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Navigation: SOS Sisson > Traumatic Injury Blog
Jack Sisson's TBI Blog
A hug is duct tape for the soul.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Getting Brain-Injured Troops the Best Care
From The Saratogian:
April 29, 2007 -- Sgt. Ken Comstock, a 1999 graduate of Ballston Spa High School who went to Iraq with the National Guard, suffered more than 500 skull fractures in August 2004 when a roadside bomb exploded as he was returning from patrol in a Humvee.Keeping them on active duty status would not send the soldiers back into combat, but it would enable them to continue receiving the best medical care for their injuries that the military can provide -- "from the Defense Department and from specialized private care centers, which would be better than care from the Department of Veterans Affairs."
As we all know, TBI is not something one recovers from overnight, so let's support this bill as a good first step.
Read the complete article.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Treating TBI With Hormones?
I found this on ABC 7 in San Francisco's Web site:
David Wright, MD, Emergency Physician: "Traumatic brain injury is a very significant problem in this country - over 1.2 million head injuries a year."Read the complete article.
And here's a link to some basic TBI facts and a summary of the research.
Army's New Equipment May Detect Brain Injury
FORT CARSON, Colo. — The Army, faced with thousands of cases of brain injury from the Iraq war, will soon begin testing brain-scanning equipment in hopes of finding a more accurate way to identify hard-to-diagnose wounds...
To date, the Army has not extensively used neuroimaging equipment to detect brain injuries in returning soldiers because not enough testing has been done to judge the
Read the rest of the article.
Monday, April 23, 2007
By Any Other Name...
I love the CBS television show Without a Trace. There's the dramatic tension you might expect from a one-hour program about a search for a different missing person every week. But the writing is superb, the acting exceptional, and, as my wife could tell you, I often end up sniffling by the time the hour is up. Alas, this season, since they moved the show to Sunday nights -- where its airtime is frequently, unpredictably bumped by sports events -- I don't see it much anymore.
But I did for some reason catch the episode ("Crash and Burn") originally aired last Sunday, April 15. (Trailer here, on the ever-valuable YouTube.)
I won't detail the plot here, spoiling it for any of you who'd like to see it. But I can tell you that the plot hinged on a brain injury suffered by a veteran of the US Marines -- not in combat, but in a trail-bike accident.
Two items of interest about this episode:
I believe one reason traumatic brain injury is not more widely recognized is that it has no name, or rather, too many names. Think about it – concussion, closed head injury, coma, shaken baby syndrome, diffuse axonal injury, second impact syndrome, coup countrecoup injury, contusion -- all refer to brain injury and are often used interchangeably with TBI...
Acquired brain injuries (ABIs) further complicate matters... many experts and organizations refer to all brain injuries as ABIs, with TBI being just one type of ABI. Confused? You should be.
It can be surprising to find TBI referenced in popular culture. More, it can be astonishing to find it referenced as TBI; I kind of wish one of my favorite show's writers had latched onto the term.
If you're interested in the episode, again, the episode title is "Crash and Burn." It will no doubt be re-broadcast sometime between now and the start of next season; you might also watch for it on the TNT cable channel, which shows Without a Trace reruns.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Kids with Head Injury More Likely to Have Another
Reuters last week reported that children who suffer a head injury are quite likely to have a similar injury subsequently.
"We do not really understand the mechanism behind repetitive head injuries in children," Dr. Bonnie R. Swaine, of the University of Montreal, Canada, told Reuters Health. "These results support anecdotal evidence of the phenomenon."Read the entire article.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Commission Hopes to Remove Obstacles to Veterans' Care
The government is finally beginning to address the myriad problems faced by our returning wounded troops, including those with TBI. Found this at PostStar.com:
WASHINGTON - Injured soldiers returning home for medical treatment face an unacceptable maze of paperwork and bureaucracy, leaders of a presidential commission on veterans' health care said Saturday.Read the entire article.
Friday, April 13, 2007
TBI Legislation and "Patient's Advocates"
From ABC NEWs:
April 11, 2007— "Where do I go to get my brain back?"All of this is very good news, of course, but a "patient's advocate" is a big step forward and a subject dear to Jack's heart. He believes that if he'd been given a "caretaker / advocate / physiatrist / case manager" -- whatever you want to call it -- his care and recovery during those first couple of years would have been much improved. Jack strongly believes this is necessary for all TBI patients.
Read the complete article.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Public Needs to Know That TBI is Still the Signature Wound of Iraq War
The following seems a little "after the fact," because Traumatic Brain Injury was labeled the signature wound of the Iraq War last year. Still, even if the military has been slow to fully address this issue, the following AP article from the "Boston Herald" sounds promising (except for identifying TBI as "military parlance"):
AUGUSTA, Maine - Traumatic brain injuries are common among wounded soldiers returning from Iraq, but they’re also commonly misdiagnosed or undetected, according veterans’ activists and Maine’s congressional delegation.Read the entire article.
Here's more from the "IndyStar":
WASHINGTON -- Sens. Evan Bayh and Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that soldiers with traumatic brain injuries should get extended treatment through the Defense Department instead of the Veterans Affairs Department, which they argued is less capable of handling such injuries.Read the article.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
New Study Challenges Conventional TBI Treatment
From UCLA Healthcare:
The chemical lactate has gotten a bad rap. Conventional wisdom considered it to be little more than the bane of runners and other athletes, causing stiff muscles and fatigue, and the "sour" in sour milk.Read the entire article.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Mild TBI Linked to Sleep Disorders
Anyone who's read this blog for a while is probably aware that Jack's TBI (in the late 80's) caused numerous other conditions, including sleep apnea. That's why his TBI blog sometimes cover seemingly non-related topics. It's like two degrees of separation around here -- they're all related through Jack.
Here's some news on head injuries and sleep disorders:
Science Daily — A mild head injury can increase your chance of developing a sleep disorder, according to a study published in the April 3, 2007, issue of Neurology®, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Researchers say these findings highlight the need for improved diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders in mild traumatic brain injury patients who complain of insomnia.
"As many as 40 to 65 percent of people with mild traumatic brain injury complain of insomnia," said study author Liat Ayalon, PhD, with the University of California, San Diego. "This is concerning since sleeping problems may exacerbate other brain injury symptoms such as headache, emotional distress, and cognitive impairment, making the rehabilitation process much harder."
Read entire article here.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Gene Linked to Increased Risk of Stroke
One of the most common genetic defects passed on through families significantly increases a person's chance of having a stroke, according to a study published in the Neurology, March 27, 2007.
"This type of gene has previously been associated with brain diseases such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis, and cerebrovascular disease, but this is the first time we've been able to determine this gene predicts such a significant increased risk of stroke," said study author Borge G. Nordestgaard, MD, DMSc, with Herlev University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Read the article.
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