NIH scientists watch the brain’s lining heal after a head injury

NINDS | Apr 17, 2018

Following head injury, the protective lining that surrounds the brain may get a little help from its friends: immune cells that spring into action to assist with repairs. In a new study, scientists from the National Institutes of Health watched in real-time as different immune cells took on carefully timed jobs to fix the damaged lining of the brain, also known as meninges, in mice. These results may help provide clues to the discovery that the meninges in humans may heal following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and why additional hits to the head can be so devastating.

New Glasgow Coma Scale-pupils score and multifactor probability outcome charts

EurekAlert | Apr 17, 2018

The University of Glasgow's Sir Graham Teasdale, co-creator of the Glasgow Coma Scale, has teamed with Paul M. Brennan and Gordon D. Murray of the University of Edinburgh to create new assessment tools that build on the Glasgow Coma Scale in order to provide greater information on injury severity and prognosis in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) while still offering simplicity of use. These tools are described and evaluated in two companion papers published today in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

New evidence shows even mild concussions can raise risk for dementia

Gizmodo | Apr 17, 2018

A new study published this week in The Lancet Psychiatry reaffirms that traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), even those that are relatively mild, are linked to a higher risk of dementia in our later years. The researchers obtained and studied the medical records of 2.5 million Danish-born residents living in the country in 1995. (Unlike many countries, including the US, the medical histories of residents of Scandinavian countries like Denmark are easily tracked through various nationwide registries). They then looked ahead in time to see how many of the Danes over the age of 50 would go on to be diagnosed with dementia at some point between 1999 to 2013.

Only 40% of youth concussions caused by contact sports

Medscape | Apr 16, 2018

Only a minority of all concussions in children are the result of contact sports, a new study suggests. The findings indicate that strategies to prevent such injuries in children will have to extend outside youth sports, the researchers say. "While sports concussions have been important in raising awareness of concussions, it is important to remember that many nonsports/life activities can result in concussion as well and that it is a common injury in childhood and not just in sports," senior study author, Christina Master, MD, pediatric primary care sports medicine specialist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Pennsylvania, told Medscape Medical News.

Brain injury modeling reveals deep trauma patterns

University of Arizona News | Apr 4, 2018

New research results indicate that traumatic brain injury, such as that resulting from impacts in sports and auto accidents, is caused by stretching and straining of tissue well below the surface of the brain.

High number of concussion-related symptoms in performing arts

Science News | Apr 4, 2018

A recent study released by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine shows a stunning number of participants not only experienced concussion-related symptoms and head impacts but also continued performing either without reporting the incident or without receiving the recommended care. These participants were not taking part in any sporting contest at the time, however. They are theater personnel.

Where the brain shakes may be key to concussion

Furturity | Apr 3, 2018

Concussions and other mild traumatic brain injuries seem to arise when an area deep inside the brain shakes more rapidly and intensely than surrounding areas, report researchers. The study combines data from football players with computer simulations of the brain. They also found that the mechanical complexity of the brain means there is no straightforward relationship between different bumps, spins, and blows to the head and the likelihood of injury.

Consciousness of concussions is growing, but issue of sports-related brain injury may be far larger

The Spokesman-Review | Apr 3, 2018

Since the prevalence of traumatic brain injury among athletes has come to light, doctors and researchers studying the problem say it’s much broader than concussions or CTE. In interviews with The Spokesman-Review and KHQ this week, retired NFL quarterback Mark Rypien estimated he’d sustained “dozens of concussions and thousands of subconcussive injuries from playing this sport,” most of which went undiagnosed at the time. “You say dozens, but you don’t really know,” he said. His first was likely in middle school.

Doctors often skip discussing dangers of driving after concussion

Reuters | Apr 3, 2018

Researchers invited members of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine to complete a 24-question online survey about their attitudes toward driving after a concussion and what they tell their patients. “In our study, 83 percent of physicians felt that concussion put individuals at a greater risk of a motor vehicle crash yet fewer than half, 49 percent, routinely counsel their patients about driving,” said lead author Dr. John Lucas IV of the Sports Medicine Institute at the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System in South Carolina.

Newly discovered brain injury in vets linked to PTSD

60 Minutes | Mar 30, 2018

Doctors have found scar tissue in the brains of combat veterans who suffered from PTSD and were exposed to high explosive blast waves. The discovery could mean that many cases of PTSD, long thought to be a mostly psychological illness, may actually be caused by physical brain trauma. Scott Pelley reports on this medical breakthrough on the next edition of 60 Minutes, Sunday, April 1 at 7:00 p.m., ET/PT on CBS.

Dartmouth junior is shattering perceptions of post-concussion syndrome

Study Breaks Magazine | Mar 29, 2018

Stephanie Everett, a junior at Dartmouth College, kicked off 2018 with a performance of her purely autobiographical one-person play, “It’s Fine, I’m Fine” at the New Works Now festival for an audience of over 200 people. Everett’s play centers on a character navigating the many struggles of modern-day adolescence including mental health, relationships, sexuality and tough parents while suffering the affects of many traumatic brain injuries. Everett hopes audiences will take away two important themes from her show: compassion and inner strength


Prosthetic memories help brain injury patients with short-term recall

Gizmodo | Mar 29, 2018

In the latest advancement from the front lines of neuroscience, researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and USC successfully restored memory to people with poor short-term memory function. The research was funded by the military’s secretive DARPA research branch as part of the Restoring Active Memory, which launched in 2013. The program’s eventual goal is to create an implantable brain-computer interface capable of restoring normal memory function to people suffering from brain injury or illness.

