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Adam Reborn: A Family Guide to Surviving a Traumatic Brain Injury

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08
Aug

Vitamin "D" May Help In the Fight Against Alzheimer's

Posted by on in TBI

                                            vitamin D

Interest in the “sunshine” vitamin has intensified recently as more and more research suggests it may play a role in a variety of diseases associated with aging, including heart disease, some cancers and diabetes.

Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin for good reason. The body needs only a few minutes of direct sunlight to generate amounts that are more than adequate. With age, however, skin becomes less efficient at producing vitamin D, so older adults are particularly vulnerable to this deficiency. Vitamin D levels can be measured by blood tests.

“The majority of older adults in the U.S. have deficient levels of vitamin D,” says Llewellyn, “and our findings suggest that this may increase the risk of new cognitive problems and dementia.”

Researchers have begun to think vitamin D is important to brain health by protecting the blood supply to the brain, Llewellyn said at the Alzheimer’s conference Sunday.

“We also suspect that vitamin D may help to clear toxins from the brain,” Llewellyn says, helping to break down amyloid-beta protein, the substance that is thought to play a role in causing Alzheimer’s disease.

(AARP.org/health)

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08
Aug

Swim Gloves/Paddles Are a Great Therapy Tool for Stroke and TBI Recovery

Posted by on in TBI

                                swim glove

Dear Friends,

Swimming is a great low impact workout and aquatic therapy can be a very beneficial exercise that includes your whole body. Swim gloves and paddles come in a range of styles and the web design helps with swim motion and  your propulsion. Adam practiced with a pair and found them to be helpful as he prepared for his snorkel trip to Belize.  (Enjoy the water!  - Alex)

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24
Jul

Using Only 10% of Our Brain May Be a Longtime Myth

Posted by on in TBI

                             brain useage

Reading this, you're probably using, what ... 10% of your brain? Funny how that notion took hold — that we use a tenth of our brain at any given time — because there's no actual evidence for it, the Conversation reports. The idea may date back to psychologist William James, who wrote in 1907 that we use "only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources," and a foreword to Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People that loosely quoted James as saying that "the average person develops only 10% of his latent mental ability." Now, products exist to "unlock the other 90%" and a new thriller, Lucy, shows Scarlett Johansson taking drugs that enable her to use all 100% of her brain.

But, as the Atlantic reports, scientists point out that the brain is an organ packed with living neurons that are always up to something. Brain scans that show only a small active portion of gray matter "lighting up" may confuse people, one neuroscience professor points out, because they show only the brain's major activities, not all of them.

Yet "those kinds of ideas self-perpetuate," he says. One possible basis for the 10% notion: The brain has almost 100 billion neurons, which are outnumbered roughly 10:1 by "glial" cells that keep the brain working.

(USAtoday.com)

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24
Jul

Fish Oil May Protect Against Alzheimer's and Offer Cognitive Hope for TBI Recovery

Posted by on in TBI

                fish oil

 

Fish oil is touted as a magical potion that boosts fertility, heart health, and weight loss and promotes a clear complexion, while lessening the effects of depression, ulcers, diabetes and many more conditions. But there’s another benefit to these glossy little capsules: They may prevent Alzheimer's disease.

A new study of 819 people published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia found that taking fish oil supplements on a daily basis is associated with a significant decrease in cognitive decline (as measured by the Alzheimer's Diseaese Assessment Scale and the Mini Mental State Exam) and brain atrophy — important findings in light of statistics that show that one person per minute is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. 

“We found that fish oil use was associated with better performance on standard tests of memory and thinking abilities over time, compared to those who didn’t take supplements,” lead study author Lore Daiello, a research scientist at the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center at Rhode Island Hospital, tells Yahoo Health.

The main ingredient in fish oil is DHA, omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fatty fish such as salmon, swordfish, trout, yellowfin tuna, mackerel, and more.

(yahoo.com/health)

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15
Jul

Summer Warning - Part Two: Football Players and Parents Concern Over Helmets and TBI Recovery.

Posted by on in TBI

                                       guardian-helmet
With millions of parents and players from Pop Warner to the NFL worrying about concussions and their potentially devastating effects, the claims sound reassuring.

