News & Headlines

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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.
Investigate West  | Dec 19, 2018
Sue Casey suspects that the multiple concussions her husband, Randy, sustained in his football had something to do with the way his personality changed near the end of his life. "Toward the end, he was depressed. He got quieter and quieter. I never knew who I was coming home to — Jekyll or Hyde. His mood could change at the turn of a dime. He got to be very suspicious — I would say paranoid. I felt like I was the enemy. He would get really upset if you didn’t agree with him. I’d bring it up about how he had changed or something I noticed, and he humiliated me in front of our kids to the point where you never said anything. You were too afraid of what would happen."
The Huffington Post | Dec 19, 2018
About half of all people with brain injury are affected by depression within the first year after injury. Even more (nearly two-thirds) are affected within seven years after injury. Below, people who’ve dealt with depression explain how friends and family can help ease the burden.
Investigate West  | Dec 19, 2018
Hunter Holmes, an active teen and the goalkeeper for Redmond High School's soccer team suffered a life-changing blow to the head. Less than two months later, he committed suicide. Hunter’s grieving parents will never know the reason he took his own life. But they work to promote teen suicide and concussion awareness in tandem.
California Magazine (UC Berkeley) | Dec 18, 2018
The concussion crisis has been mostly associated with the NFL, but the problem takes on an added dimension at the college and scholastic level, for the simple reason that schools are in the business of educating minds, not damaging them. Now, as the number of cases mounts and class action lawsuits fly, an increasing number of parents are questioning the wisdom of allowing their sons to suit up. As in 1906, critics are demanding reform. Back then, it was President Teddy Roosevelt who led the charge to save football, while several college presidents, including the University of California’s Benjamin Ide Wheeler, found the sport bankrupt beyond salvation.
Seattle Children's Hospital | Dec 17, 2018
New research from Seattle Children's Research Institute and UW Medicine's Sports Health and Safety Institute found concussion rates among football players ages 5-14 were higher than previously reported, with five out of every 100 youth, or 5%, sustaining a football-related concussion each season.
King5 News (WA) | Dec 17, 2018
Family members of Rod Jones, a former University of Washington tight end and NFL player who died by suicide Saturday, said they believe head trauma from football led to the 54-year-old's downward spiral. "He was changing and morphing into something that was so irrational, so scared, so loss-of-control. The last six months have been noticeably scary for me here at home," said his wife and partner of 32 years, Carla Jones.
Chicago Tribune | Dec 17, 2018
Operation Combat Bikesaver started as a nonprofit in October 2015. The mission was to teach vets, especially from Iraq and Afghanistan, how to rebuild motorcycles and their lives after war. Founder Jason Zaideman wanted to offer a therapeutic outlet for vets suffering from symptoms of PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, suicidal thoughts, depression and post-military social isolation. "It has to be a direct comparison between a motorcycle that is beat up and forgotten about," he said. "The veteran is the same way. They both work on each other. Resurrect each other."
Dayton Daily News (OH) | Dec 17, 2018
"If an individual sustains a concussion from participating in sports or other physical activity, they should seek proper medical care," says Ohio Rep. Niraj Antani. "This bill serves as a legacy to Cody's memory and will help prevent future tragedies." Cody Hamblin, 22, died May 29, 2016, in a drowning during which he suffered a seizure that CTE contributed to, according to Antani.
Insider | Dec 17, 2018
Scientists have been trying to unravel the mysteries of the human brain for centuries, and they've uncovered some pretty fascinating stuff about how our grey matter really works. Here are a few truly incredible facts about the human brain.
FiveThrityEight | Dec 17, 2018
Over the past few years, the NFL has been haunted by the early deaths of some former players whose brains showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. CTE is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by memory loss, mood disorders, dementia and other brain-related problems. But how prevalent is CTE, and how likely are players to develop it? Those remain unanswered questions, despite ongoing attempts to answer them.
The Post-Standard (NY) | Dec 17, 2018
Tim Green recently disclosed on national TV he suspects repeated football-related head injuries caused his ALS, a fatal nervous system disorder also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The former Syracuse University all-American and NFL player suffered so many concussions playing football he stopped counting them. "I used my head on every play," said Green."It was like throwing myself head first into a concrete wall." Green's diagnosis underscores a long-running debate about whether playing football and other sports can cause the rare, debilitating disease.
TIME | Dec 14, 2018
For years, studies have found that depression is an all-too-common symptom of concussions. Youth athletes, college athletes and retired NFL players who have suffered brain injuries are all at increased risk of mental illness. A new study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics, flips the relationship between concussions and depression, and asks a different question: Are kids who have depression more at risk of suffering a concussion while playing football?
Harvard Health | Dec 14, 2018
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is unfortunately quite common, and some estimates suggest that millions of women may be sustaining unacknowledged, unaddressed, and often repetitive mild TBIs or concussions from their partners. Despite the plethora of concussion-related research in athletics and the military — concussion-related research in the context of intimate partner violence remains scant, representing a barely recognized and highly understudied public health epidemic.
The Washington Post | Dec 13, 2018
The family of Augustus “Gus” Lee, the University of Richmond football player who died early Tuesday morning, will donate his brain to the Veterans Administration-Boston University-Concussion Legacy Foundation Brain Bank, a repository of more than 650 donations established to study traumatic brain injuries and the neurodegenerative illness chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Lee was found dead in his snow-covered car just off the Richmond campus at 1:35 a.m., on Dec. 11, according to police. The Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reported the cause of death was suicide by asphyxiation. He was 20 years old.
The New York times | Dec 13, 2018
Tyler Hilinski, a quarterback at Washington State, killed himself in January and was posthumously diagnosed with C.T.E. His brother is a star recruit at the same position. Ryan said he thinks about C.T.E. in relation to other players more than himself, but he remains wary and knows the risk of a brain injury.
Inside Edition | Dec 13, 2018
What would you do if the happiest memories of your life suddenly vanished? That's what happened to Sgt. Lisa Crutch, a soldier who manned machine guns in Iraq. Inside Edition teamed up with Wounded Warrior Project to learn why Crutch is among the many veterans who credit the organization's free services with helping them heal.
The Guardian | Dec 12, 2018
Suffering a traumatic head injury is a terrifying ordeal, with serious implications for the way we live. Yet, strangely, there can be an upside. Here, four people tell Sirin Kale about their experiences.
The Daily Nonpareil | Dec 12, 2018

While many people know carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly, the fact that it can cause brain injuries — and with them, long-term aftereffects — is not as widely known. “It is a thing, and it’s a thing that we are quite concerned about,” said Dr. Jeffrey Cooper, director of hyperbaric medicine at Nebraska Medicine. Carbon monoxide, he said, prevents adequate oxygen from being delivered to tissues. But in some patients, it also can trigger an inflammatory response, in which the body attacks its own nervous system. Sometimes the effects appear immediately. In others, problems manifest later.

Reuters | Dec 12, 2018

Female military veterans with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder or depression are more likely to develop dementia later in life than peers without those conditions, a U.S. study suggests. Each of those conditions was associated with an increased risk for dementia, and if a female vet was diagnosed with more than one, that risk went up, researchers report in Neurology.

The Telegraph | Dec 12, 2018
Steve McCulley served in the Royal Marines for 17 years and rose to the rank of major before he was injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan in 2011. “I came to terms with dying in a trench, but when that didn’t happen, I looked at life differently,” he told The Daily Telegraph. The veteran founded Lios Bikes in 2013, following three years of rehab.