Articles Posted in Brain Injury

Brain injury patients in Homestead and other communities often work hard to recover from their injuries. Even with drug treatments, rehabilitation therapy, and other options, however, some patients recover at different levels of success. Now, a new study suggests that one of the factors that could affect recovery is education.

The study, from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, found that patients with a college education may be more resilient to brain trauma and injury. Researchers concluded that patients with more education were more likely to recover from a traumatic brain injury, and the more years of education a patient had the more likely that patient was to recover. The study found that people with a college education were four times as likely to return to work or everyday activities with no disability one year after the injury when compared with patients who had not finished highs school.

Other studies have also found that higher education could help create a better “cognitive reserve” which could help patients compensate for damage to the brain. Some have also suggested that education expands and changes the brain, making a patient better able to cope with changes and difficulties by adapting more readily. Other researchers have found that patients with Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases also had a better chance of better recovery or better outcomes if they had a college education.

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Brain injury patients who have been injured in a car accident or slip and fall accident in Homestead or another community, in other words, may have a better chance of recovering more fully from their injuries if their brains were already made more adaptable and strong with education.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine reached their conclusions by looking at the medical records of 769 brain injury patients who had sustained a moderate or severe injury when they were over 22 years of age. After one year, 28% of the patients in the study were able to return to work or their regular activities with no disability. Of these recovered patients, 39% had a college degree, 31% had some college education, and only 10% had no high school diploma.

Researchers agree that more needs to be done to study the effects of education on the brain. In some ways, the study, while interesting, raises many questions. For example, does formal education alone provide the beneficial effects seen in the study, or could non-traditional forms of learning help as well? If someone is injured in a traffic collision in Homestead or another city and only then starts to study and learn, could that be enough to improve their chances of recovery?

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Some new information has shed some light on brain injuries and may help personal injury patients in Hollywood and across the country. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have released new guidelines and a new report about preventing brain injuries in children. According to the new data, targeting the cause of brain injuries in newborns could be an important step in preventing brain injury. While past guidelines asked doctor to look at lack of oxygen at birth as a cause of brain injury, the new guidelines ask doctors to examine all possible causes.

Doctors have focused on lack of oxygen during birth because it is a common cause of birth injury in Hollywood and other communities, leading to brain injury. However, according to the new report, there may be more causes of brain injury among children than previously thought and some of those causes may occur before labor and delivery. By considering a wider range of causes, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists hope to prevent brain injury among newborns in the future.

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By asking doctors to consider brain injury more closely, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists hope to also uncover some brain injuries that may not be noticed right away. With current guidelines, the report claims, some mild cases of brain injury in newborns are not detected. Newer technology in brain imaging as well as closer examination by doctors could help detect these mild cases of injury.

In addition to the guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a news report by CBS4 has uncovered a treatment being used by veterans in order to deal with mild traumatic brain injuries. According to the report, the veterans are using what is known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which involves placing a patient in a hyperbaric chamber for sessions that can be an hour long. The chamber is essentially a decompression chamber, typically used by divers who inhale 100 percent oxygen during their treatments.

Although the Food And Drug Administration has not approved hyperbaric oxygen therapy for traumatic brain injury, the treatment is legal and has been approved for 13 other uses. Some veterans report good results from the therapy. Some doctors have stated that the treatment may work because the oxygen allows for the growth of new blood vessels in an area of the brain where tissue has been wounded. They have noted a high rate of improvement among treated patients, but studies conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs have not found the therapy to help Marines who had mild traumatic brain injuries.

Since the therapy is not approved by the FDA, the treatment is not currently covered for brain injury patients in Hollywood or any other community. However, there are plans to conduct clinical trials at Fort Carson in order to determine whether this treatment could be effective for veterans.

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Safety advocates have long touted the benefits of helmets as one way to prevent serious head trauma and brain injury in Homestead and other communities. Helmets, studies have shown, can help protect you from injury in a bicycle accident in Homestead, a sports injury, or a motorcycle accident.

A new study, however, suggests that more needs to be done to prevent brain injuries and serious accidents. According to a new study from the Florida Center for Headache and Sports Neurology, football helmets, for example, do little to prevent concussions caused by impact to the side of the head. Impacts that create rotational force – a force that causes the head to rotate on the neck and therefore causes the brain to rotate from the impact – aren’t prevented by the helmets.

