Rutgers University researchers have discovered that lithium, a mood stabilizer used for decades to treat bipolar disorder and serious depression, may also help preserve brain function in patients who suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI).
A recent study identified that 30 percent of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) patients experience unfavorable outcomes six months post-injury. The UPFRONT-study evaluated outpatient follow-up by health care providers in patients after mTBI. The study included both hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients.
Patients were recruited from 2013 to 2015 at trauma centers and were classified as mTBI patients under the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS) guidelines. They were categorized as hospitalized or non-hospitalized (discharged directly from the emergency room). Of the 1151 patients included in the UPFRONT-study, 60 percent were admitted to the hospital; 48 percent were hospitalized for one day. The mean length of stay was 3.4 days.
In 1848, Phineas Gage, a 25 year old railroad worker, unwittingly became a benchmark of modern neuroscience. Gage was using a tamping iron to pack explosives when a spark ignited the explosive charge, propelling the iron rod through his cheek, behind his eye socket, then upwards through his brain, finally exiting the top of his skull, and landing some distance away. Gage survived, despite the fact that the tamping iron had destroyed much of his left frontal lobe.
Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), commonly known as concussion, is the most common type of traumatic brain injury. Along with impaired cognitive function, mTBI causes an array of symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and irritability, referred to as post-concussion syndrome (PCS). The time it takes for symptoms to resolve in the majority of individuals is thought to be approximately three months; however, some individuals continue to experience symptoms beyond that time period. Those with persistent symptoms are said to experience persistent post-concussion syndrome.
A widely cited figure suggests that only 15 percent of individuals experiencing a first-time concussion will go on to experience long-term cognitive impairment. A recently published research article suggests that this number is likely a gross underestimation.
Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”) can happen to anyone at any time. The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (“CDC”) reports that an estimated 1.7 million people sustain TBI annually in the United States. Of those people sustaining TBI, 52,000 die and 275,000 are hospitalized. Nearly 80 percent of those injured (1.365 million people) are treated…
Traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) is considered the main cause of hypopituitarism in adults and growth hormone (“GH”) deficiency is the most common pituitary deficit associated with TBI.
According to Cedars-Sinai, even after we stop growing, adults need growth hormone. Growth hormone plays a role in healthy muscle, how our bodies collect fat (especially around the stomach area), the ratio of high density to low density lipoproteins in cholesterol levels, and bone density. In addition, growth hormone is needed for normal brain function.
The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation recently published an article entitled “Emergency Department Evaluation of Traumatic Brain Injuries in The United States, 2009-2010.” The article examined emergency department records from the national hospital ambulatory medical care survey in 2009 and 2010 where traumatic brain injury was evaluated and diagnosed either clinically or with head computed tomographic (CT) scans. A CT scan was performed on 82% of the TBI evaluations. Of those, only 9% had CT evidence of traumatic abnormalities.
The authors concluded the emergency department is the “primary gateway” to the medical system for patients with acute TBIs. However, emergency department evaluations have not been sufficiently described. This national study fills an important void.
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.
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…
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…