News & Headlines

Stay up to date with the latest brain injury news and headlines. These headlines are also available by email and RSS.

The New York Times | Dec 6, 2018

Some people are surprised that Chuck's injuries would cause such problems for our family, particularly because his wounds aren't as apparent as severe burns or lost limbs. In many ways, his injuries are even harder on our children than on him. And because they can't see their father's injuries, the details of what happened to him are supplied by their imaginations.

Cosmos Magazine | Dec 3, 2018
A fossil record littered with broken bones and fractured skulls has given Neanderthals a reputation for having led lives full of risk and violence. But that reputation is unfair, according to a fresh analysis of prehistoric knocks to the head. The study, published in the journal Nature, is the first to compare Neanderthals – thought to be particularly prone to head injury – with members of our own species who lived in Western Eurasia at the same time as our closest known relative. What they found was that head trauma was no more common in Neanderthals than in Palaeolithic humans.
CBS News (CO) | Dec 2, 2018

Actor Scott Takeda has appeared in big movies like Gone Girl, Dallas Buyers Club and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot but few people know that back in 2016 he sustained a traumatic brain injury. Now he is directing a new film with hopes of removing the stigma from the condition itself as well as using marijuana as a way to treat it.

Forbes | Nov 1, 2018
Despite new recommendations that children with mild head injuries can forego brain scans, the rate of scans for assessing children following head injuries has not changed. Educational efforts on concussion identification and management may lead to reduction in unnecessary scans in kids.
Indianapolis Star | Nov 1, 2018
The Ohio Supreme Court says the widow of a former University of Notre Dame football player can sue the school and the NCAA over allegations her husband was disabled by concussions during his college playing days in the 1970s. Steve and Yvette Schmitz filed a lawsuit in 2014 alleging the institutions showed "reckless disregard" for player safety and failed to protect them from concussions.
WTSP News (FL) | Nov 1, 2018
As we learn more about head injuries and concussions, new treatment options are becoming available. One Florida clinic bases its treatment program on the idea that the brain can adapt. "What we try to do is use all of our tools in our figurative toolbox: chiropractic, physical therapy, speech, occupational therapy, vestibular rehab," Dr. Matthew Antonucci, a chiropractic neurologist said. "All of these different types of rehabilitation tools to create a customized planned to get someone functioning at their highest level possible."
The Washington Post | Oct 30, 2018
High school quarterback Jack Esquivel had symptoms for months after sustaining a concussion last year. But his love of the game led to his parents allowing him back on the field. Jack’s parents had mixed feelings when he returned to the field. Ever since, his parents have been extra concerned over Jack’s well-being on the field, even for injuries that are nowhere near his head.
The Seattle Times | Oct 26, 2018
This week, former Steelers running back Merril Hoge and Boston University neuropathologist Peter Cummings released a book challenging the link between football and CTE — the brain disease found posthumously in a couple hundred former NFL players, including suicide victims Junior Seau and Dave Duerson. In promoting the new book, Hoge and Cummings penned an Op-Ed for Yahoo Sports that questioned CTE research and the media “hysteria” surrounding it.
San Francisco Chronicle | Oct 26, 2018
John Begley created a film that is a compilation of every reported concussion in an NFL regular season or postseason game in 2017. Begley’s film humanizes players, giving viewers a better sense of the violence they endure. “I didn’t want it to be a highlight reel of hard hits because those exist, and because those are very difficult to watch,” Begley said. “And in some ways, I feel like watching them desensitizes me more to what I’m seeing.”
Federal News Network | Oct 26, 2018
Head traumas can be hard for doctors to spot, mostly because not all the warning signs are usually present. But the Army Rapid Equipping Force‘s (REF) new devices can come in handy for that very reason. The tools provide an objective measure of brain activity, instead of relying on split-second reactions that a human may miss when inspecting soldiers. The REF teamed up with Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (MRMC) to deliver two new tools for traumatic brain injuries to soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Korea. The first device interprets brain electrical activity and neurocognitive function. The second tool rapidly detects brain hematomas in patients with head injuries.
Well + Good | Oct 26, 2018
Amanda Burrill is a Navy vet who served as a rescue swimmer and combat systems officer on two tours aboard the USS Dubuque. She’s also one of the thousands of military service members diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. While not all TBIs are the same, her experience—shared here in her own words—offers a window into what it’s like, including how difficult it can be to get the right treatment.
Associated Press | Oct 26, 2018
Texas officials are requiring the state’s largest schools to report concussions suffered by high school athletes in a move seen as the nation’s biggest effort to track brain injuries among young athletes. The University Interscholastic League, Texas’ governing body for public high school sports, ordered schools to submit individual concussion reports. “This is the first of its kind quality-improvement program in the country, certainly the largest,” UIL Deputy Director Jamey Harrison said Tuesday.
AAP News & Journals | Oct 26, 2018
The topic of concussion gives many of us a headache, given the complexity of determining how to manage the problem acutely and over the long term. Ewing-Cobbs et al. (10.1542/peds.2018-0939) share with us a revealing prospective, longitudinal cohort study specifically focused on what factors influence a child or teen’s vulnerability to experiencing post-concussive symptoms and the duration of those symptoms.
Standford News | Oct 26, 2018
Teams of Stanford researchers in the Schools of Medicine, Engineering and Education and Stanford’s interdisciplinary life sciences institutes are working together to better understand what causes concussions, how to diagnose and treat them and, perhaps most important, how to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Investigate West | Oct 19, 2018
Morgan Brunner, 13, received a concussion when hit by a stray ball during warm-up for a game of futsal. Thanks to Jenna's Law, parents and coaches had received information about proper care and concussion protocols. Despite these success stories, there are still grey areas this law doesn't cover, lawmakers say.
USA Today | Oct 19, 2018

