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

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11
Feb

Hollywood Delivers Amazing TBI Performances

Posted by on in TBI

lookout   Reguarding henry

Dear Friends,

The Academy Awards will soon be here. If you are ever in the mood for watching an emotional, powerful dramatic performance, centering on TBI of different degrees,  then perhaps  Cliff Robertson's Oscar winning role in "Charly,"  or Harrison Ford in "Regarding Henry," or Joseph Gordon Levitt in "The Lookout,"  to Robert De Niro in "Awakenings,"  may be the picture for you. They are standout roles across the board. And they bring to cinema life the hardships and emotions of dealing with and overcoming the challenges of a TBI.

All the best - Alex

(wikipedia)

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07
Feb

SuperBowl Seahawk's Owner, Paul Allen, Funds Large TBI Recovery Program

Posted by on in TBI

                          2013 US Richest Sports Owners

University of Washington neurosurgeon Rich Ellenbogen was on the sidelines at a Seahawks game last year when he got word that “the boss” wanted to see him.

That would be the top boss, team owner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

“I’d never met him before,” recalled Ellenbogen, who volunteers as a neurological specialist for the Seahawks and the NFL.

But the UW scientist was thrilled to discover what was on Allen’s mind: concussion and brain injury, and what researchers could do to better understand the problem.

That conversation led to a Seattle-based collaboration launched Thursday — and bankrolled by Allen’s foundation — to study the way blows to the head can damage the brain. Among the questions the scientists hope to answer is whether even mild concussions early in life can lead to dementia decades later.

“I think we can answer some of these questions better than anybody else in the world because of the resources we have,” said Dr. Eric Larson, vice president of research for Group Health, which is involved in the study.

Shrugged off for years as a part of football, repeated concussions have now been linked to permanent brain damage and other neurological problems. Claims by thousands of former players led to a $750 million payout from the NFL earlier this year.

At the same time, the physical and mental fallout from head injuries suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan is taking a toll on a generation of veterans.

(Seattletimes.com)

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31
Jan

Kris Kristofferson Musician/Actor Battles Memory Loss From TBI - Hopes For TBI Recovery

Posted by on in TBI

                                   Kris

Kris Kristofferson says he's lucky to be able to remember his song lyrics nowadays so he can keep performing despite his battle with memory loss.

The 77-year-old country music star told Fox411 he noticed his memory worsening a few years back. Before he rose to fame, Kristofferson excelled in academia, becoming an esteemed Rhodes Scholar and attending Oxford University. But the memory loss, he says, is likely a result of many concussions he suffered long ago.

"They tell me it's from all the football and boxing...But I can remember my songs so I can perform," he said.

(HuffingtonPost.com)

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31
Jan

SuperBowl Seahawks Coach Considers Marijuana as Potential TBI Recovery Agent

Posted by on in TBI

                carroll marijuana medicinal

Pete Carroll wasn't asked about recreational marijuana use though, he was asked his thoughts on the use of medicinal marijuana in the NFL.

"We have to continue to explore and compete to find ways that are going to make our game a better game and take care of our players in the best way possible," Carroll said."The fact that it's in the world of medicine is obviously something [that Commissioner Roger Goodell] realizes and him making the expression that we need to follow the information and the research absolutely I'm in support of. Regardless of what other stigmas may be involved, I think we have to do this because the world of medicine is trying to do the exact same thing and figure it out and they're coming to some conclusions.

"Carroll echoed the comments of Goodell, who said on Jan. 23 that the NFL might consider medicinal marijuana if it there's evidence that it helps treat concussions, "We will obviously follow signs," Goodell said.

(CBS Sports.com)

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28
Jan

NFL's Controversial TBI Recovery Method May Include Marijuana

Posted by on in TBI

                            fnfl and marijuana

A week after legal marijuana became a reality in Colorado, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hinted that his league’s stance on medical marijuana could be evolving.

“I don’t know what’s going to develop as far as the next opportunity for medicine to evolve and to help either deal with pain or help deal with injuries.”