Antibody removes Alzheimer's plaques, in mice

Washington University School of Medicine | Mar 29, 2018

Years before people start showing characteristic symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, amyloid plaques begin forming in their brains, damaging nearby cells. For decades, doctors have sought ways to clear out these plaques as a way to prevent or treat the disease. The sticky clumps, known as amyloid plaques, are composed primarily of a brain protein called amyloid beta. But nestled within the plaques are small amounts of another Alzheimer's protein: APOE. Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have shown that an antibody not only targets APOE for removal but sweeps away plaques.

Collision course: Former NFL player turns down state Hall of Fame nomination

Bozeman Daily Chronicle | Mar 27, 2018

Former NFL player Corey Widmer was in line to be celebrated as part of the Montana Football Hall of Fame. That is, until Widmer turned the honor down. Widmer explained the sport of football “destroyed my life,” and numerous concussions have brought on symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. “I’m 49 years old, depressed to the Nth degree, but have a lot of money … and some people might say it’s still worth it. I just tell them to watch what they wish for,“ Widmer said. “If someone could’ve explained all of this to me when I was 14, I would’ve given it all back in a heartbeat. I would’ve wished for something else."

Kids with brain injuries may have higher ADHD risk

Reuters | Mar 20, 2018

Young children who are hospitalized with head injuries may be at higher than average risk for developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) later on, a small study suggests. U.S. researchers examined data on 187 children, including 81 who were hospitalized overnight for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) at some point from age 3 to 7, and 106 who were hospitalized with other injuries. None of the kids had ADHD at the start.

When a high school football player meets a brain injury researcher

NPR | Mar 19, 2018

High School athletes often raise money door-to-door for their teams. In Newton, Mass., a football player rang the doorbell of leading brain injury researcher Dr. Lee Goldstein. Instead of money, he got a talk. Goldstein cares a great deal about high school football. It's what he was thinking about when the doorbell rang.

He was an athlete and a college-bound honor student. Then a concussion stole it all.

Desert Sun | Mar 19, 2018

“I use to be – I still try to be – outgoing and friendly to everybody. People knew me as the kid who was always smiling, and trying to make other people,” Salamone said. “And I’m trying to be happy again,” he adds, “but it’s a lot harder now.” Salamone is also at risk of losing the college education he worked so hard to obtain. After his injury, Vanguard University agreed to delay Salamone’s enrollment for one year, but he will lose his spot at the college and his scholarship if he is not ready to attend by the fall semester.

Brain injury is silent risk for older adults

Courier Post | Mar 19, 2018

Anyone with an aging loved one likely knows the feeling: Wondering when and how you’ll recognize if your loved one needs help. But sometimes, the biggest concerns are often the silent ones. One of the most common causes of concern among older adults is traumatic brain injury - responsible for more than 80,000 emergency room visits each year among people over 65. While we often think of brain injury as a sudden, severe jolt to the head with obvious, immediate symptoms, brain injuries can take a much different shape in older adults.

8th-graders’ concussion-detection device earns them national recognition

News12 | Mar 19, 2018

Four eighth-graders have gained national recognition for designing a device that fits into a football helmet that can detect concussions. Middle School students Jake Carlin, Josh Chostaka, Alex Fisherman and Ian Langan say that they were inspired to create the device when a friend was hurt playing football. “One of our good friends got a really bad concussion during a game, so we felt that making something like this would help coaches and trainers keep their teams safe,” Langan says. The 14-year-olds developed a sensor that fits into a football helmet. Real-time data is transmitted directly to a smartphone, using an app that they also designed.

Tracy Morgan Is a Survivor. And ‘a Better Man Now.’

The New York Times | Mar 15, 2018

Just a few years after a car crash left him with a severe brain injury, Mr. Morgan is back with “The Last O.G.,” a new comedy about second chances. "It’s about getting second chances. I believe everyone deserves one.”

Fewer U.S. high school athletes play football amid concussion fears

Reuters | Mar 13, 2018

Participation in high school football has been steadily falling in recent years amid mounting concerns about the potential for traumatic brain injuries to lead to lasting health problems, a U.S. study suggests. “This decline is associated with media attention focused on concussions or brain injuries among football players,” said study co-author Dr. Chris Feudtner of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Brain Injury Awareness Day: March 20

The Good Men Project | Mar 13, 2018

Brain Injury Awareness Day is Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at our Nation’s Capitol in Washington DC. Although BIAA and brain injury advocates work with Congress throughout the year, Brain Injury Awareness Day is important because it is the one day dedicated to educating your elected officials about brain injury and how vital federal funding is to continue the Federal TBI State Grant Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention TBI Programs, and brain injury research conducted by the TBI Model Systems.

Concussion targeted in new AFL Players' Association injury fund

ESPN | Mar 13, 2018

AFL players whose careers are ended by concussion will be eligible for payouts under a new injury and hardship scheme. The AFL Players' Association has allocated $24.7 million to the fund, which is expected to be accessed by up to 200 former AFL/VFL players per year. Greg Williams, Nicky Winmar and John Platten are among the AFL greats to have battled concussion-related health issues in recent years. All three have been linked to a potential class action against the AFL.