Wear this mouth guard, and you'll be helping to protect yourself from concussions. This skull cap absorbs the blows that can lead to traumatic brain injuries. And that helmet adapts to each hit, minimizing the risk of injury.

There's just one problem: There's no one to verify that those statements, and many others, are true.

While government agencies monitor the safety and effectiveness of food, drugs and automobiles, there's no such group keeping an eye on football helmets or the increasing number of add-on products.

"It feels very much like a lot of companies are coming up with these ideas and they're making money off the fear of parents, and there's no real proof that they're helping," said Emily Cohen, a Berkeley, Calif., mother of two teenage athletes and blogger on TeamSnap, an online managing service for sports teams. "I would like to know, if I'm purchasing a piece of safety equipment, that it's actually going to make a difference."You want to believe because you want your kid to be safe. But you don't know."

Manufacturers can make any claim they want about the effectiveness of their product and, unless they run afoul of the Federal Trade Commission's ad police, there's little to stop them.No helmet or piece of equipment can prevent concussions, or eliminate the risks of them and other head injuries in sports. Almost every website carries a disclaimer that states that, and some are more thorough or blunt than others. But the warnings pale in comparison to the claims of what the products can do.
(USAtoday.com/sports)

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15
Jul

Summer Warning - Part One: Swimming and Deadly Fresh Water Parasite. Little Chance for TBI Recovery

Posted by on in TBI

                ameoba770
A brain-eating amoeba that lurks in fresh water has prompted warnings from Kansas officials after it killed a 9-year-old girl.

Hally Yust was an avid water skier and spent the past few weeks swimming in several bodies of fresh water. She died last week from Naegleria fowleri, a brain-eating parasite that lives in warm, standing water."Her life was taken by a rare amoeba organism that grows in many different fresh water settings. We want you to know this tragic event is very, very rare, and this is not something to become fearful about.""The amoeba ... finds itself way back in our noses and then can work its way into our central nervous system, around our brains," said Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "And once it's there, it just causes destruction."

In addition to a severe headache, fever, nausea and vomiting, Naegleria fowleri infections often cause death.

The cases are often reported in the summer, when more swimmers take a dip in fresh water.

The Kansas health department advises swimmers to use nose plugs when swimming in fresh water.

It also suggests not stirring up the sediment at the bottom of shallow freshwater areas and keeping your head above the water in hot springs and other untreated thermal waters.

(CNN.com/health)

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23
Jun

Major League Baseball Introduces New "Safety" Cap

Posted by on in TBI

             alex-torres-new-helmet-restricted-story-top

Alex Torres will never forget the sound that echoed around Tropicana Field from the pitcher's mound on a Saturday afternoon last June.

More than a year after the pitcher's then-Tampa Bay Rays teammate Alex Cobb was struck in the head by a concussing line drive, that sound of ball on skull still resonates.

"I came in after Alex Cobb was hit in the head," Torres told CNN on Sunday. "That's really an impression to me, how his head sounded from the bullpen. That was really bad. I was shaking. 'Oh my God! Oh my God!' I'm glad he's alive."

When the 26-year-old Venezuelan strolled from the bullpen to the mound for the eighth inning of Saturday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he became the first pitcher to wear a protective cap that MLB approved in January for use by pitchers.

"It's a good idea they make this kind of hat to protect my head," Torres said. "You want to protect life. I don't have a kid yet, but I want to see my kid grow up."

Line drives back to the mound have caused several injuries to pitchers over the past few years, some very serious. Most recently, the Cincinnati Reds' star closer Aroldis Chapman sat out the first six weeks of this season after a line drive in spring training caused fractures to his nose and above his left eye. In the most life-threatening incident, Arizona Diamondback Brandon McCarthy, then pitching for the Oakland A's, took a batted ball to the head in September 2012, then needed brain surgery because of internal bleeding.

The protective caps have padding imbedded inside the side and front. However, the portion of the head below the cap line, where MLB.com says many of the more seriously injured pitchers were struck, remains unprotected.

