News & Headlines

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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.
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.