Nearly half of Patriots on first 3 Super Bowl-winning teams report brain injuries

Boston Globe | Mar 13, 2018

Some 42 of about 100 Patriots who were members of New England’s first three Super Bowl title teams have alleged in a landmark class-action concussion suit against the NFL and the helmet maker Riddell that they have experienced symptoms of brain injuries caused by the repetitive head impacts they absorbed in games and practices. In all, more than 340 former Patriots or their estates have sued the NFL and its former helmet manufacturer. The Globe, using the team’s official all-time roster, has for the first time compiled and analyzed a list of the Patriots who allege they suffered brain injuries on the job since the franchise was founded in 1960.

Football’s brain injury crisis lands in family court

The New York Times | Mar 8, 2018

In this city with a deep and proud relationship with football, a custody dispute has pushed the debate about the sport’s safety into a new arena: family court. A father, John Orsini, has gone to court to prevent the youngest of his three sons from playing high school football because, he said, scientific studies have revealed the perils of repeated blows to the head — especially for an athlete, like his son, who has a history of concussions. The boy’s mother, Mr. Orsini’s ex-wife, believes he should be allowed to continue playing because he understands the risks.

Shining a light on traumatic brain injury and domestic violence

Everyday Health | Mar 8, 2018

Victims of domestic violence suffer brain injuries similar to football players. Find out how researchers are working to address this silent epidemic. Barrow Neurological Institute, the world's largest neurological disease treatment and research institution, conducted a study on TBI and domestic violence that included 115 victims. According to this research, published in February 2017 in the Journal of Neurotrauma, 81 percent of patients reported a history of loss of consciousness associated with their injuries and only 21 percent of patients sought medical help at the time of injury.

Brain Injury Awareness Month spotlight on military TBI champions

DVBIC | Mar 8, 2018

"During Brain Injury Awareness Month and beyond, we want our military community to know that recovery from a TBI is possible," said Dr. Scott Livingston, director of education at the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. "Each TBI is different, not everyone experiences the same symptoms or requires identical treatment. I encourage people in the military community to obtain early diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of TBI when possible." The spotlight of the videos launches a variety of activities to recognize Brain Injury Awareness Month in March.

Study: Better outcome at designated trauma centers for patients with severe TBI

Science Daily | Mar 5, 2018

Patients who sustain severe head injuries tend to have better outcomes if they are taken to a designated trauma center, but 44 percent of them are first taken to hospitals without these specialized care capabilities, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The results, published today in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, highlight a serious care disparity for these severely injured patients, and point to the need for systematic changes to improve care.

Study: Brain injury may boost risk of Alzheimer's earlier in life

Science Daily | Mar 5, 2018

Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease earlier in life, according to a study from UT Southwestern's Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute. The research -- the first to use autopsy-confirmed cases of Alzheimer's disease to examine the long-term effects of head injuries -- supports a correlation that could only be speculated about in previous studies, which lacked definitive diagnostic methods.

First ever 'health playbook' for NFL players highlights CTE and concussion

The Daily Mail (UK) | Mar 2, 2018

The NFL Players Association has created a 'health playbook' aimed at educating players on the risks associated with the high-contact sport. The first-ever football medical guide distributed to NFLPA members this week notably includes information about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head. "The most important advice is not to assume you have a chronic, irreversible disease simply because you have symptoms," the playbook says. "Consult an expert in this field who can do the comprehensive neurologic evaluation and studies necessary to determine your status and the best treatment for it."

Brett Favre says he suffered concussions ‘probably 90%’ of times he was tackled

Chicago Sun-Times | Mar 1, 2018

Favre, who started a record 321 consecutive games spanning more than two decades, said that “probably 90 percent” of the tackles he endured resulted in some kind of concussion. When the NFL finally implemented a concussion protocol in 2010, “it [was] 20 years too late,” he said. Favre, fellow Hall of Famer Kurt Warner and even former Cubs catcher David Ross have become vocal advocates recently for concussion research.

Shock-absorbing system may save soldiers' lives

News Atlas | Feb 27, 2018

Even if an armored military vehicle isn't destroyed when a land mine detonates underneath it, its occupants can still receive traumatic brain injuries. Scientists at the University of Maryland are trying to keep that from happening, with a new shock-absorbing system that could also have applications in civilian products.

Experts: screen criminals for brain injuries to cut violent re-offending

The Telegraph (UK) | Feb 27, 2018

Specialists from the universities of Oxford, Exeter, Manchester, Glasgow and Sheffield, and the Centre for Mental Health, are calling for all prisoners to be routinely checked for signs of traumatic brain injuries. A comprehensive review, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, suggests that bumps to the head from falls, assaults or road accidents can lead to neural injuries which alter the brain structure, and increase the risk of violence offending. The experts say helping prisoners receive proper treatment could prevent future offending and called on schools, doctors and hospitals to help identify youngsters who have suffered head injuries before they commit crime.

CDC tackles traumatic brain injury in children

Medscape | Feb 23, 2018

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report finds gaps in care and outlines opportunities for action on traumatic brain injury in childhood. Congress directed the CDC to compile the report to review the burden of TBI in children, identify gaps in systems of care, and offer recommendations for improving short- and long-term outcomes in this vulnerable population.

Curry School faculty find females may have higher concussion rates

The Cavalier Daily | Feb 21, 2018

In a comprehensive review of literature published in the journal Clinics in Sports Medicine, researchers found that females have a higher rate of concussions compared to their male counterparts partaking in the same sport. At the same time, females also have a higher symptom burden, in that they report more severe symptoms, and they may take longer to recover from the head injury as well. These higher incidences may be due to the increased likelihood that females are more likely to report their injuries. In addition, females may not actually take significantly longer to recover from concussion-related injuries.