[A] 1999 Institute of Medicine study on medical marijuana — a report funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, hardly a bunch of longhaired hippies — found that marijuana has pain-alleviating properties.It’s no secret that chronic pain from soreness, strains, and other injuries are a regular part of life in the league. But NFL-approved marijuana could also help players deal with another major injury that is lighting up the NFL’s radar: concussions and head injuries.

Though far from conclusive, early studies have suggested that marijuana may be able to help speed recovery from head injuries like concussions, as author and journalist Clint Werner explained in his book about the medicinal effects of marijuana.

Of course, granting NFL players a license to toke would hardly solve the NFL’s concussion issue. What it could do, though, is help reduce players’ reliance on prescription painkillers, alcohol, and other substances as they cope with the pain of everyday life in professional football.

(thinkprogress.org)

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16
Jan

Entertainment Activities for the Brain - From Watching TV to Chewing Gum!

Posted by on in TBI
                Chewing gum good for your brain
Television:
 
It is common knowledge that TV has negative effects on the brain and reduces its capacity to think.
 
The first and foremost unwanted effect of television is, addiction. A viewer enters a hypnotic state while watching TV for a long time. This is caused by the flicker on the TV screen. This is why most people doze off while watching TV, providing it entry into your subconscious mind or the alpha state.
 
As a person's psychological and physical dependence on TV increases, its effects the brain's activity too. The brain's left side switches off and the right side begins to function more proactively. It smartly absorbs all the images and the audio-visual content that it sees.
 
 
 
Poetry:
 
Brain imaging technology has have shown poetry is like music to the mind, British researchers say, activating the same brain areas as music does.

Scientists at the University of Exeter used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate which parts of the brain are activated to process various activities.

 No previous experiments had looked specifically at the differing responses in the brain to poetry and prose, they said.  

Writing in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, the researches reported detecting activity in a "reading network" of brain areas which was activated in response to any written material, but said they also found more emotionally charged writing, including poetry, aroused several of the regions in the brain which respond to music.

 

 

Gum:

Chewing gum actually stimulates the brain! A major study was conducted to analyze if and how the repetitive chewing motion of consuming gum actually helps in the mental processes in the brain. Another reason why chewing gum stimulates the brain is a little more complicated. The theory is that, to the brain, the chewing action means a meal is about to be consumed. So the brain is then tricked into sending signals to release insulin.

As a result, the released insulin soaks up any stray glucose or sugar in the blood and makes it ready to be used as energy for any organs or muscles nearby.

(buzzle.com)(upi.com)(brainhealthandpuzzles.com)

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04
Jan

Helping To Prevent TBI And The Possible Need For TBI Recovery

Posted by on in TBI

A traumatic brain injury is damage to the brain caused by an impact or jolt to the head such as from a car accident. Most traumatic brain injuries in teens and adults are caused by assaults, falls and car and motorcycle accidents.Protect your head when engaging in various activities such as skiing, skateboarding and bike riding. Always wear a helmet that fits properly.

 
                     skateboarding
 

Take a break from a crying baby if needed to prevent losing control and shaking the baby. Parenting can be stressful and even the best of parents may feel overwhelmed at times.


Wear your seat belt and be sure young children are buckled in a car seat. Car accidents even at low speeds can cause a traumatic brain injury.
 
Reduce the risk of falls. Fall prevention is especially important for young children and seniors. Install lights near staircases. Keep in mind young children can fall out windows if there are not safety measures.

Check out the playground your child frequents. Concrete and asphalt are not safe materials to have under play structures. Select playgrounds for your kids that have a material under play structures which will cushion a fall such as sand.
 
(ehow.com/tbi)
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04
Jan

Happy New Year to Friends of Adam TBI Recovery

Posted by on in TBI

Sunset

I was amazed seeing this sunset from my front yard and took a photo capturing it.  Hope everyone has a bright outlook on their New Year of 2014.

     -Adam

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18
Dec

TBI Can Strike at Any Age

Posted by on in TBI

                                  Causes of Brain Injury Chart1-300x218

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the result of physical trauma to the head causing damage to the brain. This damage can be focal, or restricted to a single area of the brain, or diffuse, affecting more than one region of the brain. By definition, TBI requires that there be a head injury, or any physical assault to the head leading to injury of the scalp, skull, or brain. However, not all head trauma is associated with TBI.

