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

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29
Apr

Did TBI Lead To Murder? Could TBI Recovery Have Helped Prevent It?

Posted by on in TBI
(Dear Friends, if a loved one exhibits any violent nature towards you, contact professionals/authorities immediately. In cases such as this, perhaps nuero-counseling or a change in medications may help. Alex.) --- b2ap3_thumbnail_stacy-fawcett.jpg * Investigators are trying to determine what led a Texas teenager to fatally stab his brother and his television-personality mother before mortally wounding himself, police said Monday. * Police in the Dallas suburb of Plano said 19-year old McCann Utu Jr. attacked his 45-year-old mother, Stacy Fawcett, and his 17-year-old brother early Friday before stabbing himself multiple times at the family's home. Authorities said he called 911 at some point and admitted to the killings. * Tilley said investigators are conducting interviews with family and friends who say Utu's disposition dramatically changed after he suffered a concussion during a high school basketball game in the fall of 2013, and then another concussion a few months later during an altercation with another student. * Utu's uncle, Scott Fawcett, said his nephew's mood took a dramatic turn about a year ago, and that he was receiving psychiatric care and concussion therapy. * "He had just completely mentally dwindled away," Fawcett told Dallas TV station WFAA, where Stacy Fawcett provided weekly segments on her favorite dishes and other food-related coverage. * Sarah Stoddard, an assistant professor in the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, said an eight-year study she was involved in indicated that young people who suffered a brain injury were more likely to engage in violent behavior. Stoddard, who isn't involved in the Utu investigation, said personality changes can result from damage to the brain's frontal lobe. * Fawcett’s brother Justin Fawcett told WFAA that McCann Utu went on a rampage — taking knives from the kitchen and stabbing his mom and brother, a senior at Plano West High School. * Waseem Limbada, a friend of McCann Utu, told WFAA on Friday that his friend changed after suffering a concussion in the fall of 2013 while playing for the Plano West basketball team. He said Utu never played again because he couldn’t pass the concussion protocol test. * “When he kept failing it, he had a lot of free time on his hands, he wasn’t showing up to practice,” Limbada said. “It just put him with the wrong crowd, started doing drugs, started being with the wrong people.” (UK DailyMail.com & DallasStarTelegram.com) Continue reading
Hits: 1048
15
Mar

The Human Brain Versus A Computer (Who Wins?)

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_brain-versus-computer.jpg * For as fast and powerful as computers have become, they still pose no match for the human brain. Sure, a computer specifically programmed to perform singular task such as, say, playing chess can give a human a run for his or her money, but when we measure a computer against the entirety of what a human mind is capable of, it’s not really all that close. * Over the past few years, scientists, in a variety of ways, have tried to get a super computer to mimic the complexity and raw processing power of the human brain. According to biologists, the human brain has approximately 90 billion nerve cells which are linked together by, quite literally, trillions of connections called synapses. Taken together, this system of elaborate connections within the brain provides “hundreds of trillions of different pathways that brain signals travel through.” * In an effort to mimic this digitally, scientists a few years ago needed more than 82,000 processors running on one of the world’s fastest supercomputers to mimic just 1 second of a normal human’s brain activity. * More recently, a research study found that the human brain can hold 10 times as much information as previously thought. All told, scientists now believe that the capacity of the human brain is about a petabyte. * (Petabyte = almost as much information as the World Wide Web!) (Yahoo.com/Tech) Continue reading
Hits: 1092
15
Mar

Hopes and Prayers for TBI Recovery. 4 Year Old Suffers Brain Damage After Dentist Visit.

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_Dentist-tools.jpg * A Texas family is preparing a lawsuit against a local dentist after they say their child suffered brain damage from multiple seizures during the visit. Attorneys say the seizures were brought on by the use of several sedatives while the child was held in a sometimes controversial restraint device. * "In essence what happened is this child was chemically and physically suffocated," said Jim Moriarty, the attorney for the family of 4-year-old Nevaeh Hall. "This child suffered massive brain damage during that time period and that didn't have to happen." * Nevaeh was a repeat patient at Diamond Dental in Houston. Her mother, Courissa Clark, says it was her third visit and that she expected some of the girl's teeth to be capped or even removed because of tooth decay. * Clark says she and her husband were told to stay in the waiting room. * Records reviewed by an independent dentist show that Navaeh was given multiple sedatives: "Sedated in the office for over seven hours, given five sedatives for a routine dental procedure that should have been done and over by mid morning." * The child had been placed in a commonly-used restraint device called a papoose. The device confines the child's arms and legs so they can't interfere with the dental procedure. * According to the review, "Her body tried to compensate for her inability to breathe by increasing her heart rate to as high as 195 beats per minute." Her blood pressure rose to "a dangerous 168/77." And her oxygen saturation dropped as low as 49 percent. "Severe hypoxia is often classified as any saturation lower than 86 percent. And is known to cause brain damage." * "If parents are being told to authorize or grant permission to papoose their child, they probably ought to run," said Craig Jacobs with Children First Dental. (Central Ohio's News Leader/CBS.com) Continue reading
Hits: 950
03
Mar

