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$1.7 million NIH grant to UC Scientists

Cincinnati Business Courier - July 6, 2007, The National Institutes of Health has awarded $1.7 million to a University of Cincinnati scientist to do molecular research that could lead to better treatments for brain injury patients.

Kenneth Strauss will study two types of molecules known as eicosanoids, which are created by injured brain cells, to confirm that they can protect healthy brain cells from further damage.

If successful, Strauss's research could lead to a new class of drugs designed to enhance the levels of these helpful molecules, and thereby improve outcomes in patients who have suffered traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability among people aged 16 to 45.

Read it here.


Diagnoses, treatments have changed
for some veterans' health problems


The Herald-Mail Online, Monday July 9, 2007,
Of approximately 686,000 troops who had returned from Iraq and Afghanistan and left the military, about 229,000 had gone to Veterans Affairs facilities as of April for health care, whether it was a veteran getting a flu shot or a quadriplegic receiving perpetual care, said VA spokesman Phil Budahn in Washington, D.C.

Budahn said he didn't have specific statistics for injuries caused by IEDs, but the VA was treating about 400 people for traumatic brain injuries. Such injuries could range from subtle symptoms such as loss of concentration all the way up to extreme personality changes and short-term memory loss.

In the past, everyone thought they understood the risks of traumatic brain injury to be obvious physical injury such as shrapnel, so traumatic brain injury wasn't always properly diagnosed, Budahn said.

But in 2003, a study out of the Tampa, Fla., VA hospital pointed out that people could experience a closed head trauma, or concussion, with no visible wounds, just from being close to a bomb going off, said Dr. John Sentell, chief of Mental Health Service at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center.

The brain can get injured from an IED blast without visible blood; even from the brain being jostled in the skull from the blast, Sentell said. These less obvious traumatic brain injuries are more common in today's wars and often make diagnosis difficult.

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Illinois program first in the nation to provide
TBI screening for state’s returning Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans


July 3, 2007 -- CHICAGO – On the eve of Independence Day, Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich was joined by Tammy Duckworth, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) to announce a first-of-its-kind program to screen every returning Illinois National Guard member for traumatic brain injury (TBI), offer TBI screening to Illinois Veterans, and 24-hour toll-free psychological assistance for Veterans suffering from PTSD. The program increases health care benefits for Veterans and will later become part of the Governor’s Illinois Covered insurance plan.

The program will work in two parts: The TBI portion will mandate screening for all Illinois National Guard members returning from deployment and offer free screening to all Illinois Veterans, especially those returning from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The PTSD portion will offer 24-hour, toll-free psychological assistance to give Veterans suffering from PTSD a place to turn, day or night, for help.

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Integra LifeSciences Supports Newest Edition
of Brain Trauma Foundation's Guidelines for
the Management of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury


CNN MONEY.com, PLAINSBORO, N.J., June 28, 2007
-- Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation (Nasdaq:IART) announced today its support for the third edition of the Brain Trauma Foundation's Guidelines for the Management of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury (Guidelines). The Guidelines are nationally recognized and referenced by many of the leading trauma centers in treatment of patients with traumatic brain injury. They are available for viewing at www.braintrauma.org.

The Guidelines were developed by the Brain Trauma Foundation (BTF) in association with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), and the AANS/CNS Joint Section on Neurotrauma and Critical Care, and incorporate the latest published research findings relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of severe traumatic brain injury.

Read it here.

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