Although TBI can affect anyone at any age, certain age groups are more vulnerable because of lifestyle and other risk factors. Males ages 15 to 24, especially those in lower socioeconomic levels, are most likely to become involved in high-speed or other risky driving, as well as physical fights and criminal activity. These behaviors increase the likelihood of TBI associated with automobile and motorcycle accidents or with violent crimes.

Infants, children under five years of age, and adults 75 years and older are also at higher risk for TBI than the general population because they are most susceptible to falls around the home. Other factors predisposing the very young and the very old to TBI include physical abuse, such as violent shaking of an infant or toddler that can result in shaken baby syndrome.

(encyclopedia.com)

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18
Dec

TBI/TBI Recovery and Our Veterans

Posted by on in TBI

                                  PTSDdisabilityBenefits

The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in increased numbers of Veterans who have experienced traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The Department of Defense and the Defense and Veteran's Brain Injury Center estimate that 22% of all combat casualties from these conflicts are brain injuries, compared to 12% of Vietnam related combat casualties.In the military population, the emerging picture is somewhat different. The primary causes of TBI in Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are blasts, blast plus motor vehicle accidents (MVA's), MVA's alone, and gunshot wounds.

 

The Department of Veterans Affairs has approved new regulations to make it easier for veterans to receive health care and compensation for certain illnesses, including Parkinsonism, dementia, and depression, which have been linked to TBI.  Traumatic brain injury can result from exposure to blasts from a land mine or a roadside bomb, but it is more likely to be diagnosed in troops who were not deployed and were injured in vehicle crashes, training accidents or sports activities. More than 51,000 veterans are receiving benefits for service-related traumatic brain injuries.

(ptsd.va-gov) (nytimes.com)

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30
Nov

TBI Recovery and Family Support

Posted by on in TBI

(Dear friends - family support to help with a loved one's recovery is vital. Family members of ALL ages can become "coaches" to encourage a loved one forward. This can mean helping with a therapy exercise at home or just reading a story out loud. - Alex)

            Family-Intervention-Support

How Family Support Helps

A patient's family members can only aid in the physical rehabilitation of their loved one afflicted with TBI to a limited degree, as much of this work is done by doctors and other certified medical professionals.

However, when it comes to the necessary emotional care recovering TBI patients need, families may be best suited to the job. Some of the ways in which families can support their loved one with traumatic brain injury include by:

  • Attending doctors' appointments with TBI patients
  • Doing research and asking questions that TBI patients don't (or can't) do on their own
  • Helping TBI patients remember and practice prescribed therapies on their own (outside of the doctor's office)
  • Laughing or crying with the patient (While you want to minimize the time you cry around TBI patients, at times, sharing a good cry can be therapeutic and enriching.)
  • Listening to and talking with TBI patients

 (BrainandSpinalCord.org)

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30
Nov

Does TBI Recovery Mean "Full Recovery?"

Posted by on in TBI

(Dear Friends - there is no doubt that TBI is life altering. However, we the family, like to say "it doesn't need to be life ending." There may be things a person can no longer do such as perhaps dance the ballet. Yet, they CAN walk. The RANGE of functions may vary and recovery depends on many factors. - Alex)

 

                    silhouette-handicapped-woman-wheelchair

Recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) varies based on the individual and the brain injury.  Attempts at predicting the degree of TBI recovery remain crude.  Recovery can be seen months, and even years, after the initial injury.  Devastating and fatal injuries can be easier to ascertain than other injuries.

These are the indicators the medical team uses for prognosis:

  • Duration of Coma. The shorter the coma, the better the prognosis.
  • Post-traumatic amnesia. The shorter the amnesia, the better the prognosis.
  • Age.  Patients over 60 or under age 2 have the worst prognosis, even if they suffer the same injury as someone not in those age groups.

 Recovery of brain function is thought to occur by several mechanisms.  Some common theories:

  • Diaschisis.  Depressed areas of the brain that are not injured but linked to injured areas begin functioning again.
  • The function is taken over by a part of the brain that does not usually perform that task.  

