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Navigation: SOS Sisson > Traumatic Injury Blog
Jack Sisson's TBI Blog
A hug is duct tape for the soul.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Human Memory Linked to Brain Cell Turnover
Nerve cell production in the human brain is directly related to learning and memory, according to a new study from the University of Florida. The findings, published online and in an upcoming print issue of the journal Brain, are the first to show such a link in humans.Read the entire article.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Concussion rate rises among young athletes
From The Chicago Tribune:
We’ve written a lot about high school athletes and concussions recently, but what about your 8-year-old football player?Read the entire article.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Concussions among high school football players a major concern
From Mercury News.com:
Making the medical decisions when your loved one can't
On July 26, we posted about The Caregiver's Path To Compassionate Decision Making: Making Choices For Those Who Can't, a new book by Viki Kind, 216 pages, Greenleaf Book Group (July 1, 2010).
Viki Kind is a clinical bioethicist, medical educator and hospice volunteer. Her book, The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making: Making Choices for Those Who Can't, guides families and healthcare professionals through the difficult process of making decisions for those who are losing or have lost the ability to think. She has also been a caregiver for many years for four members of her family.
Viki was kind enough to provide the following post for our blog:
The other day, I helped a woman who was struggling to make the right medical decisions for her husband who had suffered a traumatic brain injury. As a bioethicist, one of the first things I teach caregivers is to use Substituted Judgment. This ethical standard tells us that as the caregiver, you are supposed to consider all that you know about the person, what he or she has told you in the past, and what would be important to the person. Using this information, do your best to make the decision you think the person would make.
Look for future posts by Viki in the near future.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Motorcycle Accidents -- Think Again About Who's Hurt
From 24/7 Press Release:
There is rarely such a thing as a non-serious motorcycle accident. When a motorcycle is hit by a passenger vehicle or the motorcyclist loses control because of a weather or road condition, serious injury or even death often result.Read the entire article.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Jack Explores New Research and Treatment Options for Parkinson's Disease
Jack has Parkinson's Disease. I'm not sure if we've discussed this on the blog before, but in typical Jack fashion, he set out to learn everything he could about the disease, and especially the latest research and treatment options. He says, "I will get a case manager to make sure I get the best consideration to use all that neuroscience offers, and offer myself to PD researchers so as to use what offers promise while I can still function. My talents have given me great satisfaction in many fields, so that I will feel impotent when I cannot function." One interesting fact that might apply to Jack's case, considering that he suffered a TBI:
Recent research points to a link between damage to the head, neck, or upper cervical spine and Parkinson's. A 2007 study of 60 patients showed that all of them showed evidence of trauma induced upper cervical damage. Some patients remembered a specific incident, others did not. In some cases Parkinson's symptoms took decades to appear.Thanks to Parkinsons Disease Information at Parkinsons.org for the following information:
Parkinson's disease is one of a larger group of neurological conditions called motor system disorders. Historians have found evidence of the disease as far back as 5000 B.C. It was first described as "the shaking palsy" in 1817 by British doctor James Parkinson. Because of Parkinson's early work in identifying symptoms, the disease came to bear his name.Visit Parkinsons.org for more information.
Jack believes that "this disease will have more progress than any condition because of Michael J Fox, and Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google who has already shown the value of DNA testing thru 23andme.com."
From Wired magazine's July issue:
Buried deep within each cell in Brin’s body—in a gene called LRRK2, which sits on the 12th chromosome—is a genetic mutation that has been associated with higher rates of Parkinson’s.Sergey Brin has so far donated about $50 million to Parkinsons research. But being who he is, he's not after the usual route:
Brin is after a different kind of science altogether. Most Parkinson’s research, like much of medical research, relies on the classic scientific method: hypothesis, analysis, peer review, publication. Brin proposes a different approach, one driven by computational muscle and staggeringly large data sets. It’s a method that draws on his algorithmic sensibility—and Google’s storied faith in computing power—with the aim of accelerating the pace and increasing the potential of scientific research. “Generally the pace of medical research is glacial compared to what I’m used to in the Internet,” Brin says. “We could be looking lots of places and collecting lots of information. And if we see a pattern, that could lead somewhere.”
Read the entire in-depth article at Wired.com
You might also visit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research for more helpful information about living with Parkinson's and current research into the disease.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Hundreds of PTSD soldiers likely misdiagnosed
From The Associated Press:
Sunday, August 15, 2010
New Study Finds Whiplash Caused Brain Injury in Over 20 Percent of Cases
From PR Newswire:
VA explains where $6.3M meant for brain injury research went
From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has provided a brief explanation of how $6.3 million targeted for traumatic brain injuries suffered by service members in Iraq and Afghanistan has been utilized.Read the entire article.
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Study finds other areas compensate when memory-related region of brain is damaged
UCLA research has implications for recovery from brain injuries
Many neuroscientists believe the loss of the brain region known as the amygdala would result in the brain's inability to form new memories with emotional content. New UCLA research indicates this is not so and suggests that when one brain region is damaged, other regions can compensate.
The research appears this week in the early online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
"Our findings show that when the amygdala is not available, another brain region called the bed nuclei can compensate for the loss of the amygdala," said the study's senior author, Michael Fanselow, a UCLA professor of psychology and a member of the UCLA Brain Research Institute.
"The bed nuclei are much slower at learning, and form memories only when the amygdala is not learning," he said. "However, when you do not have an amygdala, if you have an emotional experience, it is like neural plasticity (the memory-forming ability of brain cells) and the bed nuclei spring into action. Normally, it is as if the amygdala says, 'I'm doing my job, so you shouldn't learn.' With the amygdala gone, the bed nuclei do not receive that signal and are freed to learn."
The amygdala is believed to be critical for learning about and storing the emotional aspects of experience, Fanselow said, and it also serves as an alarm to activate a cascade of biological systems to protect the body in times of danger. The bed nuclei are a set of forebrain gray matter surrounding the stria terminalis; neurons here receive information from the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus and communicate with several lower brain regions that control stress responses and defensive behaviors.
"Our results suggest some optimism that when a particular brain region that is thought to be essential for a function is lost, other brain regions suddenly are freed to take on the task," Fanselow said. "If we can find ways of promoting this compensation, then we may be in a better position to help patients who have lost memory function due to brain damage, such as those who have had a stroke or have Alzheimer's disease.
"Perhaps this research can eventually lead to new drugs and teaching regimens that facilitate plasticity in the regions that have the potential to compensate for the damaged areas," he said.
While the current study shows this relationship for emotional learning, additional research in Fanselow's laboratory is beginning to suggest this is a general property of memory.
Fanselow's PNAS study was federally funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Co-authors include lead author Andrew Poulos, a research scientist in Fanselow's laboratory; Ravikumar Ponnusamy, also a research scientist in Fanselow's laboratory; and Hong-Wei Dong, UCLA assistant adjunct professor of neurology and a member of UCLA's Laboratory of Neuro Imaging.
For more information about Fanselow's research, please visit http://fanselowlab.psych.ucla.edu/Main/Home.html.
Press release found at EurekAlert.
10 Things You Didn't Know About the Brain
From Live Science:
Read the entire article.
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