WWE Superstar Kevin Nash Says "I Will Donate My Brain To CTE Research." TBI Recovery May Benefit From This.

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_kevin-nash-diesel-wwe-legend.jpg *WWE Hall of Famer Kevin Nash announced on Wednesday that he will donate his brain to the CTE Center at Boston University and the Concussion Legacy Foundation after his death, according to a report by ESPN’s Michael Rothstein. *Nash told ESPN that he has had “several concussions” throughout his life so far, and he added that he has had short-term memory issues. “I’ve woken up in the ring and like said to myself, ‘Why am I in this building full of people,'” Nash said. *He also said that this decision was already made five or six years ago. Before his wrestling career, Nash played basketball at Tennessee and overseas in addition to serving in the Army. He told ESPN that he doesn’t blame anyone for the brain damage that he has suffered. (USAtoday.com) Continue reading
Hits: 964
03
Mar

Ivy League Schools Decide To Eliminate Tackling From Football Practices

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_Yale-and-Harvord.jpg *Football coaches in the Ivy League unanimously decided last week to remove tackling from regular-season practices, per a Tuesday report by Ken Belson of the New York Times. *They made the decision in an attempt to further limit players' chances of suffering head and brain injuries. *A study done by Ph.D. holder Timothy A. McGuine—a senior scientist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison—showed the elimination of full-contact practices could decrease injuries at lower levels of the sport, per Bert B. Vargas, M.D., of Neurology Reviews. *One of the eight members of the Ivy League, Dartmouth, has been reducing the amount of full-contact practices since 2010, per Belson. Instead of hitting teammates, players hit tackling dummies and a "specially designed 'mobile virtual player' that moves across the field the way a player would." *This is an easy enough equation: The less contact there is in practice, the less likely a player can suffer an injury that can hold him out of actual game time. *However, it does decrease the amount of time players experience the actual speed of play and get to hone their skills in game-like situations, something that could stunt a player's development. It didn't make much sense to radio talk show host John Ziegler: Ivy League banning tackling in practice to promote safety makes as much sense as the military banning use of guns except in combat #Liberals — John Ziegler (@Zigmanfreud) March 1, 2016 (BleacherReport.com) Continue reading
Hits: 931
03
Mar

Science Fiction or Science Fact? Can Lab Developed Mini Brains Help In TBI Recovery?

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_Research-Laboratory.jpg Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health are growing tiny replicas of the human brain to help the study of neurological diseases in a trend many hope could lead to better treatments and even cures for some of the most debilitating illnesses. The Hopkins scientists join a handful of other medical researchers around the country who are culturing so-called "mini-brains" in the lab. It's a relatively new field of scientific inquiry that could revolutionize how new drugs are tested for effectiveness by replacing drug testing on lab animals with testing on human cells. This process could offer more accurate test results and help in the development of new, more effective drugs. The scientists reprogrammed the genes of human skin cells to make them like embryonic stem cells, which have the capacity to develop into any kind of tissue. These stem cells were then nurtured to become brain cells. The researchers presented their work Friday at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Washington, D.C. When fully grown, the three-dimensional mini-brains measure about 350 micrometers, just visible to the human eye, and look like tiny balls. It takes about eight weeks to grow the brain cells into one of these balls. While the versions aren't exact replicas of brains, they are made of the same neurons and cells found in human brains, feature the same structures and act in the same way. (TheBaltimoreSun.com) Continue reading
Hits: 916
15
Jan

PART TWO - CONCUSSION/TBI RECOVERY

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_donald-trump.jpg *"Football's become soft. Football has become soft,” Trump declared. “Football has become soft like our country has become soft.” *"What used to be considered a great tackle; violent head-on. You used to see these tackles, and it was incredible to watch," Trump said. "Now they tackle -- 'Oh, head-on-head collision, 15 yard [penalty]' -- the whole game is all screwed up. You say, 'Wow, what a tackle.' Bing. Flag.” * Without the “violent, head-on” tackles, Trump, 69, said that the game has become “boring.” *“Who the hell wants to watch these crummy games?” the New York real estate mogul asked. “I just want to watch the end.” (ABCNEWS.COM) Continue reading
Hits: 930
15
Jan

