News & Headlines

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60 Minutes | Mar 18, 2019
Since 2016, dozens of American officials have come home from Cuba and China with unexplained brain trauma. Evidence shows it may be the work of another government using a weapon that leaves no trace. A 2014 statement by the National Security Agency describes the weapon as a "high-powered microwave system weapon that may have the ability to weaken, intimidate, or kill an enemy over time without leaving evidence." The weapon, reports CBS "…is designed to bathe a target's living quarters in microwaves."
Medill Reports Chicago | Mar 18, 2019
Join Medill Newsmakers as we explore a ‘day in the life’ of former NFL running back and Northwestern All-American Mike Adamle and his wife Kim, and learn how a dementia diagnosis attributed to probable CTE changed their life. Hear how the Adamles, along with the Concussion Legacy Foundation and former Northwestern football player Quentin Williams, are influencing the world of post-concussion survivors.
USA Today | Mar 18, 2019
Amid growing research into the dangers of football and declining youth participation rates, former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland and other advocates want to start with what seems like a sensible change. Let's not talk about banning football altogether, they say. Let's just prevent children from playing tackle football until they're 14 years old, when their bodies are better equipped to handle the impact.
Chicago Parent | Mar 14, 2019
In October, the Illinois Bone & Joint Institute released the results of a survey that asked parents about their knowledge of concussions and what they should look for. Seventy-two percent of parents could not identify all of the symptoms of a concussion or chose unrelated symptoms, the survey found. "What I think is tricky about concussions is that no one concussion is the same, often times between individuals, or even the same individual, if they have more than one concussion. So, we really have to be able to recognize all the concussion symptoms," says Dr. Anthony Savino, sports neurologist at Illinois Bone & Joint Institute.
Inverse | Mar 14, 2019
Virginia has just passed a law requiring school athletics programs to put student-athletes’ health first by staying up-to-date on the latest concussion science. While other states have laws about how schools handle traumatic brain injuries, this law takes it a step further. In a move that puts Virginia ahead of most other US states, the law dictates that the Virginia Board of Education must update its guidelines and policies around concussions every two years.
The Washington Post | Mar 14, 2019
The news this week that Kelly Catlin took her own life is the latest tragedy amid a nationwide rise in suicide. Before her death, Catlin had apparently been open about her mental-health struggles and the overwhelming stress that she felt. Catlin had also suffered a concussion that left her struggling to continue to train at a high level. As they engage in the reflection and soul searching that another high-profile suicide rightly demands, Americans pondering what can be done to lower the national suicide rate would do well to consider lessons from what might, at first glance, seem an unlikely source: the U.S. Army.
The Washington Post | Mar 13, 2019
The family of Kelly Catlin, the Olympic cyclist who died by suicide last week at 23, has donated her brain to Veterans Affairs-Boston University-Concussion Legacy Foundation Brain Bank, seeking answers for a series of behavioral changes that they believe contributed to her death. “Our family decided to have a neuropathologic examination performed on Kelly’s brain to investigate any possible damage caused by her recent head injury and seek explanations for recent neurologic symptoms,” her father, Mark, said of the family’s decision.
NPR | Mar 12, 2019
The Department of Veterans Affairs is conducting the most comprehensive study to date of blast injuries on post-Sept. 11 veterans. Improved battlefield medical care in Iraq and Afghanistan means more troops have survived with traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Researchers are trying to understand the long-term effects of those injuries. And 800 veterans from around the country have enrolled to find out what blast exposure has done to them.
TODAY | Mar 12, 2019
Abby and TC Maslin's lives changed in 2012 when TC was violently beaten in a robbery. As TC relearned to breathe and walk, the couple rebuilt their love. The two join TODAY to share their story, which Abby also details in her memoir, “Love You Hard.”
ScienceDaily | Mar 12, 2019
New guidelines that reduce the amount of rest required for children recovering from a concussion have been developed by CanChild, a McMaster University research institute. "For children, recovering from a concussion is like a snakes and ladders game, as there are times where they may have rapid improvement and climb through the steps more quickly, and other times where returning symptoms mean they have to take a slide back," said author Carol DeMatteo, professor of rehabilitation science and a CanChild researcher.
NBC 4 News (DC) | Mar 12, 2019
If you saw the Maslin family walking down the street, you might think, "What a beautiful family." And you'd be right. But there is so much more to their story than that. Six and a half years ago, young father Thomas "TC" Maslin was robbed and brutally attacked as he walked home to Capitol Hill after a Washington Nationals game. His attackers shattered his skull with a baseball bat, leaving him with a severe traumatic brain injury that left him unable to talk, read or use the right side of his body.
The Washington Post | Mar 11, 2019
Two crashes, one in which she broke her arm in October and another in which she sustained a concussion in December, seemed to take away the control, the multitasking, that Catlin had always prized. In January, she attempted suicide for the first time and was clearly a different person to her family. “She was not the Kelly that we knew,” her father said. “She spoke like a robot. We could get her to talk, but we wondered, ‘what has happened to our Kelly?’
Neurology Advisor | Mar 11, 2019
Children who present to the emergency department (ED) >24 hours after injury are more likely to suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) compared with children who present to the ED within 24 hours, according to the results of a study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Study findings showed that factors potentially predictive of TBI in children who present to the ED longer than 24 hours after injury include suspicion of depressed skull fracture and non-frontal scalp hematoma.
Wisconsin State Journal Jason Galloway Jason Galloway | Wisconsin State Journal | Mar 11, 2019
Concussions and head trauma have affected multiple generations of University of Wisconsin players. Many of them joined lawsuits against the NFL over this issue, and at least half a dozen cut their UW careers short due to head injuries this decade. Reporter Jason Galloway takes a look at the impact of head trauma throughout the football ranks in this award-winning series from the Wisconsin State Journal.
USA Today | Mar 11, 2019
These NFL draft prospects have grown up in an age of enlightenment with concussion protocols. Yet, they still dismiss concerns about long-term health. "It doesn’t impact me at all,” Notre Dame tight end Alize Mack declared during the NFL Scouting Combine last weekend in Indianapolis, asked if increasing awareness about long-term risks associated with head injuries affect his view of the football career he’s pursuing. "I think I speak for everyone in this room when I say this is a game most of us have been playing since we were seven years old,” added Mack, who suffered two concussions in college. “So, at the end of the day, that’s not going to change how I attack a defense or choose to go after a player. This is football. It’s a physical game. That’s what you sign up for.”
Sports Illustrated | Mar 11, 2019
The World's Strongest Man is looking to help make a difference in the world after he dies. On Thursday, while talking with former wrestler and Concussion Legacy Foundation co-founder Chris Nowinski on SiriusXM's Busted Open, the former World Heavyweight champion announced his plan to donate his brain for CTE research. "I definitely want to go on record that I'm donating my brain to the brain bank, and I hope that something good can come out of y'all having my brain," Henry said. "Maybe it will help with figuring out how things work in the future that will benefit my kids and everyone else's kids... We always want the future to be better for our families and your families, speaking of the fans out there that have kids playing sports. And some of you parents, you weekend warriors. Like, you get a ding, get some help."
The Altamont Enterprise | Mar 8, 2019
She wrote her memoir, “Love You Hard,” said Abby Maslin, because over the years that she has been helping her husband recover from a traumatic brain injury he sustained in a mugging, she was never able to find books that offered hope to survivors and their families. “I wanted some hope that our lives could be joyful again, and have purpose. I feel like I wrote the book that I needed,” she said of the memoir that is due out March 12 from Dutton.
Thrive Global | Mar 8, 2019
The sudden and tragic death of Beverly Hills 90210 star, Luke Perry, has hit my generation hard. However, it lends itself to an educational opportunity about brain injuries. At the age of 52, Perry suffered a massive stroke that he wasn’t able to recover from, causing a ripple of grief to wash through those who graduated in the 90’s. While tragic, his death is a prime example that brain injury can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
NewsWise | Feb 25, 2019
American football players develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, after only playing football at the high school level, with higher rates of CTE associated with higher levels of play, according to a new study presented this week at the Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico. Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine CTE Center conducted a study of the brains of deceased American football players to analyze the neuropathological and clinical features of the disease. “By focusing this study specifically on football players, we were able to ensure that all our donors had a similar type of exposure to repetitive head impacts. The goal of this study was not just characterizing the disease in individuals who passed away, but rather learning as much as possible from our donors in order to apply this knowledge to help the living,” said Daniel Daneshvar, MD, PhD, the study’s author.
Portland Tribune | Feb 21, 2019
To piece together a sequence of her son's return to play from a series of high school concussions, Renee and Jonathan Boland asked Parkrose High School on March 16, 2018, for video footage of the games and copies of the medical documentation in Jonathan's file. The reply from Parkrose administration stunned Renee. Karen Gray, superintendent at the time, wanted Renee to submit not only a request for Jonathan's records, but also give written assurance that she would not sue the district.
Portland Tribune | Feb 15, 2019