Pop Warner is giving its young charges a crash course in how to recognize concussions. Starting today, the organization will offer a concussion education initiative nationwide. CrashCourse is an interactive online program from software creator TeachAids in collaboration with Stanford University researchers in medicine, engineering and education. The program includes a short interactive film that puts the viewer on the field for a high school football game and a symptoms simulator to help young people recognize the signs of a concussion in themselves or in others.

UPI | Oct 18, 2018
A new study out of John Hopkins University suggests head injuries are far more widespread than estimated. About 1 in every 6 U.S. adults -- roughly 23 million people aged 40 or older -- have been knocked out by a head injury, researchers report. Those numbers are huge," said lead researcher Dr. Andrea Schneider, a neurologist with Johns Hopkins University. "Head injury in the United States is much more common than we thought."
ESPN | Oct 18, 2018

In recent years, the term "concussion protocol" has become such a part of the NFL lexicon that everyone refers to it — from players to coaches to those of us who cover the league to all the fans who watch. But how many of us could actually describe the different elements of the protocol? Or identify the roughly 30 medical personnel present at every game?

FOX 9 (MN) | Oct 18, 2018
Each injured veteran’s story is unique, and so is their ability to talk about them with their own kind of war paint. This fall, the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance invited veterans to tell the stories of their injuries and recovery on blank canvases of a mask. The idea is to use paint and decorations to “unmask” their injuries.
WebMD | Oct 18, 2018

A year after a concussion, up to one-third of kids still have symptoms such as headache and irritability that may affect school performance, a new study from the University of Texas Health Science Center Medical School in Houston finds. "Children with all types of injuries may show post-concussion symptoms," said lead researcher Linda Ewing-Cobbs. Her team found as many as 31 percent still had symptoms that included inattention or fatigue 12 months after their head injury.

WABE (GA) | Oct 18, 2018
In a study published in July in the journal Nature, scientists who focus on cell regeneration at the University of Georgia reported successfully replicating some conditions of traumatic brain injuries in a petri dish — without using an actual human brain — allowing researchers new insight into the condition. “We thought of taking this out of the human being because that’s where complexity confounds things,” explained the study’s lead author, Lohitash Karumbaiah, an assistant professor at the Regenerative Bioscience Center in Athens.
Bleacher Report | Oct 18, 2018

NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills said the league "did a targeted intervention" with seven teams in regard to concussions. Sills said those seven teams were identified to have more preseason concussions than their counterparts during the 2017 campaign. As a result, the league met with the football operations staffs of each team to discuss practice drills and types of helmets that may have contributed to the higher numbers.

BU Today | Oct 18, 2018

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) is made up of more than 2,000 international members, elected by their peers, for outstanding achievements in medicine. Ann McKee, a School of Medicine professor of neurology and pathology, director of the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center, and chief of neuropathology at the Boston VA Healthcare System, has been elected in recognition of the huge impact that her research on brain injuries in football players and military servicepeople has had on public health.