PART ONE - CONCUSSION/TBI RECOVERY

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_concussions.jpg “I know we were paid to hurt people,” says Keith McCants, the fourth overall pick in the 1990 draft. “We were paid to give concussions. If we knew that we were killing people, I would have never put on the jersey.” *Keith McCants, the fourth overall pick in the 1990 draft, drove six hours from Tampa to see the movie. When he exited the theater, he retreated to a bench in the lobby. Tear-soaked, the 47-year-old former linebacker hovered over his cane. “This touched my soul,” he said. “It was outstanding, but I can’t process it all, not right now. I watch this movie and I know we were paid to hurt people. We were paid to give concussions. If we knew that we were killing people, I would have never put on the jersey.” *Concussion is based on Jeanne Marie Laskas’s GQ article “Brain Game” from 2009, which painted a picture of the NFL actively undermining Omalu’s findings to protect its business interests. Many of the same issues were also covered in the Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru book League of Denial and subsequent PBS Frontline documentary. What Concussion does best is simplify the degenerative brain disease CTE for the masses. In one scene, Omalu explains how a woodpecker can violently use its head as a battering ram and not suffer injury: its tongue wraps from the back of it mouth, around the skull and through the nostril—a safety belt, if you will, that absorbs the shock and protects the brain. The human brain has no such safety belt. (KNOWCONCUSSION.ORG) Continue reading
Hits: 964
10
Dec

This Holiday Season Help Prevent A TBI From Occuring By Purchasing A Helmet Along With Your Gift

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_bikes-scooters-skateboards.jpg Dear Friends - Bikes, skateboards and scooters may be on the top of many little ones wish list this year. Please remember that falls are the number one cause of TBI. To help protect against one, please don't forget to add a helmet as the first step. Many kids may think helmets aren't "cool" but, adding stickers or a custom paint job will be perfect. Continue reading
Hits: 970
10
Dec

Wishing All Of You A Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_snow-covered-lit-tree.jpg Dear Friends, We would like to thank you all for your kind words and support during the year. We wish you a safe and healthy Holiday Season. - The Stelmach Family Continue reading
Hits: 1027
12
Nov

Music And Its Affect On The Brain Can Help With TBI Recovery

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_Brain_music-Waves.jpg **Every time you listen to a piece of music, you're actually giving yourself a deep, full-brain workout. Anyone who has heard a song knows that the feeling is unlike any other. Neurological research into music comprehension has glimpsed why that might be. A song starts with your ears and ends with the music resonating in some way through all four of the brain's major lobes, producing reactions throughout the body, evoking emotions and memory. Looking more closely at the pathways music takes through the brain only reveals why it's played such a powerful role in human life for so long. **Music doesn't follow one path through the brain in a fixed way, so although some things happen earlier than others, much of it happens simultaneously. The various structures involved with comprehension are constantly relaying information back and forth to one another and processing disparate information simultaneously in order to build one's understanding and response to music. **Music with groove promotes corticospinal excitability, which causes that irresistible urge to dance. Additionally, music often causes blood to pump into the muscles in our legs, which many believe is what causes people to tap their feet. **Perhaps the strongest reason that people continue to return to music is its effect on memory. Since memories are not stored in the brain in a centralized location but are instead spread throughout neurological pathways, music's ability to activate such large areas of our brain serves as a powerful stimulus for evoking memories. Music's connection to emotion imbues these musical memories with even more significance. In fact, music can be so effective at stimulating memories, it's sometimes used to help patients living with Alzheimer's disease and dementia grasp portions of their former selves.(Mic.com) Continue reading
Hits: 990
12
Nov

After Six Confirmed Concussions, Would You Try And Stop A Loved One From Playing Football Again?

