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Brain Harm May Last Long After College Football Players' Final Game

Posted 24 hours ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2016 – Brain tissue thinning is still evident in former college football players several years after they stop playing, a new study finds. University of Cincinnati researchers conducted MRI scans of 11 former college players and found they had significantly less cortical thickness in parts of the frontal and temporal cortex of the brain, compared with former track-and-field athletes. "The former football players showed, on average, lower cortical thickness across prefrontal and temporal brain regions – areas of the brain involved in sustained attention, memory and executive abilities – cognitive domains critical to long-term professional and social function," said co-principal investigator Dr. Cal Adler. He is vice chair for clinical research in the department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the university. In many areas of the brain, there was a link ... Read more

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Scans Show Changes in Some Soldiers With Mild Brain Injuries

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 29, 2016 – Disruption of certain brain circuits may be related to depression in soldiers with brain injuries, researchers report. The researchers conducted brain scans on 130 male soldiers who suffered mild traumatic brain injury and a control group of 52 men without brain trauma. The scans revealed that brain-injured soldiers with moderate to severe depression had disruptions in the circuits that connect brain regions that play important roles in thinking and emotional control. The study was to be presented Tuesday at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting, in Chicago. "We can link these connectivity changes in the brain to poor top-down emotional processing and greater maladaptive rumination, or worrying, in symptomatic depressed soldiers after [mild traumatic brain injury]," study author Ping-Hong Yeh said in a RSNA news release. Yeh is a ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Head Injury, Dysthymia, Head Injury with Intracranial Hemorrhage, Head Injury w/ Intracranial Hemorrhage and Loss of Consciousness, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness

ATV Accidents Can Cause Serious Chest Injuries in Kids

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 29, 2016 – For young people who ride all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) without a helmet, the risk of head trauma is an established and serious concern. New research, however, finds that these vehicles may also pose a high risk for severe chest injuries. "I believe that many parents are unaware of how serious ATV-related injuries can be," said the study's author, Dr. Kelly Hagedorn. She's a radiology resident at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. "Some parents view ATVs as being more similar to bicycles. However, many of the injury patterns are more similar to those sustained in motor vehicle collisions," she explained. ATVs are motorized recreational vehicles with three or four tires, designed for off-road use. Because they can weigh 300 to 400 pounds and travel at speeds of up to 75 miles an hour, ATVs can often be involved in ... Read more

Related support groups: Head Injury, Head Injury with Intracranial Hemorrhage, Head Injury w/ Intracranial Hemorrhage and Loss of Consciousness, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness, Prevention of Fractures, Asphyxia

Researchers Explore Way to Detect Brain Injury in NFL Players

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 28, 2016 – Researchers say they've discovered a new way to detect and track brain injury related to repeated concussions in National Football League (NFL) players. Brain imaging scans in 14 current or former NFL players revealed elevated levels of a protein related to the body's immune response for brain injury, said lead researcher Dr. Jennifer Coughlin. She is an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The NFL players, who had gone an average of seven years since their last self-reported concussion, showed high levels of the protein in eight of 12 brain regions examined, Coughlin said. If this new test is proven to work, it could provide a cornerstone for tracking the effects of repeated concussions on the human brain, Coughlin and her colleagues concluded. "We anticipate this technology is going to be useful ... Read more

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Partial Repeal of Motorcycle Helmet Law Had Unwanted Effects: Study

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 – Motorcycle helmet use fell and more riders suffered head injuries after Michigan repealed part of its universal helmet law in 2012, a new study finds. The repeal allowed motorcyclists 21 and older to ride without a helmet in Michigan if they had a valid motorcycle license and a $20,000 "vehicle insurance supplement," the study said. In the 12 months after the repeal, helmet use was 24 percent lower among riders who crashed and 27 percent lower among those who suffered injuries in crashes. Not only that, there was a 14 percent increase in head injuries among riders who were hospitalized after crashes, the researchers found. Factors associated with increased risk of death included being male, drinking alcohol, higher speed limits and being involved in crashes at intersections. Not wearing a helmet and drinking were associated with increased risk of head injury. ... Read more