BBC News | Oct 15, 2018
A head injury not only left Byron Schofield physically and mentally scarred for life - it also set him on the path towards prison. Research by neuropsychologist Dr Ivan Pitman for the Disabilities Trust suggests that about half of the UK's adult male prison population may have suffered a brain injury. When asked what difference it would have made if Schofield had been admitted to a rehabilitation program to begin with, Ivan Pitman replied: "Without a shadow of a doubt Byron would not have committed that crime."
The Washington Post | Oct 15, 2018
In a forthcoming book, “Racing to the Finish,” Earnhardt goes into depth about his battle with vision problems, disorientation and mood swings that made him want to quit the sport one week, then jump in the racecar the next. He also discloses the secret journal he kept of his escalating symptoms, to ensure he had some way of telling his story.
The Washington Times | Oct 15, 2018
Scientists researching chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in athletes consider women to be a vulnerable demographic — but they need to be able to study more female brains to determine why. “We have large gaps in the number of women’s brains we’ve collected,” McKee said in a teleconference with reporters Thursday. “We need to know if there are gender differences in CTE, which we do suspect, but we don’t have evidence for it at this point.”
Yahoo! Sports | Oct 15, 2018
The brain of Kevin Ellison, the former USC safety who died last week while walking the I-5 freeway in Southern California, will be donated to a lab to further the study of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a brain disease commonly suffered by football players. Ellison had suffered from bouts of mental instability, and his mother, Judy Reisner, said that those issues may have been caused by CTE.
The Aggie | Oct 15, 2018
Kassandra Ori-McKenney, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, was recently announced as a Pew Biomedical Scholar. She has been awarded a four-year grant totaling $300,000 to study the role of the tau protein in the degeneration of neurons caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI). While part of the research involves studying the protein itself, another part of the research goes into monitoring the origin and spread of tau in the brains of flies with TBI, as well as the behavioral effects on the flies.
The New York Times | Oct 9, 2018
Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, who played four seasons in the N.F.L., was found dead at age 30 and later diagnosed with C.T.E. He left behind a paper trail of his struggles dealing with the injuries caused by playing the game he loved.
The New York Times | Oct 9, 2018
As football season gets underway in high schools and youth leagues across the United States, communities are gathering in their stadiums to cheer and enjoy the sense of togetherness. But overshadowing it all is the threat of brain injury linked to taking hits during football and the angst many parents feel about deciding whether their children should participate. Parents reflect on the pressure and desire they feel to enroll their boys in tackle football, despite the risk of brain injury.
WYFF News 4 (SC) | Oct 9, 2018
Minutes after Clemson’s come-from-behind victory over Syracuse Saturday, head coach Dabo Swinney announced quarterback Trevor Lawrence was in “concussion protocol.” It’s a phrase used often around head injuries for athletes. WYFF News 4 Investigates took a closer look at Clemson University’s concussion protocol and how it compares to nearby NCAA Division I schools.
The New York Times | Oct 2, 2018
A simple rule change in Ivy League football games has led to a significant drop in concussions, a study released this week found. After the Ivy League changed its kickoff rules in 2016, adjusting the kickoff and touchback lines by just five yards, the rate of concussions per 1,000 kickoff plays fell to two from 11, according to the study, which was published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
CNN | Oct 2, 2018
A Georgia high school football player who came out of a game with an injury and then lost consciousness on the sideline has died, officials said. Dylan Thomas, a 16-year-old junior for the Pike County Pirates, came out of a game in the third quarter Friday night with what his coach Brad Webber said was a leg injury. As he spoke with athletic trainers and the team doctor, Dylan became incoherent and then passed out, Webber said. Steve Fry, a first responder and the mayor of Williamson, Georgia, said Dylan fell off the bench on the sideline. After the teen went down, he woke up, said "I can't feel my body," and then passed out again, Fry said.
Psychology Today | Oct 1, 2018
Research in neuroscience suggests impaired functioning in brain areas responsible for threat detection/response and emotion regulation account for many PTSD symptoms.
ScienceDaily | Oct 1, 2018
Clinical practice guidelines play a critical role in promoting quality care for patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). A new set of guidelines for rehabilitation of patients with moderate to severe TBI -- incorporating insights from the rehabilitation professionals responsible for providing care from initial assessment through long-term follow-up -- has just been introduced.
ScienceDaily | Oct 1, 2018
Model system researchers have examined the factors associated with mortality among individuals aged 16 years and older who were more than one year post- traumatic brain injury (TBI). The research team, which included investigators from five regional TBI Model Systems, analyzed data from the database of the TBI Model System National Data and Statistical Center. They identified 1,163 decedents and 10,839 matched controls, and examined the following physical, cognitive and psychosocial outcomes: Functional Independence Measure (FIM), Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale, Disability Rating Scale, Participation Assessment with Recombined Tool Objective, and Satisfaction With Life Scale.
The Wall Street Journal | Sep 27, 2018
The rate of suicide among young military veterans has increased substantially despite efforts by the Department of Veterans Affairs to curb the problem, though overall veteran suicides declined slightly, according to new data to be released Wednesday. The VA’s National Suicide Data Report paints a troubling picture for vets ages 18 to 34, for some troops who served in the National Guard or reserves, as well as female veterans.
CBS Boston | Sep 21, 2018
Limiting the frequency and severity of concussions in football can be a very difficult thing to do. That is an issue that appeared to be very much on display with Patriots safety Patrick Chung on Sunday afternoon in Jacksonville. Chung suffered a concussion during the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Jaguars, but he remained in the game until halftime. He did not return to the Patriots’ sideline after the half, and the team announced it was due to a concussion. A review of the game film shows a potential major breakdown in the NFL’s in-game concussion protocol.
The New York Times | Sep 20, 2018
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a major new guideline on diagnosing and managing head injuries in children, the product of years of work and extensive evidence review by a large working group of specialists in fields ranging from emergency medicine and epidemiology to sports injuries to neurology and neurosurgery. The guideline, which is the first from the CDC that is specific to mild brain injury in children, advises against the long recovery period, isolated in a dark, quiet room, that has sometimes been used in treatment.
60 Minutes | Sep 17, 2018

