Articles Tagged with traumatic brain injury

bm0y9zmka1m-sean-brown-300x109If you or someone you love recent sustained a jolt to the head that led you to have concerns about a concussion or a more severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), you may have visited a hospital in Southern California. This is a good start, yet visiting a doctor just once over a suspected concussion may be insufficient. While many concussions go untreated in general—meaning that the injury victim never seeks a medical assessment or medical treatment for the head wound—there is a new problem involving a lack of follow-up care. According to a recent news release from the University of Southern California, “most concussion patients get no care after leaving [the] hospital.”

What does this mean in practice? In short, more than 50% of people who suffer concussions fail to seek the follow-up care they need in order to recover from the injury.

Patients Risk Adverse Effects by Avoiding Follow-Up Treatment After a TBI

bm0y9zmka1m-sean-brown-300x109If you or someone you love suffers a concussion in San Marcos, it is important to know how that traumatic brain injury (TBI) could have effects years later. Much of the current news about head trauma and long-term effects concerns chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease of the brain that researchers believe results from multiple bumps or blows to the head. CTE is not the only possible long-term effect of sustaining a single—or multiple—concussions when you are younger. According to a recent article in Popular Science, a new study published in Neurology suggests that a single concussion “can significantly increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.”

Even a Single, Mild Brain Injury can Have Effects Decades Later

The new study was conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. Their research indicates that the amount of a person’s increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease after sustaining a mild TBI is “contingent on how severe the brain injury was, but even a mild brain injury raised the likelihood of Parkinson’s by as much as 56%.” Some of the most common mild traumatic brain injuries are concussions. To clarify, if you sustain a single concussion in your lifetime, your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease could increase by up to 56% in comparison with a person who has never sustained a concussion or another TBI.

rmwtvqn5rzu-jesse-orrico-300x199When we discuss concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in kids in Carlsbad and throughout California, we often think about teen athletes who sustain head trauma in contact sports. However, as the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) explains, there are many ways in which children sustain mild TBIs and more serious head wounds. For example, the majority of brain injuries in children occur in motor vehicle crashes (more than 60,000 every year), followed by fall-related injuries. More than 500,000 kids require treatment in emergency departments every year as a result of TBIs.

All of this is to say that parents should be considering the long-term risks of TBIs even when their kids do not play sports but sustain a concussion or another serious head injury after falling from a bike or being involved in a traffic collision. According to a recent report in CBS News, kids who recover from TBIs may be at risk of developing ADHD at a later point. Indeed, as the report indicates, “young children who sustain a severe head injury may struggle with attention problems as they grow older.” What else do parents in Carlsbad need to know about TBIs in children and ADHD risks?

New Study Addresses Long-Term Implications of Severe TBI in Children

hush-naidoo-382152-copy-300x200We often hear about the long-term risks of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Poway and elsewhere in the San Diego area, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), particularly among athletes in contact sports who have sustained multiple concussions. Can head injury risks lead to other types of physical injuries, as well? According to a recent article in Science Daily, a group of researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have concluded that there is a “two-way link between traumatic brain injury and intestinal changes.” Those intestinal changes, in turn, resulted in more infections and in same cases “worsen[ed] chronic brain damage.”

To be clear, the new study suggests that brain trauma may be linked to additional physical injury. What do you need to know about the study’s conclusions?

Brain Damage Triggers Changes in the Colon

rmwtvqn5rzu-jesse-orrico-300x199For quite some time now, UC San Diego has been a “widely acclaimed hub for neuroscience exploration,” according to a recent article in the San Diego Union-Tribune. The university “consistently ranks in the top tier of graduate neuroscience and neurobiology programs in the United States and nationally.” Now, with a donation from the Junior Seau Foundation, traumatic brain injury (TBI) research will expand dramatically at UC San Diego, with a specific focus on sports-related concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

The Junior Seau Foundation was formed back in 1992 by the NFL linebacker who played for the San Diego Chargers from 1990-2002. Seau died as a result of suicide in 2012, and researchers determined that he had been suffering from CTE at the time of his death. How will the donation expand brain injury research at UC San Diego and help to prevent deaths like Seau’s?