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Blood Test May Someday Diagnose Concussion

Posted 12 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 11, 2016 – A simple blood test may one day diagnose concussions with more than 90 percent certainty, a small Canadian study suggests. This new test is unique, the authors said, because it looks for more than 100 markers indicating that a concussion has occurred. In the past researchers looked for a single marker in the blood to indicate a concussion, they said. "We were pleasantly surprised, when we looked at the pattern of metabolites [markers], that we could identify people who were injured with no other information and with greater than 90 percent certainty," said lead researcher Dr. Douglas Fraser. He's a consultant in pediatric critical care medicine at the Children's Health Research Institute in London, Ontario. For the study, Fraser and colleagues looked for markers of concussion in 29 teen hockey players. Some had experienced a head injury. Others had not. But not ... Read more

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Few States Have Plans for Kids Returning to Class After Concussion

Posted 7 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 7, 2016 – All U.S. states have "return-to-play" laws designed to protect young athletes who've suffered a concussion. But only a handful have regulations on handling kids' return to the classroom, researchers report. As of May 2016, only eight states had "return-to-learn" laws aimed at managing kids' concussion recovery, the researchers found. The findings highlight a gap, the study authors said, since some children who suffer concussions are athletes – but all of them are students. "Some kids suffer concussions during recreational activities, others are injured in accidents," said senior researcher Dr. Monica Vavilala. "They're not all athletes. But they are all students." Vavilala is director of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center and a professor of pediatrics, anesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in ... Read more

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Health Tip: Recognizing Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted 4 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

-- A hard blow to the head can cause a condition known as traumatic brain injury (TBI). The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke mentions these possible symptoms of a TBI: Losing consciousness. Feeling confused, lethargic or tired. Developing a headache, or feeling lightheaded or dizzy. Having blurry vision or feeling that your eyes are tired. Hearing a false ringing sound in the ears. Having a bad taste in the mouth. Having changes in patterns of sleep, behavior, memory or concentration. Read more

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More Years Playing Football, Greater Risk of Brain Disease: Study

Posted 3 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 3, 2016 – Researchers say they can show that brain inflammation from football head trauma may lead to the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the devastating degenerative brain disease. And the longer someone plays contact sports, the greater the odds for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the study authors concluded. "This study provides evidence that playing football for a prolonged period can result in long-term brain inflammation, and that this inflammation might lead to CTE," said study first author Jonathan Cherry. He is a postdoctoral fellow in neurology at Boston University School of Medicine. "Although inflammation may be protective in the brain especially right after an injury, our study suggests that years after a period of playing football, inflammation can persist in the brain and is linked to the development of CTE," Cherry said in a ... Read more

Related support groups: Head Injury, Encephalopathy, Head Injury with Intracranial Hemorrhage, Head Injury w/ Intracranial Hemorrhage and Loss of Consciousness, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness

New Tool Gauges Likely Survival After Gunshot to the Head

Posted 27 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26, 2016 – A new tool may help doctors determine a patient's chances of survival after a gunshot wound or other penetrating injury to the brain, researchers report. Based on their work, the researchers say two factors strongly predict survival: how well a patient's pupils respond to light and how well a patient can move in response to stimuli, such as withdrawing from pain or obeying commands. "Gunshot wounds are the number one cause of penetrating traumatic brain injuries," said study author Dr. Susanne Muehlschlegel, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. "Much of our knowledge about surviving such injuries comes from the battlefield, not from shootings among civilians. Being better able to determine the average person's chance of survival could help doctors and families make important decisions about medical treatment," she explained. The researchers ... Read more

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Brain Changes Seen in Kids After One Season of Football