 

Recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) varies based on the individual and the brain injury.  Attempts at predicting the degree of TBI recovery remain crude.  Recovery can be seen months, and even years, after the initial injury.  Devastating and fatal injuries can be easier to ascertain than other injuries.  Many times a person with a brain injury remains unconscious and it is impossible to predict how long they will remain this way or when they will regain consciousness.  The milder the injury the shorter the time frame for full recovery of consciousness and the more severe the injury, the longer the time frame is for a person to regain full consciousness.

(TraumaticBrainInjury.com)(aboutBrainInjury.org)

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21
Nov

TBI Recovery Can Be Hard Work - Speech Therapy Helps You Speak Out And Be Heard (4th in a series)

Posted by on in TBI

           speech therapist mouse pad-

A speech therapist or speech-language pathologist is someone who works with people who have difficulty speaking or swallowing. These health care professionals deal with a wide range of speech defects and disorders, from teaching someone with a cleft palate to speak after corrective surgery to helping people who suffer from stuttering disorders. Some work as private consultants, while others are associated with hospitals or health care groups. In general, employment outlooks in this field are quite good, and it is possible to find a reasonably well-paying position as a speech therapist in many regions of the world.

When a speech therapist first meets a patient, he or she usually gets to the underlying cause of the problem first. When a patient has been referred, the therapist can consult the patient's primary care doctor, but when a patient comes without a referral, identifying the cause is very important and sometimes challenging. In some cases, a patient may seek therapist out and the therapist may identify an underlying problem which requires medical treatment. Once the cause of the problem has been identified, he or she can develop a program which is tailored to the individual patient.

(www.wisegeek.com)

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21
Nov

Keeping Your Brain Fresh And Active!!!

Posted by on in TBI

               food and brain

When it comes to aging, life can be cruel. There's plenty to...well...let's come right out and say it: think about. What will happen to my looks? What will happen to my body?

Will I still be able to pursue my interests? What will happen to my mind?

The most common cause of dementia, or severe cognitive decline, and the sixth leading cause of death in the U. S., Alzheimer's disease is marked by difficulty storing new memories and recalling recent events, loss of ability to track day-to-day information, a disrupted sense of time and space, social withdrawal, irritability, and mood swings.

Food should be thought of the same way as the drugs we put in our body. They're all made up of chemicals. Everything we consume prompts a reaction in the brain. Picking the right foods can minimize damage to neurons and preserve a healthy mind as you age.

Blueberries, broccoli, grapes, prunes, strawberries, spinach, artichokes, apples—all contain large amounts of antioxidants, as do herbs and spices like rosemary, turmeric, thyme, and oregano. Bright, yellow-orange turmeric is a classic ingredient in the curries that are a staple of Indian cooking.

First thing in the morning, after several hours of sleep, the brain is running low on glucose. Once awake, it's on the hunt for exactly the foods that deliver heaps of glucose. In short, it's jonesing for fries.

Coffee protects your brain against aging in yet another way. People who drink five or more cups a day are 85 percent less likely to develop Parkinson's disease, which, in addition to its trademark tremors, can also cause dementia. The downside to a lot of caffeine is insomnia, jitteriness, and stomach problems. Good for the brain. Not so good for the body.

After breakfast, Wenk recommends, graze every hour or half hour, as needed, on fruit or nuts; due to their fiber (fruit) and fat (nuts) content, they release their payload at a stately pace and are metabolized slowly.

Epidemiologists have evidence that alcohol protects against Alzheimer's disease. It's a powerful solute that helps dissolve fat in the body, offering cardiovascular protection that benefits the brain as well. The trick is not to consume so much that the liver becomes fatty. Red wine contains, in addition, the antioxidant resveratrol, effective against aging. Prefer beer? The hops that give beer its color also have antioxidant properties.

(www.psychologytoday/2013)

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14
Nov

Amazing - "Invisible" Bike Helmet

Posted by on in TBI

Tired of strapping ugly, uncomfortable styrofoam-and-plastic turtle shells to their heads, the pair came up with a pretty revolutionary solution that does manage to give you full head protection without, remarkably, wearing anything on your head.

