Study Finds Long Term Effect of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Children Seven Years Post Injury

Posted in About Brain Injuries, Brain Injury News

At the annual meeting of the Association of Academic Physiatrists, Brad Kurowski, MD, MS, a physician in the division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Cincinnati Children’ Hospital presented his research on the long term effects of TBI among children.

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What Happens When the Brain is Concussed?

Posted in About Brain Injuries, Brain Injuries in Sports

Have you ever wondered what happens within a person’s skull when he/she suffers a traumatic brain injury?

The New York Times recently published a wonderful interactive article about brain injuries. The article describes and demonstrates what happens within a football player’s skull when he suffers a concussion.

Using a mouth guard developed by bioengineer David Camarillo and his team the KAM lab at Stanford, the information gained from the mouth guard and its sensors enabled the researchers to recreate what happens to a player’s brain in a millisecond from the collision.

Included in the article is an interactive representation of what happens to one’s brain.

Click here to read the full New York Times article.

The North American Brain Injury Society enters into formal affiliation agreement with the International Brain Injury Association

Posted in Brain Injury News

It is our pleasure to share with you that after extensive due diligence and thoughtful consideration, the boards of the North American Brain Injury Society (NABIS) and the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA), have voted unanimously to approve a formal affiliation agreement under which NABIS will join IBIA as a special section. This agreement, drafted by Jeffrey Leiter, the long-time outside counsel for both organizations, will allow NABIS and IBIA to deliver significantly enhanced membership benefits to the brain injury professionals that make up both groups. Members of NABIS and IBIA will now have access to a comprehensive set of benefits that combines the strengths of both organizations, providing a more valuable membership experience and the opportunity to be part of a larger and more influential alliance.

Specifically, the full suite of membership benefits now includes: Continue Reading

Robotic Movement Tests May Predict Post-Concussion Syndrome

Posted in Brain Injury News

Brain concussions and the potential for long lasting effects of a mild brain injury are not always obvious to healthcare providers at the time of injury. But recent advances are being made to create tools and tests to assess the potential for long term post-concussion symptoms (PCS) in patients. This is particularly important because recent studies have shown that even mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can cause long term healthcare problems.

A recently published study at the University of Cincinnati involved the use of robotic tests to evaluate the risk of long term healthcare problems in  ER patients with concussion symptoms. The tests (KINARM Standard Tests) tracked specific body movements and behavior, e.g., evaluating a patient’s “position sense” in relationship to arm movement. The study outcomes showed that the robotic tests, created by BKIN Technologies Ltd. in Canada, were able to “discriminate between subjects who developed post-concussion syndrome and those who did not.” It was evident in performance data that patients with poor results in “visuomotor and proprioceptive” were more likely to suffer from post-concussion syndrome. The short videos below demonstrate how test results differ between a healthy patient and one who has suffered a brain injury.

Currently the KINARM Labs are only available in research, but if additional studies support the results, robotic movement and behavioral tools may soon become available in emergency rooms to help predict long term outcomes for patients with mild traumatic brain injuries.

If you or someone in your family has had a concussive episode or other type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), you should consult an experienced attorney to assess your eligibility for financial assistance from medical or other insurance carriers. Consultations are usually free and services are often offered on a contingency basis.

Petty Officer Awarded $2 Million by Burlington County Jury

Posted in Brain Injury Legal Cases, Brain Injury Legislation, Brain Injury News

On August 10, 2011, United States Navel Petty Officer KY, age 26, was stopped in traffic on Route 206 in Bordentown, New Jersey, when her vehicle was rear-ended by a Ford 350 pickup operated by Mr. Avisai Pantle-Aguirre and owned by H&H Landscape Management, LLC. The force of the crash spun KY’s vehicle, causing it to collide with the vehicle stopped in front of her.

KY was initially diagnosed with having sustained a concussion and a neck injury. MRI’s of her brain, neck and low back revealed two small lesions in her left parietal lobe, three herniated discs in her neck and a bulging disc in her low back. Continue Reading

The Steep Rise in Concussions Diagnoses in the U.S.

Posted in About Brain Injuries, Brain Injury News

BlueCross BlueShield just released its Health of America Report showing that concussion diagnoses have increased 43% from 2010-2015. The rise was particularly marked in children and teens with a 71% rise in diagnosed incidences. Not surprisingly the rate in male patients during the fall season was double that of females. “Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts had the highest rates of concussion diagnoses for patients 10-19. The study also reported an increase of 84% in post-concussion syndrome diagnoses with an interesting split–“more females then males ages 20-64 experienced post-concussion syndrome (61.3% vs. 38.7%).”

Some percentage of the increase could be attributed to a growing recognition of the long term impact of concussion, particularly the increased rate of suicide linked to the condition. However, it is disturbing that the concussion diagnoses increased in nearly every state from 2010-2015. The significant change raises questions on causation and indicates the need for more research.

Suicidal Behavior Increases after Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted in About Brain Injuries, Brain Injury News, Brain Injury Resources & Links

In 2001, Teasdale and Engberg published an article in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, entitled Suicide after Traumatic Brain Injury: A Population Study. The researchers reviewed data from Danish hospital admissions covering the years 1979-93 and found that patients who had sustained a TBI had an increased risk of suicide. The authors in that study concluded, “The increased risk of suicide among patients who had an MTBI may result from concomitant risk factors such as psychiatric conditions and psychosocial disadvantage. The greater risk among the more serious cases implicates additionally physical, physiological, and social consequences of the injuries as directly contributing to…suicide.”

In a recent research article, Lauren B. Fisher, et al. evaluated data from a brain injury-focused database, the BI Model Systems National Database, to further evaluate whether or not suicide rates are higher in TBI patients. Using patient health questionnaires detailing self-reported suicide attempts over a period of twenty years, the authors concluded that those who suffer a TBI are indeed at “greater risk for depression and suicidal behavior.” The outcome of the study indicates the need for “routine screening and mental health treatment in this population.”

First Handheld Device for Full Traumatic Brain Injury Assessment

Posted in Brain Injury News

An exciting new technology received FDA clearance according to a press release put out by BrainScope on September 26, 2016. According to the press release, BrainScope announced that the FDA has cleared the company to market the Ahead 300, “its most advanced medical device for use in assessing traumatic brain injury.” The product was developed in partnership with the US Department of Defense.

According to the release, 95% of people who go to the emergency room have mild symptoms. These are not always diagnosed as a concussion or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI.) As we discussed in other posts even mild concussions can cause long term effects in injured patients, particularly children. The Ahead 300 advances diagnosis of TBI using proprietary smart phone and electroencephalography (EEG) technology. It allows for fast indication of TBI so that treatment can be administered immediately in the ER or at the doctor’s office. The tool also provides “clinicians with a digitized, streamline report delivering a comprehensive an objective panel of results to facilitate their differential diagnosis.”

Bruce Stern in Tennessee: All Brain Injury is Serious

Posted in 10 Myths of Brain Injury, Brain Injury Events

On Monday, September 26, 2016, I had the pleasure of giving a presentation entitled “Dispelling the Myths of a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: All Traumatic Brain Injury is Serious.”

My presentation addressed 10 myths surrounding Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, such as concussions are not serious, everyone recovers from mild TBI, mild TBI is not permanently disabling, one does not need to lose consciousness, and conventional neuroimaging is sensitive to mild TBI. The three day event in Nashville brought together some of the country’s leading trial attorneys and medical experts who presented on a myriad of medical and legal issues surrounding the preparation of a TBI case.

The symposium was sponsored by the Brain Injury Association of Tennessee and the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association.