News & Headlines

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Kaiser Health News | May 3, 2019
As dockless electric scooters run roughshod through cities nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues its first assessment on injuries and safety. It studied the injuries linked to riding e-scooters in Austin, Texas, from September through November. More than 200 people were hurt in scooter crashes and mishaps — with nearly half suffering head injuries.
CNN | May 2, 2019
CNN National Security Analyst Michael Hayden, a retired four-star US Air Force general, formerly headed the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency writes about recovering from a stroke and the challenge of having to relearn everyday tasks that once came naturally. His daughter-in-law, Jessica Powley Hayden, helped him to focus his thoughts and put them on paper. "It is humbling to face these challenges that were once so routine. To dress. To eat. To walk. To read. To recall the names of loved ones."
Scope | May 2, 2019
Stanford's one-day Sports Concussion Summit explored advances in the diagnosis and management of mild traumatic brain injury. "This was the first real opportunity to engage the public in showcasing advances in concussion research and clinical care originating at Stanford," said Dr. Lumba-Brown, event chair and co-director of the Stanford Brain Performance Center. The summit's 160-plus attendees explored a variety of assessments and treatments at hands-on demonstration stations set up throughout Stanford Athletics Home of Champions.
Fatherly | May 2, 2019
Quality sleep is key for all kids and teens, as it helps their developing brains and bodies function properly. But according to a new study from Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, sufficient, sound sleep may be extra critical for those who’ve suffered a concussion while playing sports. They found that young athletes with good sleep quality were more likely to recover from a sport-related concussion within two weeks, while those with poor sleep quality tended to take 30 days or more to fully recover.
Reader's Digest | May 2, 2019
Every 40 seconds in the United States, someone experiences a stroke. Learn what doctors need you to know about this deadly condition.
The Atlantic | Apr 26, 2019
Todd Ewen was an NHL player and an "enforcer" who got into hundreds of fights on the ice during his long career...and then committed suicide a few years after he retired. After Todd's death many others were convinced he had CTE. Todd's brain sent to the Canadian Concussion Centre to be analyzed. Six months later, the center's neuropathologist, Lili-Naz Hazrati, called with shocking results: Todd did not have the disease. The NHL seized on Hazrati's negative diagnosis in its defense of the player's ongoing head-injury class-action suit and in public statements by the league's commissioner. In late 2018, Dr. Ann McKee announced her own conclusions from the tests: Todd did, in fact, have CTE.
AAP News | Apr 26, 2019
Pediatricians often evaluate children after a head injury, but the adverse sequelae involving the visual system may not be readily apparent. Vision disorders after a concussion can have a major effect on children, delaying return to full-time learning activities. Knowing what questions to ask, what to look for on the examination and whom to refer the patient to can help with diagnosis and treatment of visual disorders following concussion.
The Mercury News | Apr 26, 2019
After famed director John Singleton flew home from Costa Rica earlier this month, he began to experience weakness in his legs, so he headed to the hospital. While there, he suffered what his family initially described over the weekend as a "mild stroke." The family later released a statement to say he was in the intensive care unit. Sadly, Singleton's health crisis is another reminder, after the sudden death of actor Luke Perry, that strokes can happen at any age.
Reuters | Apr 26, 2019
College athletes may face a higher risk for sport-related concussions if they have insomnia or even if they’re just chronically sleepy, a new study suggests. Among 190 NCAA Division-1 athletes who completed surveys for the study, the chance of getting a sports-related concussion during the next year was 14.6 times higher for those with both insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness than for those who were well rested.
The Guardian | Apr 24, 2019
We have no place in our culture for this kind of grief. After her brain injury, Gabrielle was still there – it just wasn’t the her I had loved. For the first few days after the accident, things were exactly as we were told they would be. Gabrielle suffered terrible headaches and nausea, worsened by external stimuli – sound, light, strong odors – and motion. Gabrielle was unable to do more than lie on the bed or sit up in a chair. After a week these initial symptoms began to abate, but other, more complicated ones sprang up. Her body was healing, but something in her brain appeared to be malfunctioning.
NPR | Apr 24, 2019
Scientists have found a way to transform brain signals into spoken words and sentences. The approach could someday help people who have lost the ability to speak or gesture, a team from the University of California, San Francisco reported Wednesday in the journal Nature. "Finding a way to restore speech is one of the great challenges in neurosciences," says Dr. Leigh Hochberg, a professor of engineering at Brown University who wasn't associated with the study. "This is a really exciting new contribution to the field."
The New York Times Magazine | Apr 23, 2019
Post-traumatic stress disorder has long been one of the hardest mental health problems to diagnose because some patients try to hide symptoms while others exaggerate them. But a new voice analysis technique may be able to take the guesswork out of identifying the disorder using the same technology now used to dial home hands-free or order pizza on a smart speaker. A team of researchers at New York University School of Medicine, working with SRI International, the nonprofit research institute that developed the smartphone assistant Siri, has created an algorithm that can analyze patient interviews, sort through tens of thousands of variables in their speech and identify minute auditory markers of PTSD that are otherwise imperceptible to the human ear, then make a diagnosis.