(CNNsports.com)

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23
Jun

Formula 1 Racing Great, Michael Schumacher, Awakens From 6 Month Coma and Prepares for TBI Recovery

Posted by on in TBI

                    michael schumacher

 

Michael Schumacher, the most successful driver in Formula 1 history, is in critical condition after suffering severe head trauma in a skiing accident in the French Alps on Sunday, hospital officials said.

The 44-year-old German, who retired from the elite motorsport for the second time in 2012, fell and hit his head on a rock, said the director of the Meribel resort where Schumacher was skiing.

Schumacher was in a coma when he arrived at the University Hospital Center of Grenoble and required immediate brain surgery, hospital officials said in a written statement.

But doctors haven't released details about his injuries or his prognosis.


Former F1 driver Michael Schumacher is no longer in a coma and has been transferred from a hospital in Grenoble, France, where he had been admitted after a skiing accident last year, his management said in a statement Monday.

"Michael has left ... to continue his long phase of rehabilitation," according to his manager Sabine Kehm.

 

He will continue his recovery at the University hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland. Officials there confirmed that Schumacher was admitted, but gave no further details about his treatment.

Schumacher, 45, suffered severe head trauma in a skiing accident at the French Alps resort of Meribel on December 29.

(CNNsports.com)

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02
Jun

Can Diabetes Effect the Brain to Shrink?

Posted by on in TBI

                  shrink-brain

It's not a secret that some diabetics also have memory issues, but a new study suggests it's not just due to clogging of blood vessels - your brain may actually be shrinking.

When the brain shrinks, it's often because valuable brain cells that help us think and remember are dying. A loss of brain cells is a hallmark for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia.

In this new study, published in the journal Radiology, researchers looked at brain scans from a little more than 600 people age 55 and older with type 2 diabetes.  They found that patients who lived with diabetes the longest had smaller brain volumes.

"When you lose brain cells, you lose the capacity for more complex thoughts and memory," says Dr. R. Nick Bryan, lead author of the study.

"Somehow diabetes is doing something to the brain that results in tissue loss (death of cells)," says Dr. Rosebud Roberts, professor of epidemiology and neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who was not involved with this new research.

(TheChart/CNN.com)

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02
Jun

2014 Washington State TBI Conference Offers Help & Hope To Those In Need

Posted by on in TBI

Dear Friends,

Adam and I were honored to be a part of the conference as guest-speakers. At the event a person's politcal, religious or social background/belief didn't matter. For here the only fact and cause that did matter - was the desire to help others.  Take care to all. (Alex.)

 

conference3

 

 

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19
May

Politics and TBI/TBI Recovery

Posted by on in TBI

                                    rove - clinton

Republican strategist and American Crossroads founder Karl Rove says he didn’t say Hillary Rodham Clinton may have “brain damage” from a 2012 concussion and blood clot, as reported in the New York Post on Thursday. But he says the former secretary of State “has hidden a lot” about the episode and will have to reveal more if she runs for president.

Rove made the comments about Clinton and brain damage last week at a conference in California, the Post reported Monday. “Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Clinton, 66, was hospitalized for three days and was away from the State Department for a month during her illness, which began in December 2012 with a virus. While ill, she fell and suffered a concussion; in a follow-up exam, doctors discovered a blood clot located between her skull and brain behind her ear. She was treated with blood thinners.

(DetroitFreePress.com)

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19
May

A Better Education May Result In Greater TBI Recovery

Posted by on in TBI

                            college graduates

New research suggests that people with more education recover significantly better from serious head injuries.

Scientists from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that adults with moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries who had earned at least an undergraduate degree were more than seven times as likely to completely recover from their injury than those who didn't finish high school.

The research focused on how "cognitive reserve" -- the brain's ability to maintain function despite damage -- affects recovery from traumatic brain injury. The results echo previous research in Alzheimer's dementia suggesting that more years of education, believed to lead to more effective brain use and greater cognitive reserve, slows progression of symptoms.

"I'm not sure we can quite say you should stay in school based on this study alone. But if one looks at the dementia literature, maintaining the health of your brain by being actively involved in your life is important," said study author Eric Schneider, an epidemiologist and assistant professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

"And in the unlikely event of injury to your brain, it may help," he added.