As 60 Minutes first reported in January, CTE isn't just affecting athletes, but also showing up in our nation's heroes. Since 9/11 over 300,000 soldiers have returned home with brain injuries. Researchers fear the impact of CTE could cripple a generation of warriors. "Blast injury causes a tremendous sort of ricochet or a whiplash injury to the brain inside the skull and that's what gives rise to the same changes that we see in football players, as in military veterans," says Dr. Ann McKee.

Horizon Magazine (UK) | Sep 14, 2018
"Brain injuries are one of the most complex pathologies in the most complex organ in the body, the brain," said Dr William Stewart, consultant neuropathologist at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, UK. "We have tended to think of injuries in simplistic terms." In July, Dr Stewart and colleagues from Italy announced a discovery that might explain how brain injury can lead to dementia. A single severe injury caused a brain protein called tau to go rogue, slowly spreading through the brain and corrupting other tau proteins.
Forbes | Sep 14, 2018
Steve Young is on a mission to educate NFL players and prevent brain injuries. In late September of his final NFL season, Young was tackled and never played again. Ever since then, Young says he has been tracking news about concussions and related developments in technology."At the time I retired I was kind of known for it, as one of the guys whose career ended technically as a result of a big hit," said Young. Now, this football legend has decided that he's on a mission to tackle brain injury.
Smithsonian Magazine | Sep 11, 2018

Determining if an athlete or soldier has a concussion often depends on what they tell you, but new technologies could provide a more objective approach. As the 2018 college football season gets into full swing, some college teams are keeping a new gadget on the sidelines: a pair of virtual reality goggles designed to diagnose concussions. The Pac-12 conference will actually use the VR goggles in every sport. The Eye-Sync goggles work by displaying a dot traveling in a rough circle and tracking the user’s eyes as they follow the movement of the dot. While the goggles track eye motion, the device is really measuring the brain’s ability to predict the dot’s movement, says SyncThink founder Jamshid Ghajar.

