring and treating head injuries. The plaintiffs do not seek financial damages but ask for changes to the sport’s rules, such as limiting headers for children and altering FIFA’s substitution protocols. With the N.F.L., the N.H.L. and the N.C.A.A. involved in concussion litigation, soccer’s governing bodies are the latest to face a lawsuit over head injuries.

FDA Warns Consumers: Dietary Supplements Cannot Treat Concussions
CBS News / August 27, 2014

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers about dietary supplements that falsely claim to prevent or cure concussions or other traumatic brain injuries. The FDA says supplements with labels that make these claims are not backed up by scientific evidence, and in a consumer alert issued Monday it urged users to beware. Additionally, the FDA says some companies have marketed these products to military service members and veterans who have sustained combat-related traumatic brain injuries. The U.S. Department of Defense was among the first to raise concerns. The warning comes as school is starting up again many student athletes are getting back into competitive sports that can lead to concussion and other serious injuries. The risk for head trauma from contact sports, such as football and wrestling, has provided another marketing opportunity for companies to make false claims that certain dietary supplements can help cure or prevent these types of injuries.

Michael Keck, Ex-Missouri State Player, Had Severe Brain Injury
The Huffington Post / August 26, 2014

Michael Keck played just two years of college football before he was knocked out during practice at Missouri State and gave the sport up for good. He turned combative — punching holes in the wall. He began to struggle in school. Soon he was spending most of his time indoors, with blankets covering the windows to darken the room. Keck died last year at age 25 of what doctors believe was an unrelated heart condition. His brain, at his request, was donated to the Boston University lab that has been researching a degenerative brain condition frequently found in contact-sport athletes.

Research Raises Concerns for New Army Helmet Design
USA Today / August 25, 2014

Tests by Navy researchers on a new Army and Marine helmet design, complete with a visor and a jaw protector, showed blast waves could bounce off the added components and produce unexpected pressure, according to a recent research paper. The Conformal Integrated Protective Headgear System, or CIPHER, prototype came under attack from all sides during the test, conducted by the Naval Research Laboratory, and in all configurations: Helmet only, helmet and visor, helmet and jaw protection, and the full-face coverage of visor and jaw protector. The findings showed that adding face protection didn't necessarily mean lessening blast-wave impact.

In Race to Develop Safer Football Helmets, Many Questions Remain
The New York Times / August 25, 2014

Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema proudly posted a message on Twitter last spring that featured the Razorbacks’ new helmets — a futuristic design by Riddell called the SpeedFlex that is supposed to be the latest in head protection. A vocal proponent of player safety, Bielema is happy to be a part of the cutting edge. But it is a bit of a leap of faith. He has no proof that the SpeedFlex, or any other helmet, can reduce the risk of a devastating head injury. “It’s just like everything else — everything advances, and you get better at it,” Bielema said at a recent Arkansas practice.

Cells Grown in Artificial Tissue Could Help Shape Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injuries
The Week / August 22, 2014

Scientists have created a technique for growing neurons in artificial brain tissue, which could help researchers discover new ways to help people with traumatic brain injuries. A study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that the neurons responded the way an actual brain would. The rat neurons were grown in a lab, and then seeded into a "3D tissue made from a mix of doughnut-shaped rings of spongy silk protein and a collagen-based gel," NBC News reports. "The tissue maintained viability for at least nine weeks — significantly longer than cultures made of collagen or hydrogel alone — and also offered structural support for network connectivity that is crucial for brain activity," the study's principal author, Min Tang-Schomer of Tufts University, said in a statement.

Football participation increases despite concussion concerns
Los Angeles Times / August 21, 2014

Despite concerns over the risk of concussion injuries, football participation among high school students increased for the first time in five years, with an additional 6,607 boys participating in 11-man football during the 2013-14 school year, according to the annual High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Assns.

Settlement May Be Near in Career-Ending Attack That Has Shadowed N.H.L.
The New York Times / August 21, 2014

One of the most violent on-ice events in National Hockey League history seemed headed to resolution Tuesday more than 10 years after it took place, as lawyers prepared an out-of-court settlement to a $68 million lawsuit brought by Steve Moore, a former player, against Todd Bertuzzi, the opponent who attacked him during a game and ended his career.

Williamsburg, Norfolk high schools begin using helmet sensors in football
The Washington Post / August 21, 2014

For nearly a year, a group of Loudoun County parents has asked the local school system to install impact sensors on the helmets of high school football players to better detect potential concussions. And for nearly a year, the Loudoun school system has told the parents no.

But four high school football programs south of Loudoun have moved ahead and given their players football helmets containing sensors. Three programs in Williamsburg and one in Norfolk are using devices that send an alert to a trainer holding a monitor on the sideline. They are believed to be the first schools in Virginia to offer the equipment.


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