Diplomats in Cuba suffered brain injuries. Experts still don’t know why.

The New York Times | Feb 16, 2018

After examining 21 American diplomats said to have been victims of a mysterious “attack” in Havana, medical experts found concussion-like damage but no obvious causes. The experts’ report, published late Wednesday in the journal JAMA, does not solve the mystery, instead raising even more questions about what could have caused the brain injuries.

FDA approves first blood test that can help diagnose a concussion

Los Angeles Times | Feb 15, 2018

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved a first-ever blood test to detect the telltale signs of serious brain injury, bringing to fruition a long quest to make the diagnosis of concussions simpler and more precise.

Concussion recovery in children is not one-size-fits-all

Association of Academic Physiatrists | Feb 15, 2018

A new study, presented this week at the Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting in Atlanta, suggests that not all children follow the same path to concussion recovery, nor do they have the same predictors for returning to normal activity. The study also suggests that younger children should be considered separately from high-school-aged students.

Fast-acting, readily available gas may mitigate blast-induced brain injury

Imperial College of London | Feb 15, 2018

Treatment with xenon gas after blast reduces blast-induced brain injury, suggests an early-stage study using mouse brain tissue. Previously, Dr Robert Dickinson and colleagues from Imperial College London showed that xenon gas helped limit brain damage and improve long-term neurological outcomes in mice that had suffered blunt force brain injury. Now, the same research group has found for the first time that xenon can also limit blast-induced brain injury from developing in mouse brain tissue exposed to a blast shockwave, in a study published in the Journal of Neurotrauma.

Concussions are serious, but would you let one ruin your Olympic dream?

The Washington Post | Feb 5, 2018

Canadian skier Justin Dorey remembered being reluctant to speak up about a head injury, and he knew his teammates were, too. While most governing bodies of Olympic sports have issued guidance or concussion protocols in recent years, awareness has not resolved the issue. “The associations can hold the athlete back, even if they’re willing to take the risk. It creates a system in which athletes aren’t always honest.”

Woodpecker brains have the same protein found in people with CTE

Tech Times | Feb 5, 2018

In 1976, an influential research showed that despite all the drilling, woodpeckers did not exhibit any apparent signs of brain damage. Since then, the study has been cited in over a hundred journals, which support the conclusion that the birds do not suffer from brain injuries as a result of the behavior. However, the recent findings of researchers from Boston University suggest that woodpeckers actually do get brain damage. In fact, the evidence that they found runs similar to the evidence of brain damage in humans with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE.

Domestic violence advocates call for awareness of brain injury among survivors

The Sydney Morning Herald | Feb 5, 2018

Domestic Violence NSW Service Management (Australia) released a paper exploring the intersection of domestic and family violence and brain injury. The report detailed well-established links between brain injuries, strangulation and domestic family violence homicide.

'He knew football had everything to do with it': A CTE journal

WBUR | Feb 5, 2018

Zac Easter, who never played football after high school, showed symptoms of CTE for six years before dying by suicide. Now his family and longtime girlfriend are honoring Zac's legacy through the organization, CTE Hope.

I’m the wife of a former NFL player. Football destroyed his mind.

The New York Times | Feb 2, 2018

My husband, Rob Kelly, is a retired N.F.L. player. By the time he retired in 2002 at 28, he had been playing tackle football for about two decades. Professional football is a brutal sport, he knew that. But he loved it anyway. And he accepted the risks of bruises and broken bones. What he didn’t know was that along with a battered body can come a battered mind.

NFL players warn parents of tackle football dangers, CTE

NBC News | Feb 2, 2018

Just in time for the Super Bowl, three retired NFL linebackers are pleading with parents to keep younger children out of tackle football to avoid traumatic brain injuries. This push to change how youth football is played is the latest response to the increasing number of football players diagnosed with CTE, with such symptoms as depression, memory loss and dementia

Hits to the head may result in immediate brain damage

The New York Times | Feb 1, 2018

When a teenager is hit in the head, his brain can begin to show signs, within days, of the kind of damage associated with degenerative brain disease, according to an unsettling new study. The findings indicate that this damage can occur even if the hit does not result in a full-blown concussion. Boston University has established strong links between such hits to the head and later C.T.E. But for the small new study, which was published recently in Brain, they hoped to learn more about how and how quickly such injuries might contribute to the disease.

“Concussion Protocol” a visual record of every concussion in the NFL this year

The Intercept | Feb 1, 2018

Since the season started, there have been more than 280 concussions in the NFL. That is an average of 12 concussions per week. Though it claims to take head injuries very seriously, the National Football League holds this data relatively close. It releases yearly statistics, but those numbers are published in aggregate, making it difficult to glean specific insights. I have been tracking these injuries all season. Using a variety of methods, including reviewing daily injury reports from, I have created what I believe is the most complete dataset of individual concussions sustained during the 2017-2018 season. The resulting film, “Concussion Protocol,” is a visual record of every concussion in the NFL this year.