The Return-to-Play legislation, which has been adopted by almost every other state, has saved countless young Oregonians from the devasting effects of an injured brain getting rattled again before it heals. Four years later, lawmakers extended those requirements to some recreational sports outside of schools, through Jenna's Law. Since then, they've mostly hoped for the best. Our reporting over the past 18 months shows that such hope was not only misplaced, but also dangerous. For every young Oregonian whose health is protected by our concussion laws, there are multiple others who are not. Here's what our reporting, done in conjunction with InvestigateWest and Reveal, has found.

Portland Tribune | Feb 13, 2019

After Boland suffered that season-ending concussion his junior year, some nights he cried himself to sleep, unsure if his scholarship hopes were over. On Oct. 3, he called his mom and dictated a Facebook post announcing his retirement. "12 years of playing the sport I love has been a really hard journey," he said in the post. It continued, thanking Barnum for keeping him on scholarship. Boland initially received an outpouring of support on social media. But then there was a silence. And all was not right. Where once he was a star, a hometown kid who rose above, a gladiator who was cheered on, now he was an aimless young man navigating life.

ESPN | Feb 12, 2019

MMA legend Wanderlei Silva, who has competed in the sport for 29 years, said in an interview with Brazilian website PVT on Tuesday that he has experienced many CTE-like symptoms. "I was in a lecture about concussions and of the 10 symptoms the guy mentioned, I had eight," Silva, 42, said. "The symptoms would be, for example, mood swings, getting angry very fast, forgetting some things, having difficulty sleeping." Silva said he plans on donating his brain for chronic traumatic encephalopathy research. CTE is a diagnosis only made at autopsy.

Investigate West | Feb 12, 2019

In the next installment of our Rattled: Oregon's Concussion Discussion series, InvestigateWest's Sergio Olmos talks to Jonathan Boland, a once rising star in Oregon football. After suffering four concussions over the course of his career, Boland was left unable to continue on the field and with little motivation for his education. Boland now suspects that concussions played a role in his life’s unraveling. But he says that if you’d have asked him about the impact of brain injuries when he was in high school, “I would have said concussions aren’t real.”