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_wes-welker.jpg By all accounts—his own, his teams’, and a top NFL-affiliated concussion specialist’s—Wes Welker is healthy and ready to play. It’s the concussions. At least six official ones in his career, maybe as many as 10. (That doesn’t count the ones he may not even know about.) He suffered three in nine months with the Broncos, leading one former teammate to publicly declare he wanted Welker to retire. The thing about concussions is that the more you’ve had, the more likely you are to receive more. Welker’s brain is especially fragile and vulnerable.** Here's the thing: The three concussions in a nine-month span were widely discussed, but it's impossible to say how many concussions Welker has had beyond that. Teams familiar with Welker's medical history say they believe he has had at least six concussions and as many as 10. Only he knows for sure. And it's possible he may not know the full number.** Wes Welker was recently signed to play for the St. Luis Rams.** (Deadspin.com, Bleacherreport.com) Continue reading
Hits: 919
03
Nov

Tragedy Hits High School Football Again This Year

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_high-school-football.jpg A high school football player in Illinois has died after suffering injuries during a game. Andre Smith, 17, died of "blunt force head injuries due to a football accident," according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. He hit his head on the final play of the game, walked off the field but later collapsed, the affiliate said. Smith was a senior at Bogan High School. According to the Illinois High School Association, Smith was the seventh high school football player to die this year nationwide. The reason for the high number of high school football fatalities compared with college and professional football has to do with numbers. There are about 1.1 million high school football players in the nation, compared with about 100,000 in the NFL, college, junior college, Arena Football and semiprofessional level, the NCCSIR survey found. High school football players suffer three times as many catastrophic injuries -- deaths, permanent disability, neck fractures and head injuries -- as college players, according to a 2007 study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. Kevin Guskiewicz, co-director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center at the University of North Carolina, said the developing brains of high school athletes are more vulnerable to catastrophic head injuries. In addition, the skill level of many younger athletes leaves them more susceptible to serious injuries. Making matters worse, nearly 70% of high school athletes with concussions played despite their symptoms, and 40% reported that their coaches didn't know of the injury, according to a 2014 study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. (CNN.com) Continue reading
Hits: 964
03
Nov

Newborn Baby Missing Most Of Brain, Proves Doctors Wrong

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_jaxon.JPG Jaxon Buell's parents say doctors can no longer predict a prognosis for their one-year-old son. He was born missing most of his brain, but the progress he has made since then has been remarkable. Jaxon was diagnosed with microhydranencephaly. There's no known cause and no cure. "We never thought he would make it through the pregnancy, let alone months and let alone making it to his first birthday, so for him to reach that milestone is a humongous deal," said Brittany Buell, Jaxon's mother. She refused to terminate the pregnancy despite doctors telling her he likely wasn't going to make it full term. "I think the doctors thought he would only make it a few weeks. They sent me home with hospice, and he was thriving in my eyes, so I cancelled hospice within two or three days of being home," said Brittany. Jaxon has defied the odds and continues to surpass all expectations. "The brain itself not being fully formed we really just don't know. The doctors don't even know. They've already told us he can't hear. He's not ever going to see or walk or talk or babble or anything. He can see because he reads books with us and watches Mickey Mouse I can see his eyes going back and forth and he focuses on things," said Brittany. (usatoday.com) Continue reading
Hits: 973
03
Nov

Super Foods To Boost Your Brain Power

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_berries.jpg We've all had those days when we just can't seem to concentrate. And while there's no magic pill to bring us back to the height of our cognitive powers, there are some foods that have been shown to improve brain function, protect against age-associated cognitive decline and encourage focus and clarity. * WALNUTS are chock-full of heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory nutrients, and are the only good nut source of alpha linolenic acid (ALA). That means they help promote blood flow, which in turn allows for efficient delivery of oxygen to the brain. * BERRIES. Animal studies have long indicated a link between berry consumption and brain health. But a recent study published in the Annals of Neurology found that a diet high in blueberries, strawberries and others were linked to a slower mental decline in areas like memory. * SARDINES. Fatty fish like sardines (and salmon!) are a well-known brain booster, thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which have been linked to lower risk of dementia, improved focus and memory. * SPINACH is rich in the antioxidant lutein, which is thought to help protect against cognitive decline. * DARK CHOCOLATE. Antioxidant-rich dark chocolate is healthy for your whole body, but its caffeine content is thought to play a role in maintaining mental acuity. (Huffingtonpost.com) Continue reading
Hits: 911
13
Oct