The Source | Sep 11, 2018
A person’s brainstem controls some of the body’s most important functions, including heartbeat, respiration, blood pressure and swallowing. Tumor growth in this part of the brain is therefore twice as devastating. Not only can such a growth disrupt vital functions, but operating in this area is so risky, many medical professionals refuse to consider it as an option. New, interdisciplinary research from Washington University in St. Louis has shown a way to target drug delivery to just that area of the brain using noninvasive measures, bolstered by a novel technology: focused ultrasound.
People | Sep 10, 2018
Kirstyn Hairston says her husband increasingly struggled with CTE-related symptoms weeks before his death. While Jason hasn’t been officially diagnosed with CTE — a determination can only come after a brain is examined following death — Kirstyn says the evidence is there. While she remains a fan of the NFL, Kirstyn says she is now compelled to raise awareness about the dangers of the game. She is calling on the league to do more to help current and former players, from offering better health care to investing in CTE research. | Sep 10, 2018
Is it better to treat post-traumatic stress by consciously processing traumatic events or by prolonged exposure to memory of the trauma? Both methods have proven effective over time; but now the Department of Veterans Affairs is studying how they compare to each other in hopes of fine-tuning the therapy delivery system.
Yahoo! Sports | Sep 6, 2018
Lawyers for the National Hockey League have engaged in settlement negotiations with attorneys for former players who allege the league lied to them about the dangers of repeated head trauma and concussions. Details of the talks are unclear, but one lawyer representing former NHL players confirmed that there have been settlement talks with the league.
CNN | Sep 5, 2018
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for the first time on treating children with concussions, saying they will provide doctors with the "tools they need to ensure the best outcomes for their young patients" with mild traumatic brain injury. The CDC said its guidelines were based on the "most comprehensive review of the science" over the past 25 years related concussions, which doctors and researchers refer to as mild traumatic brain injury, or mTBI.
Stanford Medicine News Center | Sep 5, 2018
Stanford pediatric emergency medicine physician Angela Lumba-Brown, MD, explains what families should know about new CDC guidelines on the management of children’s brain injuries.
The Washington Post | Sep 5, 2018
Bladensburg became the third high school in the Washington area to suspend its varsity football program for the 2018 season. The Prince George’s County Public Schools System made the decision Friday morning based on information from the school’s coaching staff. Earl Hawkins, director of interscholastic athletics at PGCPS, said the decision was made based on lack of participation and safety concerns. Team practices included roughly 31 players — not an ideal total but enough for some schools — but many of the players lack experience.
Technician | Sep 5, 2018
Watching NFL has become a questionable affair, but some of the guilt in doing so is eased knowing that the average NFL player is taking home around $2.1 million a year. College players, on the other hand, are simply given a shoddy, “free” education and lofty hopes of making it to the NFL. All this at the expense of the damage football ensues on them for what could be the rest of their lives.
NBC News | Sep 4, 2018
The NFL acknowledges that there is a link between CTE and playing football. So do researchers. But some steadfast skeptics are still trying to muddy the science and raise questions about the connection, with a fresh wave of doubt cast this summer weeks before the season's kickoff.The NFL acknowledges that there is a link between CTE and playing football. So do researchers. But some steadfast skeptics are still trying to muddy the science and raise questions about the connection, with a fresh wave of doubt cast this summer weeks before the season's kickoff.
Forbes | Sep 4, 2018
Seattle-based startup VICIS worked with Artefact to try to design a new football helmet that combined form, function, and safety. The ZERO1 football helmet made the Time's list of 25 Best Inventions of 2017 and earned the top spot in the NFL's and NFL Player Association 2017 and 2018 helmet laboratory performance testing. How much will this new design affect concussion and brain injury risk? Unclear.
U.S. News & World Report | Sep 4, 2018
A veteran who sustained a traumatic brain injury while deployed talks to U.S. News about how Boulder County Jail is helping him cope and recover.
Missoula Current (MT) | Sep 4, 2018
Because of budget cuts to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services earlier this year, many organizations and programs related to brain injury have struggled to provide services or have closed their doors. The Brain Injury Alliance of Montana lost about $100,000 in funding for its Brain Injury Help Line, the alliance’s largest program. The help line provides one-on-one guidance for traumatic brain injury patients and directs them to resources, therapy groups, rehabilitation facilities and literature. “Right now in the state of Montana, there are no outpatient TBI treatment facilities and that is a huge, huge deal,” said executive director John Bigart III.
The Dallas Morning News | Sep 4, 2018
The doctor diagnosed a mild concussion and prescribed rest. My plan was to do nothing. No screens, limited conversation. I thought if I did this, I’d get better. But the symptoms only grew worse. The concussion would rob me of my sense of self, my ability to continue my graduate work, and, seemingly, my sanity. It took me four years to recover.
11 Alive News (GA) | Sep 4, 2018
As Gwinnett Medical Center's Concussion Institute marks its fifth anniversary on Sunday, patient volume is up 211 percent since year one. The center's director, Kristin Crea, said more people understand the importance of seeking medical treatment for concussions rather than just "“"shaking them off"”" and pushing through the symptoms. "When the Concussion Institute opened, we focused on treating athletic injuries," Crea said. "But now we are seeing as many, if not more, patients with concussions from vehicle accidents, slips and falls, and work-related injuries. Concussions can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone."
Albany Herald | Aug 29, 2018
Researchers at the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center have succeeded in reproducing the effects of traumatic brain injury and stimulating recovery in neuron cells grown in a petri dish. This makes them the first known scientific team in the country to do so using stem cell-derived neurons. The procedure, detailed in a new paper in Nature Scientific Reports, has significant implications for the study and treatment of such injuries. | Aug 29, 2018
Brady Jandreau is a Lakota Sioux cowboy who agreed to star in director Chloe Zhao's film "The Rider" shortly after he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a rodeo accident. He plays Brady Blackburn, a rider recovering from a similar injury and the movie follows both his and his character's efforts to put their lives back together.
USA Today | Aug 29, 2018
As another football season begins, it inevitably leads to questions and fears about head trauma and its long-term damage. How many hits are too many? What can parents do to protect their children or players do to protect themselves? Are athletes in certain sports more susceptible? Most important, which athletes will develop CTE – or Parkinson’s or ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) – and why? The answers will come from brains such as the one McKee dissected this month, when USA TODAY Sports toured the brain bank.
U.S. News & World Report | Aug 27, 2018
A Denver-based study exposes the strong connection between traumatic brain injury and incarceration. Results from the project, which works with 18 Colorado facilities, reveal that of more than 3,400 Colorado inmates or probationers screened through the initiative from 2012 to March 2018, 53 percent had a history of a serious traumatic brain injury. In the general population, this number is only 8 percent.
ABC News | Aug 27, 2018
New numbers show a decline in participation in high school football across the country, and a dimmer future even in the state where the Friday night lights burn brightest. While high schoolers playing organized sports climbed to almost 8 million in the past school year, those joining football squads continued to steadily decline, according to data released today by the National Federation of State High School Associations. Football participation peaked in American high schools in the 2009-2010 school year at 1.1 million players. That was less than two years after stories first emerged about the tragic toll of concussions in the sport.
The Mercury News | Aug 27, 2018
A research project launches this fall that will use VR goggles to help diagnose and monitor concussions in football players (and other athletes) from five schools. Within three years, everyone will be involved.'
The Mercury News | Aug 27, 2018
'Is football safer? Will the sport withstand the scrutiny, and devastating effects, of concussions and CTE? Chris Nowinski, founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, joined the Pac-12 Hotline for a discussion of the game's future.
The New York Times | Aug 17, 2018
In the opioid epidemic, outcomes like Andrew Foote’s are a largely unseen casualty. An overdose of heroin and fentanyl four years ago left Andrew with severe brain damage. “People think that if you overdose on drugs, you either die or you’re O.K.,” his mother, Linda Foote, told me. “But that’s not true.” For Andrew’s parents, the fear that their son will die has now been replaced by a new set of realities and unanswerable questions: Is this a good life? Is he happy? What will happen to him when they grow old?
Sports Illustrated | Aug 16, 2018
“A lot of people think that rest takes cares of these problems, but that’s actually not the case,” says Dr. Micky Collins, director of the University of Pittsburgh’s sports medicine concussion program. “We actually need active and targeted treatments.” A concussion can present symptoms falling into six categories—cognitive/fatigue, vestibular, ocular, post-traumatic migraine, cervical and anxiety/mood—and each symptom has its own unique treatment to be most effectively managed.
The Washington Post | Aug 15, 2018
Research published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that at least a fraction of the blame could be placed on traumatic brain injuries. Researchers found that of the nearly 7.5 million people who make up the population of Denmark, more than 34,500 deaths between 1980 and 2014 were by suicide. Approximately 10 percent of those who took their own lives had also suffered a medically documented traumatic brain injury.
The New York Times | Aug 13, 2018
Yankees play-by-play broadcaster, Michael Kay, called out a pair of injured players on his radio show earlier this week: Jacoby Ellsbury (hip) and Clint Frazier (concussion). Kay said his comments about Frazier and Ellsbury’s slow return from injury were facetious, but Frazier was not pleased. Frazier tweeted "Facetious or not, I don’t appreciate what you said today. I’m doing everything I can to get healthy so I can play symptom-free... so steer clear of publicly calling me out for not when we haven’t even had one convo about my concussion this year. #ShameOnYouBro"
The Wasington Post | Aug 13, 2018
About 2.5 million teens, or 15 percent of U.S. high school students, say they sustained a concussion during a recent 12-month period while participating in sports or physical activity, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 1 million of those teen athletes reported two or more concussions in that year.
The Conversation | Aug 13, 2018
Humans have big brains and our frontal lobes, just behind the forehead, are particularly huge. Injuries to this part of the brain often happen after blows to the head or a stroke. Paradoxically, some people with frontal lobe injuries can seem unaffected – until they’ve been carefully evaluated.
Inverse | Aug 13, 2018