Reveal | Feb 12, 2019
All 50 states and Washington, D.C., have youth concussion laws focused on letting young athletes heal. Most require that athletes be pulled from games or practice until they’re cleared by a health care professional. But important details differ state to state. Of note: No laws specifically address the long-term risk of repeated hits to the head, which currently is a major concern in contact sports, particularly football. Reveal aggregated state laws to create an easy way for you to compare yours with others in a series of graphics.
The Sydney Morning Herald | Feb 12, 2019
Sport Australia launched an updated concussion document today, which is designed to give guidelines to grassroots and professional sports to protect players from brain injuries. Concussion management has become a massive focus in all sports as implement return to play protocols in professional competitions. But Sport Australia wants to target amateur and junior competitions to ensure they have the appropriate tools and information to prioritize athlete health. More than 40 sport and medical organizations have endorsed the concussion position statement, including Rugby Australia, the FFA, Cycling Australia, Basketball Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee.
Sports Illustrated | Feb 11, 2019
A year after his conspicuous absence from the Super Bowl LII broadcast, NBC Sports veteran Bob Costas revealed he was removed from the network's coverage due to comments he made about the NFL's concussion problems. Three months before the Super Bowl, Costas appeared at a journalism symposium at the University of Maryland, where he told the crowd that "the issue [in sports] that is most substantial—the existential issue—is the nature of football itself." "The reality is that this game destroys people's brains—not everyone's, but a substantial number," Costas added during the symposium. "It's not a small number, it's a considerable number. It destroys their brains." Costas was told by NBC afterward that he had "crossed the line" with his commentary about the NFL and concussions.
USA Today | Feb 11, 2019
The Alliance of American Football debuted Saturday to a round of polite applause. The XFL is scheduled for a 2020 return, and other alternative leagues are in the works. In most sports, more opportunity for athletes to play and get paid is a good thing. But football is different. The barebones violence of the sport is enough to leave players damaged forever. Allowing the sort of big hits the NFL has eliminated may be a quick path to revenue for the AAF but would be disastrous for the game of football.
BBC News (UK) | Feb 11, 2019

Family and friends of a former soldier who took his own life while suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) say more support is needed. They're calling for a change in the law that would mean veterans deaths were better recorded when it was related to the time they had served. Danny Johnston went missing in May 2018 and his body was found three days later in woodland near Chichester. Now veteran Daniel Arnold from Portsmouth, who also has PTSD himself, has set up an online support group for other veterans and is calling for a change in the law.