Additional Donors Will Match Donation and Will Endow a Faculty Fellowship

600px-Mri_brain_side_viewIf your child currently plays tackle football in San Diego County, you might want to think twice before agreeing to let your child attend another practice or play in another game. Indeed, according to a recent article from NBC News, a new study suggests that head injuries of all sorts—including but not limited to concussions—may irreparably alter a child’s brain. The study was conducted by a team of researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, who were interested in exploring the wider effects of head trauma on kids who play football. Unlike several other recent studies, these researchers wanted to broaden their study to include more brain injuries than just concussions. In so doing, they learned that various types of head injuries can change the way a child’s brain works.

Details of the Recent Study of Youth Football Players

Currently, about three million kids across the United States play in tackle football programs. Up until now, research has primarily looked at the effects of concussions and has explored ways to prevent mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). However, the recent study from Wake Forest suggests that we need to be worrying about more injuries than just concussions.

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If you have a child who plays contact sports, chances are you already have some concerns about the risks of traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussions. But what happens when the safety gear that is supposed to be protecting our kids—such as youth football helmets—is not actually safe for use? In other words, do we also need to be worried about defective products that are intended to prevent our children from sustaining serious injuries while they are playing sports? According to a recent report from ABC News, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall for a series of youth football helmets that may crack. What happens when a football helmet cracks? In short, young athletes may sustain severe yet preventable head traumas.

Details of the Recent Youth Football Helmet Recall

As the report explains, the CPSC has issued a large recall for potentially dangerous products that could cause serious child injuries. The federal agency has not recalled just a small number of these potentially dangerous helmets. Rather, the CPSC issued a recall for 6,000 helmets due to the risk of serious head injury. And multiple helmets are impacted by the recall, including:

brain scanGiven the enormous attention to sports-related concussions and the long-term implications of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) for professional athletes, it should not come as a surprise that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) developed a brain injury study. What has come as a surprise, however, are allegations that the NFL “improperly attempted to influence the grant review process” for that study, according to a recent report from NFL.com. The allegations came through a report issued by New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone following concerns about bias.

Do the recent allegations suggest that certain studies may not be providing accurate information about the dangers of NFL concussions and rates of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) among ex-football players? To better understand the implications of Pallone’s report, we should take a closer look at the specific allegations levied against the NFL.

Details of the Congressional Report

brain scanWe know that multiple concussions can result in irreparable, long-term damage. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease of the brain, is now a condition that we know results from sustaining repeated traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), both in contact sports and elsewhere. But what about “seemingly mild, concussion-type head injuries” that happen only one time? According to a recent news release from the University of Pennsylvania, researchers now acknowledge that sustaining what we might call a mild TBI actually can “lead to long-term cognitive impairments surprisingly often.”

Brain Protein Discovered That Signals Cognitive Impairments


According to the news release, researchers have discovered a brain protein known as SNTF. It can show up in the blood after a patient sustains a mild TBI, but it does not show up in all cases of concussions. Researchers believe that the presence of SNTF “signals the type of brain damage that is thought to be the source of these cognitive impairments.” A team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Glasgow (in the UK) recently reported these findings.

_DSC6907Eight high school football players in the country have already died from sports-related injuries sustained this season. With increased focus across the nation on the risks of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and high school sports, officials in California have decided to take a closer look at the future of high school football in our state. According to a recent article in the Contra Costa Times, in response to football fatalities, “the administrator who oversees high school athletics in California raised concerns this week about the sport’s future.

Critical Juncture in High School Football

Does high school football have a future in the San Diego area? Or do the risks of traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries (SCIs), and other serious wounds outweigh student and parent interest in allowing the sport to continue? Roger Blake, the executive director of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), suggested that we may not see football being played at high schools in a handful of years: “I think honestly—and I say this in all sincerity—I think high school football, we’re at a critical juncture in the next two to three years.”

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