Posted 24 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 24, 2016 – Just one season of competitive football may cause changes in some young players' developing brains, even if they don't get a concussion during play, a small study found. Using imaging scans, researchers spotted "microstructural" changes in the white brain matter of 25 male athletes aged 8 to 13 after a season of football. They also found that players experienced more significant brain changes if they took a greater number of hits and stronger hits to the head, said lead researcher Dr. Christopher Whitlow. He's chief of neuroradiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. "We're seeing some associations between the amount of change in the brain and the amount of exposure to head impacts," Whitlow said. "The more exposure they've had, the more change you see." However, Whitlow was quick to add that these changes are imperceptible to the naked ... Read more

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1 in 3 Young Athletes With Concussion Returns to Play on Same Day

Posted 21 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 21, 2016 – More than a third of young athletes who suffer a concussion return to competition the same day, a new study shows. Concussion guidelines and laws in all states discourage youth athletes from returning to play if they have any signs of concussion after a head injury. But, the findings from this study suggest those rules are often ignored. Researchers looked at 185 young athletes treated for concussion at a Texas pediatric sports clinic in 2014. They were between the ages of 7 and 18. Forty-seven percent suffered a concussion while playing football and 16 percent while playing soccer, the researchers said. The study found that 71 (38 percent) of the athletes returned to play on the same day they got a concussion. Those who immediately returned to play after their concussion reported less severe symptoms of dizziness and balance problems immediately after being ... Read more

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Helmets Don't Prevent Kids' Motocross Concussions

Posted 21 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 21, 2016 – Helmets and other required safety gear do little to ward off serious injury among young motocross racers who crash on the off-road courses, a small study warns. Investigators tracked 35 boys ages 8 to 17 who competed in rough-terrain motorcycle racing events known as motocross. Over 10 years, more than 85 percent were injured while competing or practicing, and nearly half suffered concussions. One boy died from his injuries. "Despite the use of required safety equipment and track regulations, pediatric motocross athletes suffered serious, sometimes life-threatening injuries," said study lead author Dr. Christopher Arena. He's a resident with the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Penn State Health, Hershey Medical Center. Besides concussions, these injuries included bone fractures and dislocations. The steep hills, jumps and sharp turns typically ... Read more

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Parents' Use of Outdated Advice May Slow Concussion Recovery

Posted 16 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 16, 2016 – When caring for a child with a concussion, many parents follow outmoded advice that could make symptoms worse, researchers say. A nationwide survey asked 569 parents how they would care for a child whose concussion symptoms lasted more than a week. Nearly 80 percent said they would probably wake the child throughout the night to check on his or her condition. "Many parents believed they might overlook swelling of the brain if they allowed their child to go to sleep with a concussion," said Dr. Christopher Giza, a pediatric neurologist and director of the BrainSPORT Program at the University of California, Los Angeles. "We certainly want a doctor to evaluate the child immediately after injury, but if you're still waking a child up throughout the night more than a week later, you're doing more harm than good," he said in a university news release. Doctors ... Read more

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Antidepressant Might Prevent Depression Following Brain Injury

Posted 14 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14, 2016 – Depression can often follow a traumatic brain injury, but new research suggests the antidepressant Zoloft might help prevent this from happening. One expert said prior studies have produced similar findings. The new research "provides further support of the possibility that depression following neurological injury could be avoided, rather than treated after the fact," said Dr. Paul Mattis. He is chief of neuropsychology at Northwell Health's Neuroscience Institute in Manhasset, N.Y. The new study was led by Dr. Ricardo Jorge, of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. His team randomly assigned 94 patients who suffered a traumatic brain injury to receive a low dose of sertraline (Zoloft) or a placebo pill for six months, or until they developed symptoms of a mood disorder. Overall, 46 people took the placebo, while the other 48 were given the 100 milligrams ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Zoloft, Major Depressive Disorder, Sertraline, Head Injury, Dysthymia, Head Injury with Intracranial Hemorrhage, Head Injury w/ Intracranial Hemorrhage and Loss of Consciousness, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness

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