In a set of four papers published August 7 in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, a team of researchers at the University of Buffalo found that a small sample of 21 retired professional contact-sport athletes did not show any signs of early-onset dementia. This finding runs counter to the public perception brought on over the last few years by various teams of researchers examining the brains and cognitive functions of professional athletes in high-risk sports. But it’s not a final answer, just one more dimension of the picture.

The Augusta Chronicle | Aug 13, 2018
Former University of Georgia players and their families discuss their experiences and fears dealing with multiple concussions in their athletic careers. "I can’t lie, we’re all scared. We’re concerned because we don’t know what the future holds. When I’m at home and I do something, if I forget something I have to stop to think, ‘Is this because I’m getting older or I’m just not using my brain, or is this an effect of playing football?’ I don’t know that," says former Georgia running back Terrell Davis.
Northwest News Network | Aug 13, 2018
Between 2014 and 2017, Washington’s Medicaid program sent 16 brain injured patients to Oklahoma. In each case, the patient flew by air ambulance at a cost of $230,000 per flight. But there was one problem. The state didn’t have any plan to get them back. In fact, once the patients got to Brookhaven they fell between the cracks of two state agencies.
Fansided | Aug 6, 2018

Recently, more and more players are joining the fight in hockey. However, these fights aren’t against other players, but rather, against the NHL itself. Daniel Carcillo is one of many players who are now suing the NHL for withholding information about traumatic brain injuries. Daniel claims that the NHL didn’t give players enough information relating to the long-term effects of repeated blows to the head or concussions in general. In this multi-article piece, journalist Sam Boland detail's Carcillo’s background and experience in the NHL, the NHL’s stance on concussions and more.