The study comes on the heels of studies and research that repeat head injuries and trauma can lead to serious brain injury, including a brain disease known as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). CTE is a degenerative disease that causes moodiness, depression, memory loss, confusion, cognitive problems, motor skill problems, aggression, and other symptoms. It is only diagnosed after death in most cases. Some studies have also shown that serious brain trauma can increase the risk of early fatalities by as much as threefold.

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Researchers at the Florida Center for Headache and Sports Neurology used a standard drop test system to test football helmets. This is the test used the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. The test involves placing the helmets on a test dummy. In the Florida test, the dummies had a neck and also sensors to test the rotational and linear impact of trauma. When 12 mile-per-hour impact occurred, researchers found that the helmets reduced the risk of linear impacts much better than the risk of rotational impacts.

The football helmets reduced skull fracture risk by 60-80% when compared to no helmet and reduce the risk of bruising brain tissue by 70-80%. However, since the helmets did not help prevent rotational injury as well, they only lowered the risk of traumatic brain injury by 20% when compared with no helmet use.

Obviously, helmets should be worn because they can help prevent some sports injury in Homestead and other communities. However, what concerned the researchers is that the helmets did not do a better job of protecting athletes. This is important for children and high school and college athletes, especially, since brain injuries to minors and children in Homestead and other communities can result in more severe impact. Brains are still developing before adulthood, so a brain injury sustained early on can creating lasting trauma and can make the child vulnerable to severe injury.

In the future, it is possible that more effective helmets will be engineered to help prevent head injury. In the meantime, it is important for parents to buy their younger athletes a good-quality helmet and to check safety recommendations before choosing a brand of helmet; the Florida researchers did find that some brands of helmets are better at protecting wearers than others. Finally, there needs to be more of a focus on preventing head injuries in the first place, especially since helmets cannot prevent all injury. Less aggressive play and more skills building for athletes, for example, can help keep players safer on the field or the rink – no matter what kind of helmet they wear.

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When sports injuries in Hollywood or other communities occur, one of the big challenges is evaluating the injuries to determine what next steps need to be taken. Whether the injuries affect a child or a professional athlete, coaches and other staff need to decide whether the player is well enough to return to the game or whether medical treatment is needed.

In many cases, serious head injuries in Hollywood and other communities rely heavily on this initial assessment. If a player has sustained a concussion or other head injury, it is important that they not return to the game before they have been properly evaluated by a doctor. If returned to play too early, they risk a secondary and more serious brain injury.

The problem with many brain injuries is that they are hard to detect, especially on the sidelines in the middle of a game without a doctor present. According to the American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting, however, a good diagnosis can be given in many cases by administering the King-Devick test and other simple tests to players who have been injured.

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The King-Devick test is a simple vision test that requires injured athletes to read a serious of numbers within a specific period of time. The numbers are placed on three cards and become harder to read because of the way they are arranged. An athlete without an injury should be able to read all the numbers within a minute.

According to Dr. Laura Balcer of the Langone Medical Center at New York University, the King-Devick test works because visual pathways are so important to the brain. The idea is that if the brain is injured, these are likely to be injured as well, so a vision test may be more effective in detecting concussions when compared with standard cognitive tests. The King-Devick test can also help detect some of the more common visual problems that signal a concussion, such as:

•Double vision
•Coordination problems with the head or eyes
•Blurred vision
•Difficulty focusing
In a University of Florida study, 217 athletes were given a series of tests, including a cognitive test known as the Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC) test, as well as the more physical Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) test and the King-Devick test. Researchers concluded that the King-Devick test was more accurate in finding concussions. The King-Devick test provided a 79% accurate detection rate. When all three tests were administered, however, there was a 100% rate of success in detecting concussions.

Since sports-related child injuries in Hollywood so often involve head injuries and since college and professional athletes are also at risk, it seems that administering all three tests when a player is injured is an excellent way to ensure that injured players are not let back into the game before they have had a chance to heal.

Of course, part of the challenge will be to ensure that coaches administer the tests correctly each time a head injury is possible. Currently, Dr. Balcer is conducting more research with hockey coaches, to see how effectively these tests can be administered by coaches in game situations.