Miami Herald | Feb 11, 2019
The Many Lives of Nick Buoniconti, an HBO documentary debuting at 10 p.m. Tuesday, offers an absorbing glimpse into a remarkable life packed with enormous professional success but devastating personal loss. Buoniconti, 78, was healthy enough to conduct the interview from his home and sounds generally cogent throughout, though clearly weakened physically. But he bemoans losing his train of thought at least once during the interview and said: “Everything is jumbled for me. It’s just not possible for me to do it without stumbling.” A Boston University physician who examined Buoniconti in 2017 said “the way Nick appeared, his history and MRI, everything was consistent with CTE,” though the disease cannot be definitively diagnosed until after death.
The Salt Lake Tribune | Feb 8, 2019
The NCAA is facing more than 300 lawsuits from former college football players who claim their concussions were mistreated, leading to medical problems spanning from headaches to depression and, in some cases, early onset Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. The sheer volume of the cases seems daunting, but experts say those seeking damages akin to the NFL's billion-dollar settlement with its former players have a challenging argument to make. The concussion claims come as the NCAA awaits a federal judge's ruling in an antitrust case that challenges the association's right to cap compensation to football and basketball players at the value of an athletic scholarship.
Investigate West | Feb 8, 2019
A key finding of the yearlong investigation was that student-athletes in Oregon get more frequent and more thorough medical evaluations for concussions at schools that employ athletic trainers. Schools with athletic trainers reported twice as many possible concussions per student-athlete as did schools without a professional trainer. Football players at schools with trainers were more than three times as likely to be kept out of play until medically cleared.
The Washington Post | Feb 7, 2019
Veterans are taking their own lives on VA hospital campuses, a desperate form of protest against a system that they feel hasn’t helped them. Sixty-two percent of veterans, or 9 million people, depend on VA’s vast hospital system, but accessing it can require navigating a frustrating bureaucracy. Veterans who take their own lives on VA grounds often intend to send a message, said Eric Caine, director of the Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention at the University of Rochester. “These suicides are sentinel events,” Caine said. “It’s very important for the VA to recognize that the place of a suicide can have great meaning. There is a real moral imperative and invitation here to take a close inspection of the quality of services at the facility level.”
The Guardian | Feb 7, 2019
Nearly 65% of prisoners at a women’s jail may have suffered traumatic brain injuries at some point in their lives, a study has found. Research by the Disabilities Trust and Royal Holloway, University of London, found that of the 173 women screened at Drake Hall prison in Staffordshire answering questions about blows to the head, 64% gave answers consistent with having symptoms of a brain injury. The symptoms of 96% of the women suggested that these arose from physical trauma.
PsyPost | Feb 7, 2019
High blood pressure is more common among individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But new research suggests that not all PTSD symptoms are associated with an increased risk hypertension. The study, which appears in the journal Psychological Medicine, indicates that fear-related symptoms are the primary driver of elevated cardiovascular risk.
Physics World | Feb 7, 2019
Unconsciousness is characterized by an inability to report subjective experience. For patients under anesthesia, or in a more enduring state of unconsciousness caused by brain injury, reliable markers that indicate the presence or absence of consciousness remain elusive. Now, an international team of scientists has reported fMRI-based evidence of distinct patterns of brain activity that could differentiate consciousness from unconsciousness.
WIRED | Feb 7, 2019
Activists, entrepreneurs, and doctors in the US and Canada are working to expand access to psilocybin for anyone with mental health issues. These groups hope to undo decades of psilocybin prohibition by removing criminal penalties for possession or cultivation, or by providing access to psilocybin in a therapist’s offices, or both. Studies suggest that psilocybin can alleviate obsessive-compulsive disorder, treatment-resistant depression, end-of-life anxiety, addiction, cluster headaches, and relieve pain. There’s also growing evidence that ingesting the drug can promote optimism and prosocial and mystical worldviews, and nurture well-being.
Futurity | Feb 5, 2019
Teen athletes who sustained concussions while playing sports recovered more quickly when they underwent a supervised, aerobic exercise regimen, according to a new study. The study is the first randomized clinical trial of a treatment in the acute phase after a sport-related concussion. "This research provides the strongest evidence yet that a prescribed, individualized aerobic exercise program that keeps the heart rate below the point where symptoms worsen is the best way to treat concussion in adolescents," says John J. Leddy, director of the Concussion Management Clinic at UBMD Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine.
Psychology Today | Feb 5, 2019
There is sound scientific findings that PTSD and other psychiatric consequences of battle have profound physical effects on brain structure and function. Yet, in 2009, the Pentagon decided not to award the Purple Heart to veterans with PTSD. This decision was supported by the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH). Denying the impact of PTSD is unfair to veterans and has no medical basis.
NPR | Feb 4, 2019
Fears of brain injuries has deterred many parents and their children from choosing to play football. After years of publicity about how dangerous football can be, football enrollment has declined 6.6 percent in the past decade, according to data from the National Federation of State High School Associations. Those who still play the sport are increasingly low-income students.
Los Angeles Times | Feb 4, 2019
It's long been clear that football has a brutal concussion problem. And if you've been following the breathless headlines about the new generation of high-tech helmets now on the market, you might think these expensive, tricked-out helmets are the solution. They're not. Some research has concluded that a well-designed and properly fitted helmet can reduce the risk of concussion, but no helmet can prevent concussion.
Vox | Feb 4, 2019
Football isn't just a contact sport — it's a dangerous game of massive bodies colliding into one another. And while it may seem obvious that this sport can do extraordinary damage to brains and bodies, it's taken far too long for the NFL, the medical community, and football fans to fully reckon with this. Football is still an immensely popular sport in the United States but all the evidence we now have about the very serious risk of brain injuries casts a dim light on the future of the sport. Here are six things to know about the NFL, concussions, and brain damage.
Sports Illustrated | Feb 4, 2019
Earlier this week, in the Southern District of Indiana, dozens of lawsuits were filed by people you've probably never heard of. But I bet you've heard of the central defendant: the NCAA, which is on the other end of what will eventually be more than 200 filings that represent a coordinated effort toward some kind of reckoning on head trauma in the college game.
The Boston Globe | Feb 4, 2019
Ten years ago this week, I wrote my first story about chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the incurable brain disease linked to head blows in football. Since then, I've spent years examining the work of CTE researchers, the NFL's practices, and the heart-wrenching stories of former players who died with the disease and those who are living with its symptoms.
Men's Health | Feb 4, 2019
Heading the ball or knocking your head against the goalpost during a game of soccer might seem like NBD. But if you're dizzy and a bit disoriented and hope to just "shake it off" and carry on, you might be making a big mistake. Following a head injury, watch out for the symptoms of concussion, including headache, difficulty concentrating, and confusion. “That means it’s not healed yet,” says Edward Benzel, M.D., a neurosurgeon with the Cleveland Clinic. That goes even if you hit your head hard but didn’t think you had a concussion, because it’s possible to have brain injury and not know it.
ABC 11 News (GA) | Feb 4, 2019
Last week, the Concussion Legacy Foundation revealed Tommy Nobis had a severe form of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. 11 Alive News sat down with his daughter, Devon, who is sharing her and her family's experience that had no explanation until now. "We only thought is was my Dad's personality."
Eastern Daily Press | Feb 4, 2019
Mike Palmer, 52, started to suffer with cluster headaches in 2010. But as they got more frequent and the pain worsened, more tests were carried out and it emerged Mr Palmer had a brain tumour. What would follow two years later would be hours of surgery and even now, more than three years on, he is suffering the effects. But last year he married his wife Debbie, and the pair wanted to show that even when an acquired brain injury can change someone completely, it did not have to change a relationship.
SB Nation | Feb 4, 2019
This week, SB Nation's Broad Street Hockey had the privilege of chatting with Former Flyer Daniel Carcillo about a variety of topics - including brain injury, substance use and CTE. "There's a lot of anxiety that goes with playing professional sports for some guys, they can operate but they need a little help to operate. During my career there was a lot. There was a lot of substance abuse, and substance abuse is a direct symptom of repetitive head trauma. You don't understand what's going on, you're not predisposed to these mental health complications and what do you do? You look for something to numb it out."
Minnesota Post | Feb 4, 2019
Even though we wish to remain healthy and fit for a long time, growing old comes along with its own health challenges that affect quality of life. Environmental hazards such as slippery and uneven floors greatly increase the risk of falls under such circumstances. A significant number of fall-related TBIs in older adults are associated with environmental hazards with about 35.7 percent of injuries occurring in the bathroom.
ARS Technica | Feb 4, 2019

Forty-percent of the injuries linked to electric scooter use involve knocks to the noggin while nearly 95 percent of riders don’t wear helmets, according to a first-of-its kind study published Friday, January 25. As electric scooters and bike shares zoom into cities across the country, health experts are chasing after the potential public health and safety issues circling the micromobility market. The new study, published in JAMA Network Open, is the first to try to track the pattern of injuries linked to electric scooters.