The New York Times | Aug 4, 2018
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.
Daily Mail (UK) | Aug 3, 2018
A landmark study published in the journal Brain from the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research of Milan and the University of Glasgow provides the first evidence that just a single traumatic brain injury can generate an abnormal form of dementia associated protein tau that can slowly spread through the brain, resulting in memory deficits and neuronal damage.
Fortune | Aug 3, 2018
Steve Cohen's clinic network has thrust him into the fight over privatizing the VA and led some to question his motives. The Cohen Network and Cohen’s own spokesman insist they’re not trying to privatize the VA and their only goal is helping veterans. “No single private person in this country has ever donated more money to save veterans’ lives and treat their mental health needs than Steve Cohen has,” Cohen’s spokesman, Mark Herr, said. The organization blames others for the problems in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington. The story of the Cohen Network illustrates what could lie in store for veterans as Trump pursues his campaign pledge to place their care in the hands of the private sector.
USA Today | Aug 3, 2018
After suffering a traumatic brain injury in high school, Kevin Saum, confronts safety issues in athletics in a popular podcast. The podcast discusses big hits, penalties, and whether rule or equipment changes can make the game safer. Now up to 133 episodes Heads 'N Tales is about to celebrate its third anniversary. "I knew he was a fighter. I knew he'd do something big. I didn't expect him to sit back," said Vanorski, who coached Saum from sixth through eighth grades.
The Good Men Project | Aug 2, 2018
How do you decide if your son should (or should not) play tackle football? Perspectives from these two highly involved parents might help. We talked with Anthony and Cassandra McReynolds of Boise, Idaho. Cassandra and Anthony are the parents of three boys. Anthony also coaches their competitive baseball, AAU basketball and flag football teams.
ABC News | Jul 31, 2018
Heading -- deflecting a ball with the head in soccer -- is a way to send a teammate the ball, and a way to score. But does this sports practice lead to more brain injury in women than in men? It seems so, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Radiology. A research team led by Dr. Michael Lipton, professor of radiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, looked at whether or not heading had similar effects on men and women’s brains.
The Washington Post | Jul 31, 2018

Duping one of the nation’s most common concussion screening tests is nearly five times easier than previously measured, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Butler University. The researchers found that half of test takers who “sandbagged,” or purposefully underperformed, on the Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test, known as ImPACT, went undetected. That means those test takers were able to fool the exam, and thus might have returned to physical activity sooner than medically appropriate.

Newsweek | Jul 31, 2018

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Joshua Perry has been forced to retire from football aged 24 due to concussion issues. The former Ohio State student revealed on Twitter that he had sustained the sixth concussion of his career, which had generated “huge concern” for his well-being. “I’ve recently sustained my sixth documented concussion,” he wrote. “It wasn’t from a high velocity, big contact play. It was a very pedestrian thing, and that was a huge concern to me. The last thing I want to do is put the health of my brain and my future wellbeing in jeopardy over a game and a paycheck.”