Ex-NFL player fighting brain trauma announces new CTE project

Today | Feb 1, 2018

In 2016, former NFL player Mike Adamle had a neurological assessment. Doctors told him that he had "all the symptoms concurrent with what we know about CTE." But Adamle refuses to sit on the sidelines. He’s launching a national support network for suspected victims and their families called the Mike Adamle Project: Rise Above. It's under the umbrella of the nonprofit Concussion Legacy Foundation, which was co-founded by Dr. Robert Cantu, a leader in CTE. research. Adamle's also pledged to donate his brain to the CTE bank for research.

People are committing violent crimes after brain injury — and researchers are trying to figure out why

Business Insider | Feb 1, 2018

After sustaining a brain injury, Chelsea started physically attacking her parents. Before the injury, Chelsea experienced a level of anger similar to any other person. She had certainly never been aggressive. But ever since, she has grappled with mood swings and can't contain her rage or impulses. Chelsea's story is not unique. Behaviour changes after brain injuries have been well documented for many years. There are cases of people recovering from a brain damage with a new talent, or even in some cases, an accent from a foreign country. Sometimes, brain damage can create a criminal.

Traumatic brain injury linked to increased dementia risk: Report

ABC News | Jan 31, 2018

We know that TBI can have devastating effects that include impaired thinking, memory and emotional functioning. But now, new research suggests it may also increase the risk of dementia, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal PLoS Medicine. In the study, researchers from Umeå University in Sweden looked at 3 million Swedes 50 years old and older who were diagnosed with TBI or dementia between 1964 and 2012. They compared subjects with TBI with those who hadn’t had it. When possible, they also compared those with TBI to a sibling without TBI.

Wives of NFL players say concussions underreported according to studies

KPVI | Jan 30, 2018

After corresponding with wives of current and former NFL players, Idaho State University researcher Caroline Faure has concluded that concussion is likely underreported in the NFL and that the wives and families of concussed and potentially concussed players could use more support. Faure was able to have the moderator of a NFL wives’ closed Facebook page post a 30-question survey on that site, which is dedicated to wives of current or former NFL players from the 1980s on. The survey was designed to gauge the observations of the wives relative to published concussion identification guidelines and provided the data for the studies.

Could hyperbaric treatment heal the brain?

The Washington Post | Jan 29, 2018

As the use of hyperbaric therapy for brain injury has grown, it has become increasingly controversial. A growing group of scientists and physicians say that hyperbaric treatment, which exposes patients to pure oxygen at higher-than-normal air pressure, may work. But other researchers believe that the treatment has no merit and should not be recommended.

Hopkins engineers use digital tools to tackle concussion impact research

HUB | Jan 29, 2018

Most football fans will watch Sunday's Super Bowl matchup between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles for the big plays, the big hits, and—of course—the commercials. K.T. Ramesh, a biomechanics expert at Johns Hopkins University, will be looking for something more specific: head injuries. Ramesh, who has been researching traumatic brain injuries for years, is helping develop a tool to better diagnose concussions and predict where related brain damage is likely to occur. Recently Ramesh has been working with researchers from the National Institutes of Health and Jerry L. Prince, a professor in JHU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, to create a digital head model.

Concussions suffered by NFL players up this season; injury rate higher for Thursday games

The Washington Post | Jan 29, 2018

The number of diagnosed concussions suffered by NFL players increased nearly 16 percent this season over last season, and the rate of injuries suffered by players during Thursday night games exceeded the injury rate in other games. Those were among the key developments as the NFL released its preliminary injury data for the 2017 preseason and regular season. According to the data, which is gathered and analyzed by the independent company IQVIA (formerly called Quintiles), players suffered 281 concussions during the preseason and regular season. That is an increase of 15.6 percent over the 243 diagnosed concussions suffered by players during the 2016 preseason and regular season.

Proposed ‘Duerson Act’ could ban tackle football for Illinois children under 12

Chicago Sun-Times | Jan 26, 2018

When former Bears safety Dave Duerson killed himself in 2011, his family donated his brain to Boston University to understand him and get answers. Seven years after the university found 50-year-old Duerson’s brain showed signs of CTE, his family and CTE advocates came together on legislation bearing his name that would prevent children under 12 from playing tackle football in Illinois. The Dave Duerson Act to Prevent CTE, or HB-4341, was filed by state Rep. Carol Sente, D-Vernon Hills, Thursday in honor of the 1985 Super Bowl star.

It's not concussions that cause CTE. It's repeated hits, a study finds

CNN | Jan 18, 2018

A study published online Thursday in Brain, a journal of neurology, presents the strongest case yet that repetitive hits to the head that aren't concussions — meaning there's no loss of consciousness or other symptoms that can include headaches, dizziness, vision problems or confusion — do cause CTE. "We've had an inkling that subconcussive hits — the ones that don't [show] neurological signs and symptoms — may be associated with CTE," says Dr. Lee Goldstein, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine and the lead investigator on the study. "We now have solid scientific evidence to say that is so." And this evidence, he says, leaves researchers "terrifically concerned."

Research uncovers new link between head trauma, CTE, and ALS

CTV News | Jan 16, 2018

Researchers at Western University believe they have found a common link between the degenerative brain condition CTE, and a variant of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Some people with the signs of CTE also show symptoms of a variant of the muscle-weakening disease ALS that causes cognitive impairment. Now, in a study published in Neurology, researchers think they may have found how the two brain diseases might be connected.

Evidence of CTE discovered in young patients with epilepsy

Medscape | Jan 16, 2018

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) may be present in 10% of relatively young patients with intractable epilepsy, a new pilot study suggests. The study was small and can't really determine whether relatively young patients with epilepsy who sustain head trauma because of their disorder are at higher risk for CTE. However, "this is a start," study investigator Gregory D. Cascino, MD, Department of Neurology, Division of Epilepsy, Mayo Clinic.