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New research about brain injuries have been published recently that show a great deal of promise for head injury patients in Homestead and other communities. One of the recent research studies that has been published in the journal Pediatrics examined concussions in young people between the ages of 8 and 23. The researchers concluded that patients with a concussion could improve recovery by avoiding taxing brain activities. According to the study, patients who kept their brains busier with cognitive activity took approximately 100 days to recover from a concussion while peers who took part in less cognitive activity took about 20 to 50 days to recover from similar injuries. Patients who experienced mild and moderate levels of cognitive activity also took 20 to 50 days to recover from their brain injuries, leading researchers to conclude that young athletes with concussions should give their brains a rest but do not have to completely avoid cognitive activities such as reading, video games, text messaging, and other activity.

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A new research breakthrough from the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is also providing hope to traumatic brain injury patients who have sustained a serious brain injury as a result of a car accident in Homestead or another community. Recently, professor James D. Lechleiter was granted a patent for his discovery of a class of compounds that could help prevent and treat neuron damage in some brain injury patients.

Dr. Lechleiter has studied the class of compounds on cell models and animal models, although no human testing has yet been done. According to his research, two compounds, known as MRS2365 and 2-methylthio-ADP, help stimulate cells called astrocytes, which are the caretaker cells of the brain. These cells control swelling in the brain, so stimulating them could potentially help address the problem or edema, or growing pressure in the skull caused by swelling after a traumatic head injury. In mice, when astrocytes cells were stimulated using 2-methylthio-ADP and MRS2365, swelling of the brain was rapidly reduced and astrocytes cells and neurons lived longer. It is hoped that this discovery could eventually help to produce a new type of drug that could be used to treat brain injury patients.

While many studies such as these focus on traumatic brain injury – such as those that patients might suffer after an attack or a truck accident in Homestead – a study published in the journal Sleep examined non-traumatic damage to the brain. Specifically, researchers from Sweden looked at the injuries that could be caused to the brain when patients do not get enough sleep. The study’s authors examined 15 young men and found that even losing one night of sleep could harm the brain. Researchers looked at the proteins that can be found in people who have concussions and discovered that men who didn’t sleep at all during one night had 20% higher levels of these proteins than men who slept eight hours during the night. Patients with concussions have even higher levels of the proteins, but the researchers still concluded that while sleep loss is not as harmful to the brain as traumatic injury, even one night without sleep can do measurable short-term damage.

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Truck accidents in Hollywood often lead to devastating and catastrophic injuries. One of the most devastating injuries that are sustained in traffic accidents include head injuries. The brain is protected by the skull, but in a traffic accident in Hollywood what can happen is that the brain gets shaken about inside the skull. For example, if a passenger’s head collides with the dashboard or another object with enough force, the soft tissue of the brain will crash up against the inside of the skull.

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When this happens, it is considered a traumatic head injury. The force of the brain tissues hitting the interior of the skull can lead to bruising, swelling, and bleeding. This can cause severe trauma and even death. Blunt force head trauma can also lead to damaged brain tissue, which can lead to a number of symptoms, including:

•Memory loss
•Difficulty speaking
•Loss of motor skills
•Paralysis
•Difficulty concentrating
•Speech problems
•Personality changes
•Vision problems
Patients who have sustained a permanent, catastrophic head injury often find their lives completely changed. They may not be able to return to work and may have trouble completing simple tasks, such as getting dressed, preparing food, and performing everyday actions that most of us don’t have to think twice about. Some people who have sustained a serious injury require months or years of rehabilitation while others require around-the-clock care because they are never able to return to their everyday lives. Even a simple concussion can result in months of recovery time and can make you more susceptible to secondary head injuries.

Head injuries are extremely serious. If you are a head injury patient in Hollywood, you will want to get checked out by a specialist right away. Even if you have been in a traffic accident in Hollywood and don’t think you have been injured, contact a doctor immediately if you have hit your head. You will want to have your situation evaluated, because in some cases fatal head injuries don’t create symptoms right away. Some people walk away from a car collision or other accident only to die hours later because a head injury has gone undetected and untreated. Don’t let this happen to you. Get medical advice right away.

In addition to getting medical advice, you will want to contact a personal injury attorney in Hollywood or your community. The cost of a head injury can be significant. If you have a serious, permanent brain injury the cost of losing wage potential and the cost of medical treatment as well as at home care and rehabilitation can easily reach one million dollars or more over your lifetime. Even a simple concussion can cause you to lose weeks or months of work and may require extensive treatment. If the collision was caused by no fault of your own, you may be able to seek compensation through an injury claim. This way, you will have the money you need to pay for treatment so that you can focus on healing rather than on the financial stress a car crash can cause.