Psychology Today | Jul 30, 2018
Did you know that it may be quite common for athletes to have symptoms of PTSD after a concussion? Fear triggers a host of changes in the body within seconds that can linger after the danger is past. In a small study of athletes who had suffered a concussion and filled out questionnaires within 13 days, nearly 13 percent reported "flashbacks" and 8 percent nightmares. Close to 18 percent checked off "Having trouble keeping thoughts of the incident out of your head."
Reuters | Jul 30, 2018
The NFL has approved more than $500 million in concussion-claims settlements, according to a report filed Monday. Claims administrators released a report on the concussion settlement that showed those funds had been released in less than two years, according to the Associated Press. The NFL’s reports previously had estimated the payouts would be just a bit more than $400 million in the first 10 years.
KFYR News (ND) | Jul 27, 2018
The North Dakota legislature's interim health committee is looking at a draft bill that would change the definition of a brain injury. According to state law, damage caused by a stroke or aneurysm is not considered a brain injury, which can limit the medical or financial aid that patients receive. Changing the language could include such situations.
NPR | Jul 27, 2018
Daniel, a Marine Corps veteran, used to fire a rocket launcher called the shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon. Two decades later, he still experiences dizzy spells and disorientation. But the Department of Veterans Affairs doesn't have a category for vets like him, who may have sustained traumatic brain injuries from training rather than combat.
NPR | Jul 26, 2018
The military is trying to figure out whether troops can sustain brain injuries from firing certain powerful weapons. Two Marines who used to shoot these weapons think they already know. "It's exhilarating," says Daniel, a former gunner in the Marine Corps who asked that we not use his last name. "When you feel a concussive wave, it's an awesome thing. It fills you with awe." It also may do bad things to your brain.
The New York Times | Jul 25, 2018
Limited by federal law, the veterans' health system can't study the benefits of cannabis or prescribe it to patients. Nearly a million veterans may be using it anyway without medical guidance on which product might help with which ailment, how much to use, or how marijuana might interact with other medications. Ordinarily, their first stop for advice like that would be the Department of Veterans Affairs health system but the department has largely said no to medical marijuana, citing federal law. It won’t recommend cannabis products for patients, and for the most part, it has declined even to study their potential benefits.
The New York Times | Jul 25, 2018
The NFL ultimately decided to settle its concussion lawsuit. The NHL is taking another path. “The NFL’s litigation strategy was informed less by the law than by the public relations and existential threat that concussions posed uniquely to their sport,” said Jodi Balsam, who teaches at Brooklyn Law School and worked at the NFL. In contrast, the NHL strategy has been largely to ignore negative publicity, or at least not to seem outwardly rattled by it, and unapologetically attempt to use the law to its advantage.
Task & Purpose | Jul 25, 2018
I began to wonder if one of the most damaging things that PTSD can do is prevent us from our ability to cope with these past traumas. Any trauma that might have reasonably occurred outside of military service, could invalidate any existing or future diagnosis. If people were in treatment, which most were not, it meant that only one trauma was being addressed. It would be like working on a broke down car but insisting that the only thing that needed to be fixed were the wheels.
NPR | Jul 24, 2018
Doctors are closer to a test in live brains that could help diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease that's been linked to concussions and other repeated brain assaults. The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease published a study Tuesday that helps broaden the understanding of who is potentially affected by CTE to include military personnel. And, perhaps more significantly, the study represents a step forward in developing a test for the disease in the living.
TODAY | Jul 24, 2018
Neurologists say that victims of physical abuse can be left with severe brain injuries that are rarely diagnosed or treated. Now, staff at the Phoenix-based Barrow Neurological Institute, a top brain injury clinic, have made it their mission to help victims and bring needed attention to this national health problem.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News | Jul 24, 2018
Investigators from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have identified a brain lipid molecule (LPA) that was significantly increased after TBI. The researchers also found that LPA was elevated in areas associated with cell death and axonal injury, both major hallmarks of moderate and severe TBI. These findings strengthen the evidence that LPA could be used as a biomarker of TBI through blood testing, potentially providing a prognostic indicator of injury and outcome.
LiveScience | Jul 24, 2018
A new blood test approved by the FDA to detect brain injuries might reduce the number of potentially unnecessary brain scans, according to a new study published July 24 in the journal The Lancet Neurology. The researchers argue that the blood test could reduce the number of unnecessary CT scans performed on patients suspected of having a TBI. However, several experts aren't convinced the new test would be a significant boon to patients.
HealthDay News | Jul 24, 2018
Traumatic brain injury can be a permanently disabling experience, but new research shows that obesity compounds the health problems survivors face. Achieving and maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical activity following a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are critical goals for recovery," said lead researcher Laura Dreer, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and her colleagues.
The New York Times | Jul 23, 2018
Veterans share their stories of struggling with moral injury and how they came to understand their symptoms. "I was in a combat infantry unit in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. After returning home, I experienced the usual PTSD symptoms: nightmares, flashbacks, hypervigilance, the need to self-medicate and an exaggerated startle reflex," says one veteran. "Years later, I read Jonathan Shay’s book 'Achilles in Vietnam and immediately understood the concept of moral injury."
Chicago Tribune | Jul 18, 2018
The damaging effects of a concussion are well-known, and recent research finds the injuries are common among U.S. high school students. In a representative survey of nearly 15,000 kids in grades 9-12, just over 15% said they had suffered at least one concussion over the prior year. What's more, 6% of respondents "reported two or more concussions" over the past 12 months, and 2% said they'd experienced four or more of the head injuries.
Forbes | Jul 18, 2018
Per order of a federal judge, a special investigator will not be appointed to the NFL’s $1 billion Concussion Settlement program to crack down on supposedly fraudulent claims. According to the July 18 ruling from U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge Anita B. Brody, though “sufficient evidence of probable fraud to warrant serious concern” was found, the order denied the NFL’s request to have a third-party investigator examine the claims submission process and says the current system in place to disregard dubious claims is working properly. This came after the NFL alleged this past spring that an administrator determined that 23 percent of the claims submitted to the program were fraudulent.
Boston Herald | Jul 2, 2018
The brains of the late state auditor and former boxer Joe DeNucci and the late National Hockey League player Jeff Parker have been found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy — providing further evidence that football players aren’t the only ones who get the progressive brain disease.The CTE Center at Boston University School of Medicine is leading much of the research into the mysteries surrounding CTE, working toward the ultimate goal of being able to diagnose the disease in living patients.
First Coast News (ABC) | Jul 2, 2018
They say if it isn't broken, don't fix it. But what happens when something is broken, but no one can see it? That is the dilemma of a concussion. "It's an invisible injury, we call [it]," said Dr. Nata Salvatori with the Brooks Center for Sports Therapy. Salvatori says concussions are heavily underdiagnosed, especially in female athletes. She attributes part of that to the difficulty in spotting it. "You're going to have a negative MRI, you're going to have a negative CT scan," Salvatori said, "so there's nothing objective to show."