(CBSNews.com)

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19
May

No TBI Recovery for Zombies

Posted by on in TBI

                  zombies-

Never fear the night of the living dead -- the Pentagon has got you covered.

From responses to natural disasters to a catastrophic attack on the homeland, the U.S. military has a plan of action ready to go if either incident occurs.

It has also devised an elaborate plan should a zombie apocalypse befall the country, according to a Defense Department document obtained by CNN.

In an unclassified document titled "CONOP 8888," officials from U.S. Strategic Command used the specter of a planet-wide attack by the walking dead as a training template for how to plan for real-life, large-scale operations, emergencies and catastrophes.

Zombie life forms "created via some form of occult experimentation in what might otherwise be referred to as 'evil magic,' to vegetarian zombies that pose no threat to humans due to their exclusive consumption of vegetation, to zombie life forms created after an organism is infected with a high dose of radiation are among the invaders the document outlines."

"The only assumed way to effectively cause causalities to the zombie ranks by tactical force is the concentration of all firepower to the head, specifically the brain," the plan reads. "The only way to ensure a zombie is 'dead' is to burn the zombie corpse."

(Cnn.com)

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19
May

Ex Browns QB Bernie Kosar Fired for Concussion or Being Drunk?

Posted by on in TBI

                bernie kosar

Bernie Kosar, who was sacked by his own team from doing analysis on the Browns’ preseason telecasts, wants his job back.

Kosar said he was fired because of his “slurred speech impairment, which is a direct result of the many concussions I received while playing in the NFL.” Kosar also appealed to the team and station to reinstate him.

Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar has a court date scheduled for today stemming from his drunk driving arrest last year.

The officer who pulled Kosar over says that when asked for his license, Kosar instead handed over two credit cards. The officer said there was a strong odor of alcohol coming from Kosar, and that Kosar failed a field sobriety test. Kosar told police that he was unable to perform sobriety tests because of football injuries, which he told officers were because “his line couldn’t block,” according to police.

Kosar’s slurred speech was noticeable when he was hired for the job, however, which raises the question of why he would get fired for it now if the Browns and WKYC didn’t have any problem with his speech at the time they hired him.

(Yahoosports.com, profootballtalk.com)

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19
May

2014 NFL Draft Hints at Upcoming Season and Reminds of Football TBI

Posted by on in TBI

                            russell allen

Jaguars linebacker Russell Allen thought he had his bell rung against the Bills in Week 15 last season. He played through the injury and double vision, but two days later found out he’d suffered a stroke on the field. A dead spot in his brain means he’ll never play football again.

In the back of the brain, the cerebellum tells the body how to walk, run and even crawl. It might also play a role in discerning happiness and fear, but the medical science isn’t exactly sure. What doctors are sure of, however, is that Russell has a spot on his cerebellum, no bigger than a dime, that is dead.

“It was strange because it was so routine,” Allen says. “We hit, I got off the block, no big deal. I felt something flash—like they say when you get your bell rung. I didn’t lose consciousness. I walked back to the huddle and finished the drive.”

 (SportsIllustrated.com)

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04
Apr

Routine Dental Work Puts Mother In Coma

Posted by on in TBI

                         checkups

A Hawaii woman went in for routine dental work on Monday but ... didn't wake up. Kristen Tavares, 23, was to have four wisdom teeth removed; during the procedure "she went into cardiac arrest and they had to use a defibrillator and shocked her, stunned her heart," her boyfriend tells Hawaii News Now. The mother of a three-month-old baby and a son, 4, is now in a coma, and a CT scan shows some swelling in the brain, a separate Hawaii News Now story notes. What went wrong still remains a mystery.


"Statistically it's usually an airway issue," a doctor not related to Tavares' care explains. "Perhaps a foreign body drops into the airway like a tooth, or a piece of gauze or perhaps the patient might vomit and get fluid up their airway and then down into their lungs. That's why we have them don't eat or drink before a general anesthetic or any anesthetic."

(Shine.yahoo.com)

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04
Apr

Crafting/Knitting Can Relieve Anxiety/Stress and Improve Brain Functions

Posted by on in TBI

                                        knitting

Crafting can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression or chronic pain, experts say. It may also ease stress, increase happiness and protect the brain from damage caused by aging.