A pair of Swedish women have developed a remarkable solution: the invisible bike helmet.

invisible bike helmet

 

So far the helmet is available only in Europe.

(autos.yahoo.com/news/swedes-develop-invisible-bike-helmet) (shop.hovding.com)

 

 

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14
Nov

Ex NFL Quarterback Terry Bradshaw Worries About TBI

Posted by on in TBI

(Dear Friends, before we posted this story, while watching FOX NFL halftime two weeks ago, analyst Terry Bradshaw (ex-Steelers great) was doing the half-time highlights and shouted out about a quarterback calling an "autograph." The other commentators eyed him, then Curt stated..." what Terry meant was...an audible." Terry asked with a puzzled tone..."What did I say?" He looked to Howie Long, who answered..."You said...autograph." Terry just turned away. Hopefully it was just a slip of the tongue...and not anything more. - Alex)

                                       terry bradshaw

In a courageous effort to shed more light on the problem of the NFL concussions, Terry Bradshaw has come forward and disclosed that he is suffering the long-term consequences of repeated concussions. Bradshaw, always a brave competitor on the field, has now shown his bravery off the field by admitting that he is experiencing many common symptoms directly attributable to repeated concussions, including memory deficits, word-finding problems and eye-hand coordination problems.Bradshaw admitted that he sustained multiple concussions over his 14 year career. He explained that back then, players, coaches, trainers, and owners simply referred to these concussions as “getting your bell rung.” Bradshaw would just inhale smelling salts and get back in the game. Oftentimes, in the huddle his teammates would have to call the play for Bradshaw because he was too disorientated.

“Toward the end of last season on the FOX pregame show, maybe the last six weeks, I really started to forget things. That’s why I quit reciting statistics because I couldn’t remember them exactly and I stayed away from mentioning some players by name because I really wasn’t sure and I didn’t want to make a mistake. I’m on national TV in front of millions and I hate making mistakes. I told the people in Ruston that I suffered six concussions and numerous head injuries. I think that’s right, but I’m not really sure.”

Bradshaw also admitted that his personal struggle with the subtle cognitive deficits from the brain injuries has led to anxiety and depression, common consequences of brain injury. He stated:

“The memory loss made me jittery at times. It was driving me crazy that I couldn’t remember something that I studied the night before. All it did was trigger my anxiety and all of sudden everything would snowball on me. I know I have depression and it’s a horrible disease. This memory loss just made my depression worse.”

(www.Rozeklaw.com/2013)

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06
Nov

Helping Develop Your Baby's Brain

Posted by on in TBI

baby with book

Our brain is the most complex part of our body, the function of this marvelous computer is still to be discovered.

Newborns Distinguish Speech: Children as young as four days old can distinguish the vowel sounds of the language in their natural environment from those of a foreign language.

Reading Aloud Stimulates Child Development: Reading aloud to children helps stimulate brain development, yet only 50% of infants and toddlers are routinely read to by their parents.

Baby Talk Increases Vocabulary: A study showed that when mothers frequently spoke to their infants, their children learned about 300 more words by age two than did children whose mothers rarely spoke to them.

Child Brain Development: Measures of brain activity show that during the second half of a child's first year, the prefrontal cortex, the seat of forethought and logic, forms synapses at such a rate that it consumes twice as much energy as an adult brain. That furious pace continues for the child's first decade of life.

Experts recommend talking to your baby a lot. By age 3, kids spoken to more frequently have an IQ that's 1.5 times higher than that of children who weren't. By the time they're in elementary school, they have much stronger reading, spelling, and writing skills.

The tone of your voice is also important. You know the baby-friendly, sing-songy voice – higher pitch, exaggerated vowels (think: 'Helloooooo, baaaa-byyy!') – that you use instinctively? You're onto something! Researchers call it "parentese," and it's an excellent way to help a baby’s brain learn language because each vowel sounds more distinct. The tone helps infants separate sounds into categories and the high pitch is easier for them to imitate.

Emotion is one of the first ways babies communicate with us, says Ross Flom, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. And being able to read facial expressions is the cornerstone of strong nonverbal communication skills, setting your baby up for better teamwork, fewer fights, and stronger long-term relationships as an adult.