The Guardian | Feb 4, 2019
Too many sports do not have the right procedures in place to deal with concussion but work on pitchside diagnosis and technology to improve it is moving forward. "The Guardian's Sean Ingle weighs in. "Some might believe we should trust athletes to know enough about concussion these days to understand when they are OK to play on. New research, however, does not bear this out."
CBS 2 News (IA) | Feb 4, 2019

1. 6 million to nearly 4 million concussions in the United States each year are related to sports and recreation. Medical and research experts said state legislation and access to insurance have made positive strides in helping students get back on their feet after facing their own concussion experience. "Brain injury is the last thing on your mind until it is the only thing on your mind," said Geoffrey Lauer, CEO of the Brain Injury Alliance.

CNN | Jan 31, 2019
A mild traumatic brain injury -- such as from a car crash or violent assault -- may come with a higher risk of mental health problems, according to a new study. Specifically, the research ties mild traumatic brain injury to a higher risk of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression after the injury, compared with another type of traumatic injury not involving the head. The study, published Wednesday in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry, found that among hospital patients, 21.2% of those with mild traumatic brain injuries experienced PTSD or depression up to six months after injury, compared with 12.1% of those with non-head injuries.
Daily Mail | Jan 31, 2019
The NFL's recent announcement that concussions fell 24 percent in 2018 may be encouraging, but Boston University associate professor Lee E. Goldstein (MD, PhD) told DailyMail.com that the findings are 'irrelevant' to the long-term consequences of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
The Post and Courier | Jan 31, 2019
In a Sports Illustrated roundtable discussion with six NFL writers, many of the journalists noted how NFL players don’t seem to be well-versed on concussions and CTE. You know who else doesn’t understand enough about these injuries? Young kids who play football. While education about traumatic brain injuries in sports has certainly improved in recent years, the CDC has shown that children from lower income families do not receive adequate concussion education.
The New York Times | Jan 31, 2019
If there is such a thing as the American dream, Jason Hairston, at 47, gave every indication that he was living it. He was a former college football star who played briefly with two N.F.L. teams, and he was the founder a top-end outfitter of hunting gear and apparel. Privately, though, the Hairstons struggled to hold it together. Jason routinely broke down and cried, Kirstyn Hairston said, scared of where his brain was headed. When a scan revealed deterioration in the frontal lobe that had not been present a year earlier, she said, Hairston made her promise she would never make him have another test, because he did not want to know the results. A slow decline over the past decade, she said, sped suddenly into a drop.
San Antonio Express-News | Jan 30, 2019
Researchers have confirmed what Tommy Nobis’ family long suspected: He had the most severe form of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease linked to repetitive blows to the head that can cause the kind of violent moods they had grown accustomed to. Dr. Ann McKee, the director of Boston University’s CTE center, said on Monday that Nobis had the most severe form of the disease, showing a “severe loss of neurons and large CTE lesions throughout the cerebral cortex.”
RTE Brainstorm | Jan 28, 2019
The rise of sports-related brain injuries raises the issues about the widespread culture of playing while hurt. Why do sportspeople continue to reject diagnosis protocols despite greater awareness surrounding the injury? How, and why do sportspeople frame the injury in ways that are unique to the culture of sport - that is, in terms of minimal time loss and return to play - and not in medical terms? What are the implications of this for trying to prevent the injury? Why are players’ incentives to seek medical consultation so weak?
Forbes | Jan 28, 2019
HBO's Real Sports is providing evidence that families with money are taking their children out of tackle football because of worries about concussions. On Jan. 29, Real Sports is airing a 20-minute piece by Bernard Goldberg that centers around Freedom of Information Act requests to Illinois public schools to determine the growth in the percentage of students receiving public assistance that make up the rosters of the state's high school football teams.
Psychology Today | Jan 28, 2019
Patients, clinicians and healthcare systems need to be able to predict who is more likely to develop PTSD following a traumatic event. So far, this has been an elusive goal, though much research over the past few decades have produced fundamental data required to build good predictive models.
Yale News | Jan 25, 2019
Using sophisticated computational tools, researchers at Yale University and the Icahn School of Medicine have discovered biomarkers that may explain why symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be so severe for some people and not for others. The study of combat veterans who have been exposed to intense events shows that those with severe symptoms of PTSD have distinct patterns of neurological and physiological responses affecting associative learning — the ability to distinguish between harmful and safe stimuli in the environment. “We are shedding new light on how people learn fear and unlearn it,” said Ilan Harpaz-Rotem, associate professor of psychiatry at Yale and co-corresponding author of the paper.
USA Today | Jan 25, 2019
Data from BCBS shows that between 2010 and 2015, concussion diagnoses in patients of all ages climbed by 43%. For children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19, however, rates spiked by 71%. According to Dr. Shelly Timmons, director of neurotrauma at Penn State University Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, it’s not that more kids are taking hard hits; it’s just that efforts to educate Americans about the dangers of concussions are paying off.
The Washington Post | Jan 25, 2019
The number of concussions suffered by NFL players decreased significantly this season, according to the league’s injury data released Thursday. According to that data, there were 214 concussions suffered by players during the 2018 preseason and regular season. That was down from 281 concussions suffered by players in 2017, a decrease of 24 percent. It’s a significant decrease,” Jeff Miller, the NFL’s executive vice president of health and safety initiatives, said in a conference call with reporters, “and one we’re pleased with. … While we’re pleased the concussion numbers are down and down significantly, when it comes to the health and safety of our players, there’s no finish line.”
