News & Headlines

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Center for Disease Control and Prevention | Jun 5, 2019
Today, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated data and statistics on TBI related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths (TBI-EDHDs). The CDC now estimates approximately 2.87 million TBI-related EDHDs, marking a 53% increase from 2006-2014. These updated numbers can be accessed in the TBI web pages of the CDC website.
Reuters | Jun 3, 2019
People who have mild traumatic brain injuries may be more likely to have lasting functional deficits that get in the way of daily activities than patients who experience other types of injuries, a U.S. study suggests. Although long-term cognitive and physical impairments are well known after-effects of moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries, doctors are less certain of the expected course of recovery for people with mild traumatic brain injuries, researchers note in JAMA Neurology.
The New York Times | Jun 3, 2019
The NHL, with a lower profile and fewer player deaths than the NFL, has fought hard against mounting evidence of a connection between head injury and the degenerative brain disease C.T.E.
The New York Times Magazine | May 31, 2019
Many people wrongly assume that PTSD is inevitable for anyone exposed to trauma. Because I endured trauma at home and on the front lines but never suffered from PTSD, three years ago I volunteered to serve as a control for a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Center for PTSD at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Before the study, I had questioned whether I deserved health and happiness. I naïvely thought having PTSD would validate my military experience. I didn’t know why I was able to suffer and yet still move on. Now that I’m in medical school, I’ve learned there are a number of resiliency factors that might help protect people from developing PTSD. I happen to have a few of them.
The Balitmore Sun | May 31, 2019

Male youths who play lacrosse suffer more injuries and concussions than their counterparts in high school and college, a recently published national study comparing injury rates and their causes found. The study, which was published online this month and in the June issue of Pediatrics, examined injuries per minute of athletic exposure for 21 youth teams, 22 high school teams and 20 men’s college teams covering games and practices over the three lacrosse seasons. The results showed most of the injuries among the younger players were equipment and body-contact related. And while the overall concussion rate in lacrosse is low compared with other sports, the study showed the youth level experienced a higher rate.

PBS NewsHour | May 29, 2019
On average, 20 U.S. military veterans daily die by suicide, and suicides among active duty personnel are increasing. A number of treatments for veterans with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder exist, but they have drawbacks. Special correspondent Mike Cerre looks at treatment options and follows up on U.S. Marines with whom he was embedded during the war in Iraq.
NPR | May 29, 2019
The U.S. Army issued a tweet ahead of Memorial Day weekend with a question for service members and veterans: "How has serving impacted you?" In response, thousands of veterans and their loved ones shared stories of trauma, depression, illness, sexual assault and suicide.
The Arizona Daily Star | May 29, 2019
It's difficult for medical professionals to even assess whether brain-injury survivors have psychiatric conditions because many of the cognitive challenges that stem from brain injury mirror symptoms of certain mental-health conditions such as anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Regardless of the cause of a mental-health condition, however, the fact remains that intervention and treatment are crucial in ensuring that brain-injury survivors can live well after brain injury.
Redwood Falls Gazette | May 28, 2019
Studies are showing the link between mental health symptoms and TBI, which indicates just how important it is for people who think they may have suffered a concussion to get checked out and if a concussion has been diagnosed to go through the proper follow-up care.
Los Angeles Times | May 28, 2019
Concussions have become a major topic in sports over the last several years, mainly in football. But the Pittsburgh Pirates general manager would like to see concussions discussed more in baseball, particularly when it comes to catchers. On Saturday, Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli got his seventh concussion since the start of the 2015 season when he was hit in the head by a broken bat. He played for another half-inning after getting the concussion.
The Columbus Dispatch | May 28, 2019
David Mellor was paging through a magazine at his acupuncturist’s office when he recognized himself in an article on post-traumatic stress syndrome. Since being struck by a car nearly 30 years before, he had been struggling with irritability, depression, nightmares, insomnia, emotional numbness and more. Working long hours was one way he coped with the the symptoms that plagued him, but the strategy came at a high cost to his wife and two daughters.
WBUR News | May 28, 2019
A U.S. diplomat who suffered headaches and memory loss under mysterious circumstances while stationed in China has pledged to donate his brain for research. Mark Lenzi on Friday joined the several thousand others, including many former NFL players, who previously signed agreements to have their brains studied after they die by the CTE Center at Boston University.
Youngstown Air Reserve Station | May 28, 2019
Many service members struggle with the thought of seeking mental health treatment, thinking of it as a career ender, or possibly that others may think they are weak for seeking help. Corvin said he wrestled with the thought of whether or not to get help, and eventually decided he needed to make a change – not only for himself, but for his family. "I turned everything into a mission," he said. "My day-to-day life was literally task oriented. There was no real friendship making, no personal interactions; everything was something I 'had' to do. Whether it was going to work or attending meetings, I just focused on getting through it. But, the minute I didn't have anything to do, that's when the ghosts would come out and play."
CNN | May 23, 2019

Ashley Massaro, former WWE wrestler and Survivor: China contestant, died Thursday in her home of an apparent suicide. The 39-year-old former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star has suffered from depression for years and may have suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Ashley's brain could offer key insights into CTE and other neurological effects from wrestling. "It was her desire to donate her brain to be studied," her lawyer Konstantine Kyros said in a statement to CNN.