TBI Can Strike At Any Time - To Anyone - Even The Famous

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_Abraham-Lincoln-george-clooney.jpg ABRAHAM LINCOLN got a traumatic brain injury when a mule kicked him at the back of his head. The brain injury caused some defects on his vision. When Lincoln has recovered from the traumatic brain injury, he suffered depression which was also known before as “melancholia”. ----- AMY DAVIS was crowned Miss Utah in 2004 at the Abravanel Hall. She was a woman who possesses great beauty and intelligence. However, she has a history of traumatic brain injury caused by an accident. Amy Davis was a former member of a cheer leading team in Utah. One day, while their team was working with a new cheerleading stunt, Davis fall accidentally and her head received an extreme impact when she fell in the floor. As a result, she became unconscious after the accident. Days later, while she was in the hospital, her memory got affected by the injury and she could not recall everything about the past. ----- BARBARA MANDRELL: Yes, it did. I had a really serious head injury. I don't know the meaning of any of this. I don't know the whys and wherefores. I am just sharing with you. It seems to me that unless you or someone very close to you has had a bad head injury, you really can't fathom it. You have no concept of what it is all about. It was so difficult for my whole family, not just me. ----- DICK BUTTON was a prominent figure skater for more than seven years. He won two Olympic gold medals, five world championships and seven U.S. titles. Button sustained a brain injury January 31, 2000 when he took a spill on the ice. ----- No one knows better than GARY BUSEY that life's road takes unexpected turns. "I had a nearly fatal motorcycle accident on Dec. 4, 1988," says the actor and musician. "And almost no one expected me to recover." But Busey was able to come back from the brink, and today he says he's compelled to spread his message of caution. "I want people to understand that life is very important. And that if you're riding a motorcycle, skateboard, or bicycle without a helmet, you're challenging the face of death." ----- GEORGE CLOONEY, Actor,recevied a brain injury while filming the movie Syriana. ---------- (Sharepoint.com & HRF.com) Continue reading
Hits: 1060
08
Oct

TBI Symptoms To Watch Out For

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_braininjury.jpg *Traumatic brain injury can have wide-ranging physical and psychological effects. Some signs or symptoms may appear immediately after the traumatic event, while others may appear days or weeks later. --Physical symptoms-- *Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes. *No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented. *Headache. *Nausea or vomiting. --Sensory symptoms-- *Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a bad taste in the mouth or changes in the ability to smell. --Cognitive or mental symptoms-- *Memory or concentration problems. *Mood changes or mood swings. *Feeling depressed or anxious. (Mayoclinic.com) Continue reading
Hits: 902
08
Oct

TBI RECOVERY LEADS TO BEING AN UNCLE!

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_Adam-and-Mazzy.JPG Dear Friends, our small family just got a little bit bigger. Lisa and Tim are the proud parents of Mazzy Isadora. And you know who just became an uncle. Go Adam! Thank you all for your support. Continue reading
Hits: 884
17
Sep

Adderall? May Have Contributed to 2 Mysterious Brain Injuries for HS Football Players.

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_adderall.jpg *Mystery as TWO high school football players suffer brain injuries during SAME game - leaving one in a critical condition. *Nick Brown and Justin Schwartz, both 15, had just finished playing game for Union Mine High School in El Dorado, California, when they collapsed. *Brown was airlifted to hospital and had surgery for bleeding on the brain. *Five days on, he remains in a critical condition with family at his bedside. *Schwartz was treated for concussion and is now recovering at his home. *Worryingly, it is currently unclear how either player suffered brain injury. *Officials are investigating if prescription stimulant Adderall could have played a role after several students reported players may have taken it. *Both boys are running backs for the school's junior varsity football team. *As well as being used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Adderall is prescribed to narcolepsy sufferers. It can also be used as an athletic performance and cognitive enhancer. *The drug is typically well-tolerated, but side effects include an irregular heartbeat, euphoria, impaired cognitive function, tremors and anxiety. An overdose of Adderall is rarely fatal. *An investigation is ongoing into the boys' brain injuries. (dailymail.com) Continue reading
Hits: 1169
09
Sep

10 Year Old Suffers TBI After Termite Fumigation Of Home

Posted by on in TBI
b2ap3_thumbnail_fumigation.jpg A 10-year-old boy is suffering from brain damage after a botched fumigation of his family's Florida home, according to a family attorney. - Peyton McCaughey and his family fell ill shortly after a Terminix subcontractor, Sunland Pest Control, sprayed their Palm City home for termites on August 14, family attorney Bill Williams said. The family was told it was safe to return to the home two days later on August 16, Williams said. - The family immediately began feeling ill. - The boy's uncle, Ed Gribben, told CNN that everyone was vomiting, and Peyton's condition was even worse. Gribben said Peyton had trouble standing and speaking, so the family took him to a local clinic where a doctor suspected poisoning from fumigation. - The child, who loves Minecraft and is known for his witty personality and athletic talent, has lost 90% of his motor skills, Gribben said. He also lost function of his left arm and leg, Williams said. "He has traumatic brain injury and loss of motor skills," Williams said. "The rest of the family is fine, thank God. The little boy is not fine." - (CNN.com) Continue reading
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