CBC News | Jan 25, 2019
Michael Wagner, founder of El Segundo Youth Football and the executive commissioner of Pop Warner's Southern California Conference, says he's having more trouble recruiting young players in the wake of extensive media coverage of potential damage to the brain from hits to the head. Parents, he says, have been "scared off" by reports in the media about the potential damage that hits to the head can cause to the brain. As the dangers of head injuries have become more well known, youth participation in one of the most popular sports in the U.S. has dropped more than 20 percent over the past decade, according to the U.S. Sports and Fitness Industry Association.
Hannibal Boxing Media | Jan 23, 2019
Rose Pender, widow of middleweight champion Paul Pender, had donated her husband’s brain to Boston University hoping for answers as to why, at around fifty years old, things had begun to drastically change for him. Dr. McKee described her discovery as a "wow moment," when she found the infestation in Pender's brain. And while boxing stood still, Dr. McKee went to work. For McKee, "was the most dramatic case of CTE she had ever seen."
R&D Magazine | Jan 23, 2019
Researchers have identified a cellular response in mice to mild traumatic brain injuries that may lead to seizures. The study, published today in JNeurosci, suggests that the development of epilepsy triggered by mild TBI may be related to an atypical response from brain cells known as astrocytes, which change to form scars after a severe brain injury. TBI is a leading cause of epilepsy, which is characterized as the repeated occurrence of seizures.
Bleacher Report | Jan 23, 2019
Former Kent State running back Jerry Flowers is reportedly suing the NCAA for allegedly concealing concussion information. TMZ Sports reported the news Tuesday, noting Flowers—who played at Kent State in 2005—and at least one other person are suing for more than $5 million for fraud, negligence and breach of contract. Flowers said he suffered "numerous concussions" as a player and now has "several symptoms indicative of long-term brain and neurocognitive injuries." He believes he suffers from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Goal | Jan 23, 2019
Taylor Twellman, a former United States international soccer player and now an analyst for ESPN, had his career cut short due to the effects of repeated concussive blows during his playing days in Major League Soccer. He has long been a campaigner for better awareness around the issue of concussions in soccer but admits to being disappointed at what he sees as the issue's low priority within FIFA. "As much criticism as the NFL and the NHL get in the United States, and rightfully so, they have brought more attention to it than FIFA ever has. There's going to be research that comes out continuously, that's going to change certain things. At least be proactive and not reactive. The sad thing is FIFA is not even reactive," says Twellman.
NIH | Jan 22, 2019
Women and girls with a concussion are more likely than males to have a neck injury, according to an analysis of emergency department visits funded by the NICHD. The finding suggests that physicians evaluating females for a concussion should also consider evaluating them for neck injury so that they can benefit from treatment as soon as possible.
The NewYork Times | Jan 18, 2019
I’ve been a Patriots fan my entire life, long before they were good enough to loathe. But I won’t be watching football this weekend. I haven’t watched a single pass or tackle all season. I don’t remember much about last year’s A.F.C. championship game between the Patriots and the Jacksonville Jaguars. But I’ll never forget the sound. It still echoes in my ears.
Independent (UK) | Jan 18, 2019
One in four prisoners in Scotland have been hospitalised with a traumatic brain injury at some point in their lives, according to a new study. An estimated 10 percent of inmates have also suffered a severe or multiple head injuries that are likely to lead to a persistent disability, researchers at the University of Glasgow said. Collated in collaboration with the Scottish Prison Service, the findings show that brain injuries can result in emotional and personality changes such as impulsiveness, aggression or poorer judgment of control or temper.
The Irish News | Jan 18, 2019
There is a "significant" need for more help for families of children with acquired brain injuries in Northern Ireland, according to a new report. The charity, Brain Injury Matters, said it has received almost double the number of referrals it expected after launching a project in 2015 designed to assist families. The number of referrals to the project in just three years "shows the critical importance of having a dedicated service for children and their families in place, helping to bridge the gap that exists in statutory services".
ABC News (AUS) | Jan 18, 2019
A Queensland choir is using music therapy to unlock language problems and in turn, help sufferers learn to speak again after a brain injury. A person with Aphasia loses the ability to speak following a brain injury like a stroke, but the music therapy bypasses the injured brain cells using rhythm and memory to prompt the words.
Fox 12 News (OR) | Jan 18, 2019
A Portland bakery just opened its first brick-and-mortar location. But aside from its sweets, Sarah Bellum's Bakery wants to be known for shining on a light on an important issue: living with a brain injury. With every scoop, stir and sprinkle, the bakery is doing much more than serving up sensational sweets. Behind every cupcake–whether gluten-free, vegan or pet-friendly–is an even sweeter sentiment. "This is the environment where it is safe and it's okay if I forget something or get confused," Leslie Petcher, a volunteer, said. It's a safe place to learn things and just be me."
Medical Xpress | Jan 18, 2019
A team of Canadian and U.S. brain researchers have published results from a multi-year hockey concussion study, which tracked the brain function of young Junior A male ice hockey players using a new brainwave monitoring method called "brain vital signs." The research team found that brain vital signs detected neurophysiological impairments, such as attention and cognitive processing deficits, in players who had been diagnosed with concussions and were cleared for return-to-play. Surprisingly, the team also found significant delays in cognitive processing for players whom were not diagnosed with concussions at any time during the season (sub-concussive effects).
