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Navigation: SOS Sisson > Traumatic Injury Blog
Jack Sisson's TBI Blog
A hug is duct tape for the soul.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Mother has second childhood when she wakes with Hollywood amnesia
From The Daily Mail:
When Su Meck was knocked out by a falling ceiling fan, she woke up a week later with a total memory loss.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
A soldier's war on two fronts
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Brain-injured ringleader gets four years in prison
How do we feel about this? How much responsibility should be placed on the shoulders of brain-injured defendants? Is it right to send persons with I.Q.s of 70 +/- to prison? If not, what should we do when they commit crimes? Do you think our criminal justice system is ass-backwards when it comes to sentencing the brain-injured and the mentally ill? And, perhaps most important of all, do you see a realistic chance of changing the way we deal with mentally ill and/orbrain-injured defendants in the near future?
There were no winners in the courtroom when Anthony Martin Ramos was sentenced Friday to four years in prison for robbing and terrorizing a 16-year-old autistic boy in St. Paul.Keep reading.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Cell Replacement Therapy: A Promising but Unproven Approach to Repairing the Parkinson’s Brain
Jack has long been a proponent of stem cell research, and especially embryonic stem cells, whose use has been controversial, with most opposition coming from a moral and/or religious based belief about the beginning of human life. Most opponents to embryonic stem cell research believe human life begins at conception, thus, in their view, it is morally wrong to use embryos for medical research, even though such embryos are often slated for destruction. Whatever one's stance on embryonic stem cells, many scientists believe they offer significant hope for curing many of our most devastating diseases. One example is Parkinson's Disease.
From The Michael J Fox Foundation: Cell replacement therapy seeks to restore function in the body by replacing cells lost due to disease with new, healthy ones. In Parkinson's disease, this means replacing dopamine cells in the brain, the main type of cell that degenerates in the disease. Researchers hope that one day they will be able to use stem cells or iPS cells to successfully engineer healthy new dopamine-producing cells. These healthy cells would then be implanted into the brain, where the cells could in theory restart the brain's production of dopamine and restore normal movement.
At this time scientists are working to overcome two major challenges: first, engineering the dopamine-producing cells (see Stem Cells 101); second, getting these cells to function properly once they are transplanted into the brain. To date, scientists have had the most success generating robust dopamine neurons, in both quantity and quality, using embryonic stem (ES) cells. However, whether these engineered dopamine neurons are sufficiently 'authentic' — that is, whether they express everything natural ones do — is a remaining challenge.
Even if seemingly authentic dopamine neurons can be generated, researchers face an enormous hurdle in coaxing these cells to grow and make the correct connections in a host brain. This involves determining where to place the cell grafts and how to deliver them without causing additional brain damage or triggering immune rejection or inflammatory effects.
Additionally, the new cells must also be able to retain the characteristics of a dopamine neuron once implanted in the brain, where they will be exposed to other factors that may influence their further development and survival. Following transplantation into pre-clinical models, today's engineered cells often do not survive for long, can turn into different cell types or in some cases cause uncontrolled cell growth. For this reason, they are obviously not yet ready for therapeutic use in humans.
-------------------Based on evidence to date, the Foundation believes that the development of viable and feasible cell replacement therapies could revolutionize the treatment of Parkinson's disease. However, the hurdles to success are great; much work remains to be done before cell replacement therapy for PD is a viable therapy for patients. Furthermore, even if all roadblocks are overcome, cell replacement therapy may not be the “silver bullet” for treating PD. For example, researchers feel that dopamine cell replacement might have little or no effect on symptoms of PD not directly related to loss of dopamine cells, such as cognitive dysfunction, sleep problems, depression, constipation and gait and posture problems.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Convicted murderer seeks reduced sentence due to brain injury
What do those of us who either live with or study brain injuries think about this?
From The Olympian:
Monday, May 16, 2011
New Research Shows Promise for TBI Treatment
From NewsWise: In a collaborative program with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) under the leadership of Dr. Daniel Perl, professor of Pathology, USU, Dr. Stanley Prusiner and the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (IND) at University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), has made an encouraging start to identify drugs to treat troops suffering from the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
They are identifying drugs that can reduce the accumulation of proteins in the brain that are a result of traumatic brain injury and thus halt the progression of the injury. It is the focal accumulation of an abnormal form of the tau protein, particularly in the frontal lobes, that causes central nervous system dysfunction. This is similar to what has been recently described in the National Football League (NFL). Currently there are no drugs available to stop, or even slow, tau production or aggregation. The identification of such drugs is an urgent medical and societal issue.
---------------------------------The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, or USU, is the nation’s federal health sciences university. USU students are primarily active-duty uniformed officers in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Public Health Service who are being educated to deal with wartime casualties, emerging infectious diseases and other public health emergencies. Of the university’s more than 4,500 physician alumni, the vast majority are supporting operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, offering their leadership and expertise. For more information, visit www.usuhs.mil.
Read entire article.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Understanding Parkinson’s Disease
Since Jack was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, we've added that to topics that we blog about here on the TBI Blog. For new readers who might not be familiar with Parkinson's, here is a brief intro to the disease:
From HealBlog.net: Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common degenerative brain disorders today. It was previously called as “shaky palsy” when Dr. James Parkinson identified the disease in 1817. It was called as “shaky palsy” because of the characteristic sign of shakiness among people suffering from the said disease.Keep reading.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Traumatic Brain Injury Rehab Bill Offers Warriors New Hope
From PR NewsWire:
Wounded Warrior Project applauds Senator John Boozman (R-AR) with lead co-sponsor, Mark Begich (D-AK) and Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN/1) with lead co-sponsor Gus Bilirakis (R-FL/9) for introducing companion legislation in the House and Senate today that would ensure fuller lives for warriors who sustained severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in Iraq and Afghanistan, and urges speedy action on this measure.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Traumatic Brain Injury Among Children Rare; Study Finds CT Scans Unnecessary
Monday, May 09, 2011
'Young Parkies' deal with Parkinson's, normally considered an affliction of old age
From the St. Petersburg Times:
Friday, May 06, 2011
Happy Birthday, Michael J. Fox
The current issue of Good Housekeeping has an interview with Michael J. Fox, who announced publicly in 1998 that he has Parkinson's Disease. Since that time, the Michael J. Fox Foundation has funded more than $238 million in research, either directly or through partnerships. The foundation "is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today."
Here's an excerpt from the interview, prompted by Fox's approaching 50th birthday:
RE: Right. Which is something you must have thought about a lot when you were first diagnosed. Things like that — big life-changers and significant birthdays — make you reconsider what you value.Read the complete interview here.
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Concussions Impact US Teen Athletes: Brain injuries represent 10 percent of all high school athletic injuries
From Voice of America:
If you've read this blog for any length of time, you might remember that Jack funded Alexandria Virginia's Episcopal High School's baseline cognitive tests years ago, when no one was doing them. Jack's foresight was right on as today more and more schools and even school districts are requiring baselines for all athletes in contact sports. Long overdue, but still very welcome.
Monday, May 02, 2011
Exploring group checkups for diabetes, Parkinson's
From The Wall Street Journal:
LinksTBI Film Reviews
TBI Book Reviews
Traumatic Brain Injury Law Blog
SoapBlox/Chicago: Protecting Our Troops
Head Injury Survival Journal
Losing the Physical Self
Tower of Hanoi: Instructions for this popular puzzle can be viewed simply by clicking the Instructions button on that page.
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