The New York Times | Apr 17, 2019
Ryan Miller was a star lineman on a state championship team in high school and for the University of Colorado Buffaloes, where he set a team record for starts and minutes played. He was an Associated Press third-team all-American and played three years in the N.F.L. Yet the word that jumps most quickly to mind when talking to Ryan Miller is “fragile.” The brutality of the N.F.L. and its malefactions and lack of care for players’ bodies and minds are well known. But the time a player spends in college, including Miller’s tenure in the savage trenches of an offensive line, wreaks great damage, too, and that raises a pointed question: How can universities, places of higher learning that are devoted to the development of young minds and that in some cases spend millions of dollars researching the ill effects of brain injuries, justify running multimillion-dollar football machines that put those brains at risk of lifelong damage?
The Baltimore Sun | Apr 17, 2019
“After the injury, it became very difficult to move my body,” recalls Nirali Chauhan. “It kind of felt foreign to me. I felt very dizzy and nauseous when I did move. So that inactivity led to a lot of weakness in my body, and that’s something that I still struggle with today.” Chauhan then found yoga sessions operated by LoveYourBrainthat has helped Chauhan become physically active once again. | Apr 16, 2019
The Department of Veterans Affairs' benefits evaluation system for service-connected head injuries ignores several symptoms associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and should reflect the most updated medical knowledge, according to a report released on April 10th. In a review of the VA's process for evaluating and awarding disability compensation for TBI, a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine panel said the overall process should be made clearer to patients and include input from providers trained in recognizing TBI.
Forbes | Apr 16, 2019
Studying cannabis is really, really, difficult in the United States. Just ask Dr. Sue Sisley, who has spent the last ten years trying to complete the first clinical trial of cannabis use for PTSD in veterans. The study finished its groundbreaking research earlier this year after it was approved by the FDA all the way back in 2011. Dr. Sisley overcame multiple obstacles to complete the study, including being fired from her job at the University of Arizona.
Evening Standard | Apr 16, 2019
"When I succumbed to post-traumatic stress disorder, I wasn’t a soldier or a war correspondent. My life has, on the surface, seemed very pedestrian. This immediately disqualifies me from the popular conception of a PTSD sufferer as someone endlessly recalling bullets and bombs." Post-traumatic stress disorder affects 5.1 percent of women in London. Isabel Hardman explains how she learned to cope.
Health Day | Apr 16, 2019
New treatments mean aneurysms are no longer an automatic death sentence, specialists say. Aneurysms used to carry a high probability of death, but many can now be treated before they pose a serious threat. "If detected early, there are new interventions like a minimally invasive catheter-based procedure to treat the condition," said Dr. Ali Azizzadeh. He is director of vascular surgery at Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Doctors used to have to fix a blood vessel by hand, which meant open surgery and the risks that go along with it. "Today, we can fix the problem from the inside, without always having to open up the patient," Azizzadeh said in a hospital news release.
The New York Times | Apr 15, 2019
More than 3 million Americans live with disabling brain injuries. The vast majority of these individuals are lost to the medical system soon after their initial treatment, to be cared for by family or to fend for themselves, managing fatigue, attention and concentration problems with little hope of improvement. On Saturday, a team of scientists reported a glimmer of hope. Using an implant that stimulates activity in key areas of the brain, they restored near-normal levels of brain function to a middle-aged woman who was severely injured in a car accident 18 years ago.
The New York Times | Apr 15, 2019
Experimental brain scans of more than two dozen former N.F.L. players found that the men had abnormal levels of the protein linked to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease associated with repeated hits to the head. Using positron emission tomography, or PET, scans, the researchers found “elevated amounts of abnormal tau protein” in the parts of the brain associated with the disease, known as C.T.E., compared to men of similar age who had not played football. The results of the study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, are considered preliminary, but constitute a first step toward developing a clinical test to determine the presence of C.T.E. in living players, as well as early signs and potential risk.
Popular Science | Apr 15, 2019
Concussions aren’t like broken bones: There’s no foolproof way to diagnose the common brain injuries. That’s a challenge for coaches and athletic trainers, who regularly decide whether a knock to the head means an athlete has to leave a game. That’s why tests that can offer quick answers are tempting. However, only a handful of devices and other tools are actually approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assess head injuries. This week, the agency warned consumers against using phone or tablet applications that claim to identify suspected concussions.
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs | Apr 15, 2019
There was a time, following a series of brain surgeries for bleeding on the brain, that Army Veteran Cathy Davis had trouble talking in ways people could understand her. Walking and getting around in her wheelchair either at home or out in the community was a major challenge. Now through years of therapy, the Colorado native who lives in suburban Maryland leads a very full, active life.
Cohen Veterans Bioscience | Apr 9, 2019
Cohen Veterans Bioscience today announces findings from a study which identifies a critical brain imaging biomarker that may help guide people who suffer from PTSD towards the most effective treatment. The study, entitled “Using fMRI Connectivity to Define a Treatment-Resistant Form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” and funded in part by CVB, appears in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The study is the first to demonstrate that PTSD patients can be reproducibly stratified into distinct groups based only on their biological signature, or biotype.
Newsweek | Apr 9, 2019
Researchers at John Hopkins University have found that the psychedelic drug MDMA reawakens a critical period in brain development in mice—a finding that casts new light on why the substance may be helpful in treating some people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to a study published in the journal Nature, just a single dose of MDMA helps to re-open this critical period—think of it as a kind of window—in adult mice. During the window, the brain is more sensitive to environmental stimuli and social interaction is more rewarding.
The Conversation | Apr 9, 2019
Thrombectomy is a revolutionary stroke treatment where the offending clot is literally sucked out of the patient’s brain. This is the story of the first thrombectomy in Europe told by the surgeon who performed it.