 Research shows that children learn language faster  if you point to an object while saying the word.  

 At first, your baby will look at you when you point. As he gets a bit older, he may look at your pointing finger, too. By about 9 months, most babies start to follow your pointing finger and notice what you're pointing to, says BYU psychology professor Ross Flom.

 At around 9 or 10 months, babies will start bringing objects to show you. Having this shared interaction is called "joint attention." It means your child is developing the ability to relate to you about something (and someone) outside the two of you.

(memory-brain-function.knoji.com) (www.babycenter.com)

 

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30
Oct

TBI Recovery Can Be Hard Work - Occupational Therapy Helps Bring Back Daily Work/Home Functions (3rd in a series)

Posted by on in TBI

Occupational Therapy Kitchen jpg

Occupational therapists work with individuals who have conditions that are mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling. Occupational therapists assist individuals to develop, recover, or maintain daily living and work skills.

The word "occupation" comes from our belief that we all have "occupational roles" that contribute to who we are (i.e. mother, son, spouse, employee). The goal of an occupational therapist is not only to help clients improve basic motor functions, cognitive and emotional abilities to return to these roles, but also to compensate for loss of function. Their goal is to help clients have independent, productive and satisfying lives.

Occupational therapy is skilled treatment that helps individuals achieve independence in all facets of their lives. Occupational therapy gives people the "skills for the job of living" that are needed for independent and satisfying lives. Services typically include:

  • Customized treatment programs aimed at improving abilities to carry out the activities of daily living
  • Comprehensive evaluation of home and job environments and recommendations on necessary adaptation
  • Assessments and treatment for performance skills
  • Recommendations and training in the use of adaptive equipment
  • Guidance to family members and caregivers

Occupational therapy practitioners are skilled professionals whose education includes the study of human growth and development with specific emphasis on the social, emotional and physiological effects of illness and injury.

More information can be found at the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) website.

(www.Mayo.edu)

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30
Oct

Ex-NFL Superstar Brett Farve Expresses TBI Concerns

Posted by on in TBI

 brett-favre

It can happen to anybody -- forgetting your glasses are on the top of your head, or not remembering a loved one's birthday after celebrating it for decades. Most of us simply laugh off these short memory lapses.

But for a former professional football player, memory lapses can be a scary thing. They can be a sign of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a disease that has been found in the brains of many athletes who suffered repeated hits to the head during their career.

Quarterback Brett Favre played 321 straight games in the National Football League before retiring. He recently told Sports Talk 570 in Washington that he can't remember his daughter participating in youth soccer one summer, even though she played several games. That, and other memory lapses, have worried him.

"For the first time in 44 years, that put a little fear in me," he said. "God only knows the toll."

The only way to diagnose CTE is after death -- by analyzing brain tissue and finding microscopic clumps of an abnormal protein called tau. Tau has been found in the brains of dozens of former NFL players, including Junior Seau, Dave Duerson, Terry Long and Shane Dronett, who all committed suicide. It was also found in the brain of Mike Webster, who died in 2002.

(www.cnn/health.com)

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24
Oct

TBI Recovery and Therapy Resource Takes a Big Hit Down - as Nintendo States End of Wii Production!

Posted by on in TBI

Dear Friends,

Nintendo Wii was/has been a huge part of not only Recreational Therapy, but PT as well as OT for Adam. Standing up...keeping his balance...hand/eye coordination...the "fun" of doing a therapy...the "fun" of having played sports before...and now being able to compete again.... IS LOST...

Not so much for Adam and TBI survivors/victims in the past...as for those in the future.

Nintendo has stated they are officially shutting down the Wii platform/production.

 

 wii-production-ends

From Nintendo,

"After seven years and over 100 million units sold, Nintendo has said a quiet goodbye to the Wii. Nintendo Japan made the news official today with a short statement on the system's product page that read simply "production over." It marked a particularly subdued ending for a console that had such a dramatic impact on the gaming world.Of course, the shine soon faded for the Wii. A few years after its launch, third-party publishers began realizing that gamers were largely only interested in games made by Nintendo and began to back away from the system."

(Games.yahoo.com/blogs Nintendo Shuts Down Wii)

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