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Child injuries in Homestead and other communities often occur as a result of sports injuries. While sports can teach children discipline, teamwork, leadership, and other important skills and while sports are important for physical fitness, they can also pose dangers.

One of the most common dangers with childhood sports injuries in Homestead and across Florida involves head injuries. These types of injuries can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Since scientists are still only learning about the full dangers of traumatic brain injury, however, there are some questions about how dangerous even so-called minor head injuries are.

New studies have suggested that even concussions – long considered a less serious type of traumatic head injury – may be more serious than previously thought, especially for teenage and child patients. A study from Boston Children’s Hospital, for example, found that teenagers and children who have had a concussion before take longer to recover from a new head injury. The study also found that concussions in children are hard to miss with traditional testing; about 20% of the children in the study had neuroimaging tests which came back negative even though the children had a concussion.

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In the past, it was thought that children could recover from a concussion in a week, but new tests show that it usually takes much longer. Any child who has symptoms such as blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, headache, vomiting, fatigue, memory loss, problems with concentration or speech, drowsiness or other problems associated with concussions should be checked by a doctor carefully and should be given both cognitive tests and physical tests. Children should also be told to stay away from sports and other higher-risk activities until they get a clear indication from a doctor that it is okay.

The Boston Children’s Hospital reveals some concerning news about childhood brain injuries. According to the researchers, about 8% of students who sustained a concussion were not instructed to stay away from sports, increasing their risk of re-injury.

If your child has sustained a head injury, even a so-called mild one, it is important to get a full evaluation from a physician. Some head injuries do not present any symptoms but can still be deadly. Even if your child feels better within a few hours or a week, it is important to get the all-clear before returning to regular sports activities. A secondary brain injury sustained before the first one has fully healed can be far more severe and recovery time will be much greater.

In addition to taking your child to the doctor, you may want to speak with a personal injury attorney in Homestead or your community. If your child’s injuries were caused by poor supervision or other types of negligence, you can pursue compensation for your child so that your child can get the best medical care possible.

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Cesar Borlongan and his team of researchers at the University of South Florida Center for Aging and Brain Repair have been working on research that could help brain injury patients in Homestead and across the country. The research has shown that stem cells used to repair brain injury after a trauma help create “biobridges” that link the injured part of the brain with the uninjured part of the brain where new cells are born. The preclinical study will likely lead to more research now that the FDA has approved a limited clinical trial involving the stem cell therapy.

Stem cell therapy has been offering hope for patients with brain injuries following car accidents and other incidents. In Homestead and across the country, patients home that stem cell therapy will offer new options for healing. Stem cells are blank (undifferentiated) cells that can help give rise to different cells with various functions. The stem cells used by the Florida researchers, for example, can be adapted to take on the function of neural cells.

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In the past, scientists have believed that stem cells may work for brain injury patients because stem cells can help replace dying or dead cells in the brain. Some scientists have also suggested that stem cell therapy may work in traumatic brain injury cases because the stem cells repair injured tissue by expelling growth factors. The new research suggests a third possibility: stem cells may migrate and help build links between injured and uninjured parts of the brain.

Cesar Borlongan and his researchers reached their conclusions by looking at two groups of rats with traumatic brain injuries. One group was not given stem cells and one group was injected with SB632 cells (stem cells derived from bone marrow) directly into the part of the brain injured by trauma. About one and three months after the injury and treatment, the rats with the stem cell therapy had less brain tissue trauma and better neurological function and motor control than the control group. Even though the transplanted stem cells did not survive in great numbers, they seemed to be enough to make changes to the rats’ recovery from injury. Closer inspection showed that the rats with the stem cell therapy seemed to produce a link between the injured area of the brain and subventricular zone, or the area of the brain where hot neural stem cells are generated.

For brain injury patients who have suffered traumatic injuries due to a truck accident in Homestead – or any through any trauma – the brain cell research offers a glimmer of hope. However, researchers note that many more tests and trials are needed. While treatments and options for head injury patients are improving, many injured patients find the newest technologies prohibitively expensive, as well. Many patients turn to personal injury attorneys in Homestead or their communities in order to secure financial resources and compensation so that they can pay for medical treatment.

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A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School has discovered that people who suffer traumatic brain injury may be more at risk of stroke. According to Dr. James Burke, who headed the study, traumatic brain injuries may contribute to strokes as much as high blood pressure.

