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Navigation: SOS Sisson > Traumatic Injury Blog
Jack Sisson's TBI Blog
A hug is duct tape for the soul.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
New brain cell growth restores function
From Science News:
Newborn nerve cells may help heal the brain after a traumatic injury.Keep reading.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Shocking the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease
From WABC TV, New York, NY:
More than 1.5 million people live with Parkinson's disease in the United States. While the disorder tends to be more common in older people, it isn't always the case.Keep reading.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Early indications of Parkinson's disease revealed in dream sleep
During a large-scale study of the socioeconomic costs of this neurodegenerative disease, Danish researchers, some from the University of Copenhagen, discovered that very early symptoms of Parkinson's disease may be revealed in dream or REM sleep.Keep reading.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
NFL player's suicide opens discussion on Traumatic Brain Injury
Here's an excellent article from the San Francisco Chronicle:
Every year, 1.7 million Americans seek medical care for a traumatic brain injury, and countless more never do. Unfortunately, for decades traumatic brain injury has been a silent epidemic, exacting a confusing and heavy burden on patients, their caregivers, employers, families and friends.
That changed when U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., survived a gunshot wound to the head and NFL star Dave Duerson committed suicide so his brain could be donated to researchers to assess the consequences of traumatic brain injuries incurred on the gridiron.
The silent epidemic suddenly roared.The tremendous burden of this disease was revealed, not only for severely injured patients like Giffords and Duerson, but also for athletes, victims of car accidents and children on the playground. Yet traumatic brain injury remains one of the greatest unmet needs in medicine and public health. Why?
Funding for traumatic brain injury by the National Institutes of Health this year is an estimated $85 million out of its $32 billion budget, or less than 0.3 percent -- compared to the $60 billion combined costs of traumatic brain injury in the year 2000 (the last figures to date) for acute care and indirect expenses for lost productivity. Put in context, the amount of dollars-per-patientKeep reading.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Safer Football Helmets Goal of New Bill
From MedPage Today:
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Vitamin D Insufficiency Linked to Parkinson's Disease
Vitamin D has gotten a lot of press in the last year or so, ever since researchers decided that Vitamin D deficiency is widespread and seems to be related to many health concerns, including osteoporosis, depression, heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes, and more. Now, a new study has linked Vitamin D to Parkinson's Disease.
People with a recent onset of Parkinson’s disease have a higher than average likelihood of having a vitamin D insufficiency, according to researchers from the Emory University School of Medicine.Keep reading.
From Women to Women:
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Gene therapy may help reverse Parkinson's symptoms
From USA Today: Cutting-edge gene therapy on Parkinson's disease patients significantly improved the tremors, rigidity and other motor skill problems that are hallmarks of the illness, a small new study reports
The phase 2 study enrolled 45 patients with moderate to advanced Parkinson's disease, with half randomly assigned to receive the gene therapy and half assigned to undergo a "sham" surgery, a mock procedure glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) gene — which prompts the production of a chemical known as GABA that improves motor control — half experienced "clinically meaningful improvements" of their symptoms within six months of surgery, the study authors said.
Although several open-label trials on gene therapy have shown promise in treating neurologic disease, the researchers noted that this is the first of its type to be confirmed in a follow-up randomized double-blind trial, a study in which neither the investigators nor the patients knew which patients were receiving the real or sham treatment."It's a completely novel therapy — unlike anything that's currently offered," said co-investigator Dr. Andrew Feigin, an associate investigator at the Center for Neurosciences at Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y.
"I think we expected to see this effect, but you never know," Feigin added. "I was gratified."
The study is published online March 17 in The Lancet Neurology.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Mild brain injury could soon rate Purple Heart
From the Marine Corps Times:
Monday, March 14, 2011
The National Neurological Diseases Surveillance System Act
From The Parkinson's Action Network:
The National Neurological Diseases Surveillance System Act (S. 425) was introduced in the U.S. Senate on March 1, 2011 by U.S. Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), Senate Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s Disease. Sen. Udall was joined as original co-sponsor of the bill by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE), and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). The bill will create, for the first time, separate, permanent, and coordinated Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson's Disease national registries at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The registries will rely upon existing databases including Medicare, Veterans Affairs, state registries, and other databases to determine the incidence and prevalence of MS and Parkinson's disease across America. You can help the Parkinson’s community gain support for this important piece of legislation by contacting your Members of Congress.Keep reading.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
A concussion is a brain injury. Get the facts.
"A concussion is a brain injury. Get the facts." That's the message of the Brain Injury Association of America's (BIAA) nationwide education and advocacy campaign. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and the BIAA is ramping up its efforts to educate the public about this "misdiagnosed, misunderstood, under-funded neurological disease." This year’s campaign launches in March with radio and print public service announcements, awareness proclamations and special events. A state advocacy effort to introduce legislation to train coaches and protect youth athletes will continue throughout the year along with ongoing nationwide education.
According to the CDC, an estimated 3.8 million sports- and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year. Of that number, U.S. emergency departments treat approximately 135,000 sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions, among children ages 5 to 18.Find more information on Brain Injury Awareness Month here.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Genetic test makers defend technology before FDA
If you've been reading this blog, you might already know that Jack is a big fan of 23 and Me, Google co-founder Sergey Brin's firm (co-founded with his wife) which lets people analyze and compare their own genetic makeup. Jack believes that the type of research being done by firms like 23 and Me is going to revolutionize medicine. We will definitely be following this one closely.