Could spit be the latest key to diagnosing concussions?

WTOP | Jan 10, 2018

Two scientists at George Mason University have been working on a potentially groundbreaking diagnostic tool that could change the way we test for and treat brain injury across the sports world and beyond. Although their findings are still a ways from translating to a marketable product, they shed new insight into a field that many are only beginning to understand.

Brett Favre has a new concussion documentary, prefers grandsons play golf

Star-Tribune | Jan 10, 2018

Brett Favre has a new concussion documentary set to debut Thursday that explores head-to-field hits, arguing that those kinds of hits in football, soccer and other sports are a hidden factor in the concussion discussion. The argument made in the documentary is that making turf fields softer will lessen the damage from such hits. "Shocked: A Hidden Factor in the Sports Concussion Crisis" is a short documentary in which Favre serves as both subject and executive producer. It debuts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on a variety of platforms via Stadium.

Nonprofit seeks school concussion injury policy

U.S. News & World Report | Jan 10, 2018

The Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska told the Education Board last week that schools across the state respond to concussion injuries in an inconsistent manner, despite the 2012 Concussion Awareness Act requiring schools to establish protocols to handle such injuries. The act originally required schools and youth sports groups to educate coaches, athletes and parents about concussions. They also had to remove injured students from play and required written approval from parents and health care professionals before allowing students to return. The law was widened in 2014 to require the creation of protocols for students returning to the classroom after an injury.

Combat veterans coming home with CTE

60 Minutes | Jan 8, 2018

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) isn't just affecting athletes, but also showing up in our nation's heroes. Since 9/11 over 300,000 soldiers have returned home with brain injuries. Researchers fear the impact of CTE could cripple a generation of warriors.

NFL allocates more than $17 million to fund research into concussions and brain health

Chicago Tribune | Jan 5, 2018

The NFL has reallocated more than $17 million of funding for research into concussions and the effects of brain injuries after a dispute last year related to funding for research by the National Institutes of Health. The funding now will be divided among research done by the Department of Defense, TRACK-TBI (a study funded by NIH) and the National Institute of Aging, a branch of NIH, according to the NFL.

Combat veterans suffering from same brain disease as concussion victims

CBS News | Jan 5, 2018

They did not lose limbs, but many veterans exposed to blasts in combat will eventually lose their minds. Just like athletes who endured repeated blows to the head, veterans are suffering from the same degenerative brain disease. Sharyn Alfonsi reports on chronic traumatic encephalopathy and its impact on combat veterans on the next edition of 60 Minutes, Sunday, Jan. 7.

Ex-Bears linebacker another likely victim of CTE

Chicago Sun-Times | Dec 27, 2017

A formerly gregarious, witty man, Doug Buffone was turning inward more and more in the years before his death. ‘‘He became reclusive. As time went on, he definitely wasn’t as social. If people came over to the house, he stayed downstairs. There were times when he would drive around all night long. Sleeping was always an issue.’’

Lions T Emmett Cleary donating brain to CTE research

ESPN | Dec 27, 2017

Detroit Lions offensive tackle Emmett Cleary has pledged to donate his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation to help with research into CTE. The Legacy Foundation announced the donation Wednesday morning on its website. "Everyone in football should be supportive of this research," Cleary said in the announcement. "I feel like you have a responsibility to your teammates, other players in the league, and the next generation of football players to support the research. I would encourage anyone who loves the game to get involved with brain research." He is the second active NFL player to pledge to donate his brain to research this year, joining Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Eric Winston.

NFL changes concussion protocol

The New York Times | Dec 26, 2017

Several changes to the NFL’s concussion safety protocol, including requiring the presence of an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant at the league command center for all games, were revealed by a league official. The changes, backed by the N.F.L. and its players' union, were agreed upon Dec. 11 by the league’s head, neck and spine committee. They went into effect the following weekend.

This is your brain on the military

Federal News Radio | Dec 26, 2017

“You shoot a .50 caliber that’s about half a PSI of pressure wave, a breecher you’re seeing maybe two PSI, but a breecher may see four or five hundred of those. Then certainly an IED can be something much higher than 10 or 15 [PSI]. We’re very worried about what we see downstream,” says Defense Department Director for Military Health Policy and Oversight Capt. Michael Colston. He added some studies of troops are showing brain legions associated with blast injuries.

Grappling with the future of football after brain-injury research

Richmond-Times Dispatch | Dec 26, 2017

Sports news producer, Charlie Broaddus, wrote a five-part series for on brain damage in high school football players. Here, he reflects on what he learned reporting the series: "I learned things while writing this series that heightened my concern for high school players. I heard stories of teenagers who spent years dealing with anger issues, memory problems and uncharacteristic behavior after suffering big blows on the field. Shortly after I started researching the topic, Boston University’s CTE Center announced that CTE was diagnosed in three former high school players. Then, Dr. Robert Cantu, co-founder of the CTE Center, told me something that amplified my discomfort.

Inside the device that may show if it will ever be safe to play football

Westword | Dec 26, 2017

University of Colorado Boulder has been chosen to coordinate a research project into traumatic brain injury among student athletes with one of the main tools being EYE-SYNC, a cutting-edge device designed to diagnose concussions by way of eye movement. "It's essentially a VR headset that's got infrared cameras that will track the movement of the eye," says Matt McQueen, an associate professor of integrative physiology at CU. "It's a more objective measure than just asking student athletes questions."