Front Office Sports | Jan 18, 2019
Along with increasingly stringent protocols at all athletic levels, the long-term effects of sports-related concussions are also coming to light with regularity. While science is continually improving, there are still latency issues with concussion symptoms and delays in how brain trauma can develop following an initial injury. Because of these neurological complications, teams and leagues are working on their risk management strategies for the devastating injuries, which can include concussion insurance.
UTNE Reader | Jan 18, 2019
According to Dr. Douglas Casa, chief executive officer of the University of Connecticut's Korey Stringer Institute (KSI), states and schools aren't putting the right policies in place to protect their athletes. "The best practices are not being followed...I'm kind of mystified, but people are just not implementing evidence-based medicine and policies at the high school level. I'm not saying they're not interested in it, but they're just not doing it." According to an analysis of peer-reviewed studies on head trauma in high school sports, high school football players are nearly twice as likely as college players to sustain a concussion.
Swim Swam | Jan 18, 2019
A case titled Mayall v. USA Water Polo in California between USA Water Polo and the parent of a child who played in a youth water polo league was filed on November 28, 2018. The case is not completed yet because the panel reversed the district court's original decision and remanded the case, meaning it will be sent back to the district court for further action.
ESPN | Jan 17, 2019
From the NFL to rec leagues, football is facing a stark, new threat: an evaporating insurance market that is fundamentally altering the economics of the sport, squeezing and even killing off programs faced with higher costs and a scarcity of available coverage, an Outside the Lines investigation has found. The NFL no longer has general liability insurance covering head trauma, according to multiple sources; just one carrier is willing to provide workers' compensation coverage for NFL teams. The insurance choices for football helmet manufacturers are equally slim; one helmet company executive said he was aware of only one.
Vancouver Sun | Jan 17, 2019
Brad Baylis suffered a traumatic brain injury when a moose crashed through his vehicle windshield owes his survival to the new field of brain chemistry microdialysis now being used at Vancouver General Hospital. While he was in the intensive-care unit for a month, plastic surgeons would spend 10 hours perfectly reconstructing his shattered face and intensive-care specialists would make Baylis the first patient to get a new procedure called brain microdialysis.
Portland Tribune | Jan 17, 2019
Over a decade ago three tragic stories of concussed high school football players — including Oregon's Max Conradt — put names and faces on a concussion problem that had been largely ignored for decades. Their painful stories resulted in legislation that has protected youth across the continent by establishing best practices for safely easing rattled student athletes back to competition. What's still missing, according to some education advocates, is an equal focus on how to help all kids - not just athletes - with brain injuries succeed in the classroom.
Futurity | Jan 17, 2019
For a new study, which appears in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, researchers looked at previous studies on the role that the neck's strength, size, and posture play in reducing concussion risk. They also looked into the greater risk of head injury to female and young male athletes who play contact or impact sports. The research suggests that neck-strengthening exercises in the preseason may help protect the heads of athletes at higher risk of concussion.
EurekAlert | Jan 17, 2019
To help physicians decrease the number of deaths resulting from traumatic brain injuries, Chandan Reddy, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and faculty at the Discovery Analytics Center, will use new machine learning techniques for computational models to predict short- and long-term outcomes, categorize traumatic brain injury patients, and provide interventions tailored to a specific patient and his or her injury. This four-year study is funded by a National Science Foundation grant in excess of $1 million.
Fox 8 News (NC) | Jan 17, 2019
Dealing with pain, loss and a brain injury, Rebekah Wagner used writing to help her cope through some of life's challenges. "I have a deteriorating brain. I was in a car accident when I was five - TBI, skull fractures, broke some ribs," she said. Wagner hasn't let those injuries stand in the way of her goals, despite what some people told her. "I was told that I had to give everything up, and I told my lawyer, 'Okay, I'll give everything up, but I will not give up my passion for writing. It's not gonna happen,'" she said.
Medical Xpress | Jan 17, 2019
Brightlamp Inc., a Purdue University-affiliated startup, has launched an application that lets a smartphone user quickly record data that can be sent to a medical trainer or other medical professional who can objectively determine if that person has sustained any neurological disturbance, including concussion, with potentially serious long-term health repercussions. The app, called Reflex, works exactly like a pupillometer and can take a digital video recording with a smartphone of an individual's eye to measure a response called "pupillary light reflex."
The Daily Nebraskan | Jan 16, 2019
During his research, Aria Tarudji, a graduate in biological engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, discovered that nanoparticles are able to accumulate in traumatic brain injury areas, and he is able to calculate the rate at which they accumulate into the damaged area using MRI. According to Tarudji, although these are not novel discoveries, they are rather novel to the traumatic brain injury field.
Seven Days Vermont | Jan 16, 2019
In 2014, Dr. Matthew Friedman and his colleagues founded the National Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Brain Bank, the first and only brain bank in the world devoted exclusively to PTSD research. It's a resource that could lead to a paradigm shift comparable to the origin of the PTSD diagnosis itself.
The Ringer | Jan 16, 2019
The six-time All-Star called it quits at age 34 because of concussion-related symptoms two months after the NHL agreed to compensate 318 ex-players who sued over head injuries. Is the league doing enough to ensure the long-term health of its athletes?
Portland Tribune | Jan 15, 2019