NPR | May 21, 2019
Outside of military contexts, many therapists aren't familiar with two key treatment options for trauma recommended by the American Psychiatric Association and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Conversation | May 21, 2019
Concussion is a temporary disturbance in brain function following an impact to the head. It can also occur after a blow to the body, if the force is transmitted to the head. Most people with concussions recover relatively quickly. But sometimes symptoms continue beyond a couple of weeks. When symptoms persist beyond three months, the person may be diagnosed as having persistent post-concussion symptoms.
CNN | May 21, 2019

In 2002, at just 59, former British footballer Jeff Astle choked to death. He'd been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease before his death. But 12 years later, Dr. Willie Stewart, a neurosurgeon, concluded that Astle had actually been suffering from the degenerative brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) from repeatedly heading footballs. "Unless you've seen it and lived it, it's so difficult to try and describe it," Dawn Astle told CNN Sport, as she remembered looking after her father Jeff and coping with his deteriorating health. "It was just the most brutal, brutal thing I've ever seen in my life."

The Advocate | May 20, 2019
"The problem with CTE is people don't have an understanding of what's going on," Corey Widmer said. "You're trying to figure out why, why, why, why … because you're so desperate and you're willing to look under every rock. And then you find something like this under one of those rocks." Widmer absorbs the scene and shifts to a more somber tone as he reflects on his ongoing battle with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, the horse sanctuary that has become a sanctuary for an old football war horse, and a 100-year vision that has given him laser focus because that, he says, is "how you kick CTE's ass."
U.S. News & World Report | May 20, 2019
Some of the most frequently asked questions when I'm evaluating and treating an athlete with concussion are: "How long before I can return to play?" and "Do you think I'll be ready for the next game/tournament?" The most accurate response to the common questions is, "We'll have to see how things go." That can be frustrating for patients, athletes, parents, trainers, coaches, teammates – and their physicians. So, insight into a clearer path for the anticipated resolution of concussion symptoms can be a huge benefit to patients and the sports medicine community.
WUWM 89.7 | May 20, 2019
Dr. Shaili Jain has worked a great deal in the area of trauma and PTSD. Jain is a psychiatrist and PTSD specialist. She’s now in California with the Stanford University School of Medicine, but she began her professional career in Milwaukee more than a decade ago. Her work in both places informs her new book, The Unspeakable Mind. The book weaves in stories and clinical studies from Jain’s professional career in both Milwaukee and California. It also examines issues in PTSD research including the use of medication and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), and the controversy over medical marijuana’s potential.
ESPN | May 20, 2019
Retired NFL players seeking testing as part of a $1 billion concussion settlement must see a doctor close to home to prevent fraud and "doctor shopping," the federal judge overseeing the case ruled Friday. The new rule will require most former players to see a doctor within 150 miles or a neurologist within 200 miles. Lawyers for the retirees say that in many parts of the country, there aren't enough neurologists taking part in the program. And some clients hope to see subspecialists to deal with their particular medical issues.
PBS NewsHour | May 17, 2019
A Pentagon-funded study has found that a specific form of computer-based brain training can improve cognitive performance in vets who suffered persistent mental deficits after a mild traumatic brain injury.
NJTV News | May 17, 2019
About two and a half years ago, Joseph Hartman overdosed on cocaine. Dr. Brian Greenwald says that's when Hartman's brain likely suffered the trauma that sent him to JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in December 2016. Greenwald, who serves as medical director of the Center for Head Injuries at the institute, says he's seeing an increase of patients who survive an opioid overdose but suffer brain trauma because of a lack of oxygen to the brain during that overdose.
The New York Times | May 17, 2019
Scientists are racing to treat brain disabilities with electrical stimulation. Predicting where all these efforts are headed, and how and when they might converge in a grand methodology, is an exercise in rank speculation. Neuro-stimulation covers too many different techniques, for various applications and of varying quality. Here's a metaphor to help make sense of the progress.
The Philadelphia Inquirer | May 17, 2019
"You name it, I couldn't do it," said Alan Segal. "Couldn't walk, couldn't read, couldn't write, had zero hand-eye coordination. And the whole time, I was fully awake and aware. It was the single most frustrating experience of my life." Segal bludgeoned his way back to the life he wanted through sheer force of will, wielding an upright bass the entire way.