According to Dr. Burke, about 20% of strokes occur in younger adults under the age of 65. For these younger adults, the return to work and regular life may be a long and daunting process. Early treatment is important for those who suffer a head injury in Homestead and other communities as well as for those who suffer a stroke. For stroke victims, when a treatment called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is injected intravenously within the first hours after a stroke, the blood clot destroyer can break up blood clots associated with some strokes. Specifically, tPA can help victims who have suffered ischemic stroke, which account for about 87% of all stroke cases. Ischemic strokes involve a blood clot which blocks part of the blood flow to the brain.

According to Dr. Burke, understanding the link between traumatic brain injury and stroke risk can help scientists understand why some younger adults are affected by strokes – which may help prevent or treat these strokes in the future. According to Dr. Burke, traumatic brain injury may activate atherosclerotic plaques, which may increase the risk of a stroke.

Dr. Burke and his researchers examined 700,000 emergency room patients who were discharged in California between 2005 and 2009 and who suffered a trauma but no brain injury. In addition, 400,000 emergency room patients who had sustained a brain injury were examined. The average age of all these patients was 50. According to Dr. Burke, about 28 months after the initial emergency room treatment, about 1.1 percent of the patients had suffered an ischemic stroke. Among those patients who suffered a trauma but did not sustain a head injury, only 0.9% suffered an ischemic stroke within 28 months after their initial injury. Since the overall risk of stroke for people in this age group is very small, the 1.1% of people who suffered a stroke after a head injury may be significant. Researchers concluded that accounting for obesity, high cholesterol, heart disease, and other stroke risk factors, those with traumatic brain injury were 30% more likely to suffer from a stroke when compared with patients who had trauma but did not sustain any injuries to the brain.

Both Dr. Burke and other researchers have noted that additional research and studies need to be done before determining the risk of strokes for head injury patients. In the meantime, head injury patients in Homestead and other communities may wish to discuss with their doctors the possible long-term effects of their head injuries. Since head injuries are often caused by car accidents in Homestead, sports injuries, and other accidents, patients may wish to take extra steps to avoid head injuries by wearing helmets and by practicing safe driving techniques.

If you have suffered a head injury in Homestead or any Florida community, you may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney in Homestead or your city as well. If your head injury does lead to complications or additional injury, seeking compensation for your injuries can help you pay for the best medical care as well as for income replacement and other costs.

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The latest research offers some new information and hope for patients suffering from head injuries in Miami and other communities. Dr. Michael L. Lipton of the Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and his team of researchers have concluded that heading the ball repeatedly in soccer results in similar brain injuries and brain abnormalities as other accidents – such as car accidents in Miami and other communities – that lead of traumatic brain injury.
Dr. Lipton and his team studied 37 amateur soccer players and concluded that heading the ball repeatedly can cause degeneration of brain cells, much like other forms of trauma. The soccer players in the study consisted of 78% male players with a mean age of over 30 years old. The research subjects played soccer for an average of over 22 years and headed the ball between 32 and 5400 times.

Parents have already been warned by safety experts about the dangers of sports-related injuries to minors and children in Miami and other communities. Sports-related injuries among children include:

•Spinal cord injuries
•Head injuries
•Fractures
•Soft tissue injuries
Other injuries are common as well. Of course, adult athletes face some of the same injuries. However, research has shown that child athletes may be more at risk. Studies have shown that children are at a significant risk for re-injury if they are placed back in the game too soon. A child who sustains a sports-related head injury – from a pool accident in Miami, for example – may return to swimming or to other at-risk activities quickly. When children return to activities and sports too early, safety experts say, their risk for a secondary accident is much higher. In addition, children may be more vulnerable to some types of head injuries due to their age and smaller size. In some cases, these injuries may affect a child for life.

Dr. Lipton and his researchers have stated that more research needs to be done about sports and head injuries so that athletes and coaches can know when players need to be removed from the game in order to prevent injuries. In the meantime, many pediatricians admit that there are several things that parents can do to prevent serious childhood head injuries caused by sports:

•Make sure children are signed up for sports in supervised settings – ask plenty of questions about coaches and their training
•Insist that your child uses proper safety gear – including helmets, if the sport requires it – during each practice and game
•Get any possible head injuries checked out by a medical professional right away and do not permit the child to return to at-risk activities until a doctor gives the go-ahead

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