From Bloomberg Business Week:
Go here to see more of Sven Grier's fractal art.
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Interested in chatting with other TBI survivors?
The Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind blog, operational since 2007, lists five missions on its "About" page. These include numerous objectives familiar to many bloggers on the topic, but my favorite is the last, mission #5:
To celebrate my successful long-term survival from a TBI and show others how I did it... and how I continue to do it, so they can have hope and, in the words of Winston Churchill, "Never, ever, ever give up!"That really is the key, isn't it?
But it's hard to remember. The biggest hurdle you have to get over when you decide to "never give up": the fear that you're on your own -- that every barrier you encounter, every hoop you must jump through, every trick your mind plays on you, is uniquely yours. You think you must be brave, and you think you must go it alone. Your family and friends, well, you're already putting them through so much, right? Your doctors, physical therapists, and other specialists, true -- you pay them to help you. But realistically, you can't expect them to be on call 24x7, 365 days a year... let alone forever. (And you couldn't afford it, even if they offered.)
So what do you do with the frustration and the fear? Bottle it up?
The best thing to do with it: share it with others who've been there or are on the way. No matter what your problem, TBI or anything else, you are not -- in having that problem -- 100% unique. Someone else has encountered it. Someone else has learned to live with it. Someone has researched it. And even if you're housebound, physically or psychologically, there's always a way to hook up with those people.
BB, of Broken Brain - Brilliant Mind, has an idea whose time is now: an online chat.
The Give Back Traumatic Brain Injury community has a chat feature. Would anyone out there be interested in setting up a time to chat live about TBI recovery?You may already know that March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month here in the US. Why not drop BB a line and sign up? Because the first step in truly never, ever giving up is... the first step you take with someone else.
Saturday, March 05, 2011
Popular quote of the day:
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, in the same way, and expecting different results.No one seems to know with 100% certainty who said this first. Some say Benjamin Franklin; some -- the largest contingent -- say no, it was Einstein; some ascribe it to Alcoholics Anonymous; and some say no, it was author Rita Mae Brown. No one can point to the author.
I don't know what the answer is. I do know it's a brilliant observation on human nature. And wherever else it applies, it applies regarding brain injury in athletes.
From a recent feature in the Abbotsford (BC) News, about hockey player Michael Funk:
After suffering four concussions in 14 months, the former Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks prospect has been advised by neurosurgeons and hockey managers that continuing his pro career could be detrimental to his long-term health...It's hard to know where to begin with that sort of thinking.
Surely, as human beings, we have to sympathize with anyone else's frustration about career disappointments, injuries (of any sort) severe enough to jeopardize one's life's work...
But my gosh. Contemplating a return to the rink after four (haha) "concussions" in a little over a year -- that's not exactly like a professional typist who keeps banging away at the keyboard despite his or her carpal-tunnel injuries, is it?
How many brain injuries is one too many? I always thought the answer was one.
Friday, March 04, 2011
TBI: Many Patients Do Not Get the Care Gabrielle Giffords Has
From ABC News:
Nearly three months after she was shot in the head, Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is progressing well in her rehabilitation at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston, where, according to her doctors, she is receiving a combination of physical, cognitive and speech rehabilitation. They say she is vocalizing more and is able to mouth the words to songs.
Thursday, March 03, 2011
Should NHL Finally Outlaw Fighting?
From The New York Times: Efforts to outlaw fighting in hockey go back decades. But though the number of fights in the N.H.L. has dropped significantly in recent years, fighting persists, preserved by the idea that it is a deterrent against cheap shots, a safety valve against more serious mayhem and something that fans like to watch.
This core belief in the value of fighting may prevent the league’s general managers, when they meet this month in Florida, from reacting decisively to the latest research findings, including the determination announced Wednesday that the longtime enforcer Bob Probert had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative disease of brain tissue associated with repeated concussions.
Probert, who retired in 2002 after a 16-year career with the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks, died last year at 45.
At least three N.H.L. players have sustained concussions this season as a result of fighting, and Commissioner Gary Bettman has acknowledged that concussions from fighting are one reason for a slight uptick in reported brain injuries this year over years past.
Dr. Michael Stuart of the Mayo Clinic, the chief medical officer for USA Hockey and an expert on head trauma, said he was not surprised that fighting carries an increased risk of concussion.
“You’re punching each other in the face,” Stuart said. “The objective of boxing is to cause traumatic brain injury — to knock your opponent out. So when big, powerful people fight on skates, it’s not unexpected that somebody may sustain a concussion.”
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Can a Mediterranean Diet Help Prevent Parkinson's?
People who follow a Mediterranean diet have lost weight and experienced a drop in blood pressure, blood fats, blood sugar and insulin levels, and these health benefits offer a longer life expectancy compared to people who are on a typical Western diet. Recent research showed that people who choose to follow a traditional Mediterranean diet are less likely to develop depression.
From the Press Citizen: Picture a meal of tomatoes with garlic and basil sautéed in olive oil served over pasta, vibrant salad greens drizzled with olive oil vinaigrette, crusty bread and a glass of red wine. The flavors and aromas of the Mediterranean -- as well as the colors -- engage our senses.
Much evidence points to the benefits of eating a wide array of plant foods in a spectrum of colors. For more than 50 years, scientists studying the Mediterranean eating pattern have supported it for its healthy outcomes. One recent review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a Mediterranean eating pattern has a protective effect against chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Another review published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice found a Mediterranean eating style to be associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
Keep reading to find out what makes up a Mediterranean diet.
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