Little research has been done specifically on crafting, but neuroscientists are beginning to see how studies on cognitive activities such as doing crossword puzzles might also apply to someone who does complex quilting patterns. Others are drawing connections between the mental health benefits of meditation and thezen reached while painting or sculpting.

"There's promising evidence coming out to support what a lot of crafters have known anecdotally for quite some time," says Catherine Carey Levisay, a clinical neuropsychologist and wife of Craftsy.com CEO John Levisay. "And that's that creating -- whether it be through art, music, cooking, quilting, sewing, drawing, photography (or) cake decorating -- is beneficial to us in a number of important ways."

"When we are involved in (creativity), we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life," Csikszentmihalyi said during a TED talk in 2004. "You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though difficult, and sense of time disappears. You forget yourself. You feel part of something larger."

Our nervous system is only capable of processing a certain amount of information at a time, he explains. That's why you can't listen and understand two people who are talking to you at once. So when someone starts creating, his existence outside that activity becomes "temporarily suspended."

(CNN/Health.com)

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25
Mar

TBI Recovery Can Come In Many Forms - Music - Melody Gardot

Posted by on in TBI

                        melody gardot seattle WA

 

While cycling in Philadelphia in November 2003she was hit by a car whose driver had ignored a red traffic light. In the accident she suffered serious head and spinal injuries and her pelvis was broken in two places. Because of these severe injuries she was confined to her hospital bed for a year and had to remain lying on her back. As a further consequence of her injuries she had to re-learn simple tasks such as brushing her teeth and walking. The most noticeable effect of the neural injuries she suffered is that she was left hyper-sensitive to both light and sound, therefore requiring her to wear dark sunglasses at nearly all times to shield her eyes. The accident also resulted in both long and short term memory problems and difficulty with her sense of time.

Music involving listening and making a verbal attempt to sing or hum is thought to help the brain form new pathways.

(Wikipedia.com)

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25
Mar

Sleep Loss Can Add To TBI

Posted by on in TBI

                                           sleep loss

Are you a truck driver or shift worker planning to catch up on some sleep this weekend?

Cramming in extra hours of shut-eye may not make up for those lost pulling all-nighters, new research indicates.

The damage may already be done -- brain damage, that is, said neuroscientist Sigrid Veasey from the University of Pennsylvania.

The widely held idea that you can pay back a sizeable "sleep debt" with long naps later on seems to be a myth, she said in a study published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Long-term sleep deprivation saps the brain of power even after days of recovery sleep, Veasey said. And that could be a sign of lasting brain injury.

Veasey and her colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania medical school wanted to find out, so, they put laboratory mice on a wonky sleep schedule that mirrors that of shift workers.

They let them snooze, then woke them up for short periods and for long ones.

Then the scientists looked at their brains -- more specifically, at a bundle of nerve cells they say is associated with alertness and cognitive function, the locus coeruleus.

They found damage and lots of it.

"The mice lose 25% of these neurons," Veasey said.

This is how the scientists think it happened.

When the mice lost a little sleep, nerve cells reacted by making more of a protein, called sirtuin type 3, to energize and protect them.

But when losing sleep became a habit, that reaction shut down. After just a few days of "shift work" sleep, the cells start dying off at an accelerated pace.

The discovery that long-term sleep loss can result in a loss of brain cells is a first, Veasey said.

(CNN/Health.com)

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08
Mar

Dear Friends, how about a Real/Fun Fact?! (# 832 - "Brain waves can power an electric train!")

Posted by on in TBI

Snapple fact

With the weather getting warmer, or like Adam coming home from the gym after a workout, maybe you're looking for a refreshing drink. Ever try a Snapple? And make sure to check under the cap for a "fun fact." (They bring a smile to our family.) For instance, #933..."a crocodile can't stick out its tongue."  Or, how about, #783..."men get hiccups more than women."

Some of my favorites...#786..."the brain operates on the same amount of power as a 10-watt light bulb."  Or #784..."the brain is about 80% water."

And just for laughs...#801..."it is not possible to tickle yourself!"

All the best to all of you,

 

Alex

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