On Gender and Concussion Recovery: Let’s not Jump to Conclusions

Scientific American | Dec 21, 2017

There may very well be gender differences in concussion, but when looking at subjective measures we need to be careful to look at the whole picture and consider context.

Can this concussion study work if school districts don’t have to participate?

Star-Tellegram | Dec 21, 2017

Billed as nation’s largest statewide effort to track concussions among youth athletes, only one-third of Texas school districts are participating.

New female brain bank will help close the gender gap in concussion research

ThinkProgress | Dec 19, 2017

Pink Concussions and National Center for PTSD has announced an exciting partnership - the first-ever brain bank for women. The two organizations will work together to actively recruit women over the age of 18 to donate their brains to TBI and PTSD research.

Do brain-wiring differences make women more vulnerable to concussions?

Scientific American | Dec 18, 2017

Researchers have known for some time that female athletes experience higher rates of concussion than their male counterparts, and also often suffer harsher symptoms and take longer to recover. But why women seem more vulnerable to such injuries has long remained a puzzle. Several explanations have been proposed including sex hormones, neck structure and cerebral blood flow, but no one really knows what is to blame. Now, however, a study led by Douglas Smith, director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at the University of Pennsylvania, adds a new candidate: differences in axons—the output “wires” of neurons.

Health experts warn concussions present major challenges to military health

NavyTimes | Dec 14, 2017

Concussions may be among the most common and least understood military injuries, with the identification of so-called “mild” traumatic brain damage a major challenge to combating the problem, health experts warned lawmakers on Wednesday. But they also said the reasons for those shortfalls don’t fall solely on Defense Department and veterans researchers. Understanding and diagnosing the problem remains frustratingly elusive in the medical community, even as an ever-increasing amount of is compiled from sports injuries, workplace accidents and other non-military events.

Kirk Cousins and other NFL players say they'd want to take CTE tests while active

The Washington Post | Dec 14, 2017

While reliable tests in living patients for the neurodegenerative disease have yet to be developed, the Redskins quarterback said he would retire if he learned he had CTE.

Ex-NFL player Larry Johnson grapples with violent urges and memory loss. He thinks it's CTE.

The Washington Post | Dec 13, 2017

Larry Johnson played his last game in 2011, and he now believes he suffers from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disorder linked to more than 100 former football players. For now, CTE can be confirmed only after death, but Johnson says his symptoms — anxiety, paranoia, the occasional self-destructive impulse — are consistent with those of past victims.

Chicago Bears legend Mike Adamle opens up about his losing battle with CTE

Daily Mail | Dec 7, 2017

The 68-year-old, who has since worked as a football announcer and WWE interviewer, said he can 'feel the decline every day' as the disease slowly robs him of brain function. Alongside wife Kim he is now in the process of starting up a national support network for other sufferers and those at risk of the illness.

When contact sports cause concussion injuries, who comes out ahead?

PR Newwire | Dec 5, 2017

Concussions are common injuries among contact sport athletes. While most athletes experience full recovery within a few weeks and can return to their sport, according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, female athletes tend to experience a higher concussion injury rate than male athletes. Additionally, athletes who suffered a concussion injury prior to college were three times more likely to suffer a contact sport-related concussion than their collegiate peers without a history of the injury.

Testing apps to help stroke and brain injury patients

MedicalXpress | Dec 5, 2017

Stroke and brain injury patients are being guided on the best choice of digital help thanks to students in the School of Health Professions at the University of Plymouth, in collaboration with a national network of healthcare professionals.Students are clinically testing apps to see if they are suitable to be part of the mytherappy website – a database of clinically recommended health apps developed by the stroke and neuro rehab team at NDHT.

New hope for patients with severe brain injury

Houston Chronicle | Dec 4, 2017

Despite a growing scientific appreciation that injured brains need time to heal, the number of patients who gain access to specialized neuro-rehabilitation has decreased over the past decade. Most end up trapped in nursing homes, where they are often misdiagnosed. A misdiagnosis becomes a missed opportunity for emerging treatments that might return patients to their homes and families.

Alive Inside: How a Houston hospital restores patients with severe brain injuries | Nov 30, 2017

Among the survivors, a few, including Nick Tullier, make it to a Houston rehab hospital, where those with even the worst prognoses get a shot at recovery — and where some families learn loved ones once thought as good as dead are still alive inside.

Why I spent a year reporting on severe brain injuries

Houston Chronicle | Nov 30, 2017

At first, I thought I'd misheard: Could it be true that, among the untold thousands of patients living in U.S. nursing homes and believed to be in a vegetative state, up to 41 percent are actually conscious?

New CU institute helps veterans, retired athletes overcome brain injuries

UCHealth | Nov 29, 2017

The co-founder of Home Depot is betting $38 million that a network of centers anchored at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus will pay off handsomely in better lives for veterans and retired athletes who have sustained life-changing traumatic brain injuries. The Marcus Institute for Brain Health (MIBH), which launched on the wings of a five-year grant by Bernard Marcus’s Atlanta-based philanthropy, is just getting going. It looks like smart money so far.

The NHL and CTE

NPR | Nov 29, 2017

The NFL has been more active than the NHL in addressing concerns about concussions and CTE. David Greene talks with neuroscientist Charles Tator talks about hockey's tepid response.