Nearly a decade ago, Oregon led the nation in passing a return-to-play law that governs when a student athlete is safe to practice and compete on the playing field following a concussion. But the state hasn't required anything to ensure student-athletes — or any children with concussions — are ready for the classroom following their injury, nor that the classroom is ready for them. David Kracke, an attorney who helped lobby for Oregon's return-to-play law in 2009, says it's time to expand the state's sports-fueled focus beyond "return to play" and help concussed students return to learn.
NPR | Jan 9, 2019
A question about heading soccer balls inspired a series of experiments to understand how the brain changes shape when someone's head takes a hit.
BBC Sports | Jan 9, 2019
The number of concussions in the Premiership fell last season, but overall injury absences increased, an annual study finds.
ESPN | Jan 9, 2019
The NFL is dropping efforts to fight certain dementia diagnoses in a landmark concussion case after lawyers for players accused the league of trying to delay payments and rewrite the $1 billion settlement. A federal court hearing set for Thursday on the NFL's appeal has been canceled. Instead, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody on Wednesday in Philadelphia ordered doctors to justify their findings in the contested cases.
The Irish Times | Jan 7, 2019
Scientists in Cork have developed a technique for the early detection of birth-related brain injury, which affects hundreds of babies in Ireland every year. Their work, based on genetic changes to umbilical cord blood that occur when a newborn is deprived of oxygen, is likely to enable earlier treatment that reduces the impact and severity of the damage to the brain.
Portland Tribune | Jan 4, 2019
Did gridiron collisions slam into Randy Casey's life? Unclear. "I authorized the hospital to send the pathology report & the slides to BU. (Experts there) said his brain was too far gone to give a definite diagnosis. From all of the symptoms and the way he acted, they said they thought he had CTE, but they couldn't say conclusively what it was because of not being able to test the tissue," says wife, Sue Casey. There is increasing concern about former athletes dealing with the effects of brain trauma. The Caseys' story shows there are repercussions for family members, as well.
The Candian Press | Jan 3, 2019
The latest figures available from the Public Health Agency of Canada say over 9,000 people fatally overdosed across the country between January 2016 and June 2018. British Columbia's coroners service recorded nearly a third of those deaths. But there are no comprehensive statistics for people who have survived the brain-damaging effects of opioids. Doctors say that information is imperative to understand the magnitude of the "forgotten" victims of the opioid crisis and to provide them with care and resources so they can become as functional as possible. Dr. Patricia Daly, chief medical health officer of Vancouver Coastal Health, called the lack of data on overdose-induced brain injuries "tragic" because neither patients nor their families get the support they need. "We focus on deaths but we forget that there's another group of people who have been negatively impacted, some of them severely."
Science Trends | Jan 3, 2019
For a number of years, researchers have described endocrine (glandular) problems in some people with a history of concussion. These endocrine problems can emerge months or even years after the concussive injury and can involve a puzzling constellation of multiple hormonal problems. It recently became apparent in the field that the underlying problem is under-performance of the pituitary gland. It is as if concussion in some people activates what amounts to a pituitary dimmer switch.
NPR | Dec 21, 2018
Chris Kurtz is trying to keep his sense of humor. Even after the VA told him last summer that he no longer needs a caregiver. In December 2010, a bomb blast ended his Army deployment to Afghanistan. He lost both legs above the knee and half of his left hand. Heather, then his fiancée, joined him at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the VA suggested she apply for their new caregiver program. The program was set up to support family members of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. They're mostly wives and mothers who receive a VA stipend to provide home health care that would otherwise cost the VA millions of dollars. In recent years many VAs have drastically cut their rolls — often with little explanation to the caregivers.The cuts come at a time the program is supposed to be growing. Congress approved a major expansion of the program in May, though implementation could take years.
ABC 5 News (IA) | Dec 21, 2018
An Iowa veteran said the traumatic brain injuries he suffered during combat overseas have ruined his life. Jason Ogletree, a charming, handsome and incredibly driven man, went from being a decorated Army Ranger to being an inmate in the Polk County Jail. More and more combat veterans return home to the United States with symptoms of a degenerative brain disorder known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The disease can only be diagnosed posthumously. Commons symptoms include, but are not limited to, memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulsive behavior, aggression and thoughts of suicide.
Insider NJ | Dec 20, 2018
This week, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr., the co-founder and co-chairman of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, celebrated the passage in the House of Representatives of H.R. 6615, the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Program Reauthorization Act of 2018. The legislation extends federal TBI programs through 2024 and authorizes resources to boost the CDC's efforts to launch a National Concussion Surveillance System as a means to fill longstanding data gaps and provide a better estimate of the TBI burden.
The London Free Press | Dec 20, 2018
Western University researchers are inching closer to making an invisible injury visible, using two kinds of brain scans to track the physical changes concussions cause even after the symptoms are long gone. In a new joint study, researchers at Western University and Radboud University’s Donders Institute in the Netherlands found physical markers of concussion in the brain at different stages post-injury. “That gave us new insights into how concussion works both acutely as well as at a six-month time point or even a multi-year time point,” said Ravi Menon, senior author of the study and a professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry.

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