One football season increases risk of brain injury

CBS Chicago | Nov 28, 2017

New research indicates teenage football players have an increased risk of long-term brain effects after just one season. The study, conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, looked at 300 youth football players in North Carolina. “All this data is pointing to the same thing — that is that one season of football has an effect on the brain,” said Dr. Joseph Maldjian, study researcher at UT Southwestern’s O’Donnell Brain Institute and co-author of the study.

Brain damage from football concussions varies by position and career duration

Reuter's Health | Nov 28, 2017

Football players may experience different degrees of brain damage after concussions depending on what position they play and how long they stick with the sport, a small U.S. study suggests. “Our findings suggest that a career with additional exposure to football is not necessarily worse than a shorter duration of exposure,” said senior study author Kevin Guskiewicz, research director of the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Everything we know about concussions is wrong

Quartz | Nov 28, 2017

You don't need to be knocked out, you don't even need to be hit in the head, and even the best, most well designed helmets only help a little, if at all. Despite the increased focus, there's still more that we don't know then we do about concussion."

A neuroscientist's diary of a concussion

The New Yorker | Nov 27, 2017

Daniel J. Levitin, a neuroscientist, details the neurological and physiological effects of a concussion he suffered in a minor car accident.

How a concussion revealed my screen obsession

Slate | Nov 27, 2017

While I've never felt that I was addicted to my phone, it's different when you're forced to disconnect, rather than expressly choosing not to obsess over your screen on a given day. My head injury was thankfully on the mild end of the spectrum, and I felt increasingly better. But the bright, imperceptibly flickering light of an LCD or television drove me to headache and nausea, and I could only stand a minute or two at a time.

Tackling football's future on college campuses

San Diego Tribune | Nov 27, 2017

University of San Diego professors propose banning football on the campus due to dangers associated with brain trauma. "As faculty members, one of our primary duties is to safeguard the well being of our students," history professor Kenneth Serbin explained, "We believe playing tackle football, especially in (light of) the scientific evidence, is a danger to our students."

Dementia and soccer: Brain injury study to begin in January

BBC News (UK) | Nov 27, 2017

A long-awaited study into the links between heading a soccer ball and brain damage will start in January, the Football Association says. FA chief executive Martin Glenn said the new research "will be one the most comprehensive studies ever commissioned into the long-term health of former footballers".

Kessler Foundation awarded TBI Model System Grant for 2017-2022

EurekAlert | Nov 27, 2017

The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) has awarded Kessler Foundation a $2.23 million, five-year grant to fund the Northern New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury System (NNJTBIS) The NNJTBIS is a comprehensive system of clinical care, research, information and resource dissemination aimed at improving quality of life for people with traumatic brain injury.

‘I Have No Idea How to Tell This Horror Story’

The New York Times | Nov 21, 2017

This is the record of a father’s desperate attempt to save his son, a former N.H.L. enforcer who is now homeless, violent, confused and possibly brain damaged from years of fighting on the ice.

Spit test may help reveal concussion severity

NPR | Nov 21, 2017

A little spit may help predict whether a child's concussion symptoms will subside in days or persist for weeks. A test that measures fragments of genetic material in saliva was nearly 90 percent accurate in identifying children and adolescents whose symptoms persisted for at least a month, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.

Too many vets not screened for brain injuries

The Times Herald | Nov 21, 2017

Possibly as a result of brain injury’s invisible symptoms, as many as 9,000 veterans who had post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury may have been wrongfully discharged from the military for misconduct, according to a Government Accountability Office report released earlier this year. The report found that veterans were not consistently screened for TBI or PTSD before being discharged and there was no consistent oversight to ensure proper screening took place, despite institution of screening regulations put in place several years ago. According to the GAO report, in many instances the screenings were not only not conducted but there was no oversight by any of the individual military branches to ensure they were.

Media under the microscope: Aaron Hernandez & CTE

The Daily | Nov 21, 2017

For scientists trying to make their research known, heavy press can bring up a lot of issues over what the facts actually are. In this case, one of the main issues is that the media rarely highlights what isn’t known about CTE, only what is. And the truth is, researchers don’t know a whole lot about CTE yet. Some articles published about Hernandez inadvertently connect his criminal actions to the state of his brain, when in reality, scientists don’t completely understand how the disease relates to the physical actions of an individual. There’s a big difference between correlation and causation.

Technology from "Harry Potter" movies brings magic of brain into focus

Scientific America | Nov 20, 2017

The same rendering techniques that are used to make graphics for 'Harry Potter' movies are being used to render neurons and brain structures in fine-grained detail allowing scientists to explore the brain in 3-D and perform "virtual dissections."

Researchers incorporate talk therapy to help athletes cope with emotional effects of head injuries

Medical Xpress | Nov 20, 2017

Researchers at UCLA have been taking a closer look at the psychological aspects of recovery from head injuries and have recently begun a program that integrates a common type of talk therapy as part of their treatment for athletes with lingering emotional impacts after their injuries.

Jets' Jeremy Kerley pulling 8-year-old son out of football due to CTE concerns

USA Today | Nov 20, 2017

A New York Jets wide receiver told The New York Daily News that he is pulling his 8-year-old son out of football due to concerns over chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Jeremy Kerley, a seven-year veteran in the NFL, told the newspaper in a story published Saturday that his son, Dae’shon, has complained of headaches after football practice and Kerley has decided to pull him out of tackle football.

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