In the mid-1990s, the Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC) was discovered to assess minor brain injuries. The SAC assessments consisted of orientation to time, day, and date, immediate recall, concentration, and detailed recall. SAC screening became a popular tool for various sports to determine a person’s head injury. Recognizing a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or concussion is crucial, and although mTBI/concussions are common, there is no specific diagnostic tool to determine the severity of the injury.

The SAC assessments soon created the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT). After, the Department of Defense created their version of a SAC assessment called the Military Acute Concussion Evaluation (MACE). All three assessments became useful for their practices and helpful tools for non-sport related mTBI, but have resulted to have mixed results.

Continue Reading Reexamining the Standardized Assessment of Concussion

On average, the 13-point Glasgow Coma Scale, otherwise known as GCS, is a routine part of the trauma triage on a worldwide level. GCS is a neurological scale created with the goal to provide a way of recording the conscious state of a person and their overall assessment. However, a recent study has found there may be simpler and more efficient methods to determine a patient’s consciousness.

A study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine entitled “A Two-Center Validation of ‘Patient Does Not Follow Commands’ and Three Other Simplified Measures to Replace the Glasgow Coma Scale for Field Trauma Triage,” which analyzed trauma center registries in California and Colorado and ranged from 2003 to 2015. Nearly 50,000 trauma patients were analyzed.

Continue Reading Does the Current Trauma Triage Scale Need to Be Updated?

The New York Times recently published an article detailing a new study which examined people suffering from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and found an increased likelihood in developing dementia. The risk of developing dementia was highest in those who had suffered multiple TBIs, but even those who suffered from a single mild TBI were still at an increased risk of dementia.

Continue Reading The Link Between Traumatic Brain Injuries and Dementia

I often am contacted by individuals who have sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI) and have later been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Many have asked me if their multiple sclerosis diagnosis was caused by their earlier trauma. Previously, most research I had read indicates that there is no causal relationship between MS and TBI.

However, I recently came across an interesting article published in January 2012 entitled “Increased Risk of Multiple Sclerosis after Traumatic Brain injury: A Nationwide Population-Based Study.” Continue Reading Increased Risk of Multiple Sclerosis After Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida has ruled that diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) satisfies the Daubert standard for admissibility. Marsh v Celebrity Cruises, Inc., Case No. 1(17-CV-21097-UU.

In this case, the plaintiff was injured when she fell on a puddle of water on the Solarium floor of a Celebrity Cruise ship. As a result of the fall, plaintiff sustained a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The plaintiff retained Gerald York, M.D., a board-certified neuro-radiologist and radiologist as an expert witness. Dr. York is the Director of TBI Imaging ARA/IA and a staff neuro-radiologist at the Providence Alaska Medical Center and also works as a consultant to the Defense Veterans Brain Injury Center. Additionally, he participated in the development of approved protocols for neuroimaging of the brain and contributed to the American College of Radiology’s Guidelines for Neuroimaging.

Continue Reading Federal Court Upholds the Admissibility of Diffusion Tensor Imaging in TBI Case

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, although the majority of concussions that are diagnosed annually occur in children, clinical guidelines are usually based on adult concussion sufferers. The lack of guidelines may limit the ability of pediatricians to accurately predict the duration of a child’s symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, and concentration problems — which can interfere with school and other activities.

In many concussion cases, concussion symptoms last only a few days. However, up to 25 percent of children have prolonged concussion symptoms which can last for months.

Concussion Symptom Saliva Test Study Presented at Annual Meeting

New research presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting suggests that a saliva test for children may offer answers as to how long concussion symptoms will last. Researchers presented an abstract of the study, “Peripheral microRNA patterns predict prolonged concussion symptoms in pediatric patients.” The PAS Meeting is produced through a partnership of four organizations: Academic Pediatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Pediatric Society, and Society for Pediatric Research.

Continue Reading Saliva Test Predicts Prolonged Concussion Symptoms in Children

A recent study found that concussions in adolescents can increase the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) later in life. The risk increased substantially if the individual had suffered multiple head injuries as an adolescent.

What Causes MS?

Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system that “disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.” Multiple sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated process whereby the body’s immune system responds abnormally, targeting the central nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Within the central nervous system, the immune system attacks myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers, and the nerve fibers themselves. The damaged myelin forms scar tissue, which impacts and interrupts nerve impulses to and from the brain and spinal cord.

Continue Reading Study Finds Link Between Concussions in Adolescents and Risk of Multiple Sclerosis

Data from a recent study show that the use of golf carts has caused significant injuries in children under the age of 17, including brain injuries. Golf carts are somewhat inaccurately named as their use goes far beyond the golf course.

Golf carts are used in many communities in addition to golf courses, including retirement communities, farms, and shore communities. In fact, while many golf cart-related injuries do occur on the golf course, up to 30 percent occur on public streets, yards, and farms. In both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, golf carts are exempt from registration requirements. There are few regulations relating to them.

Study Shows Increasing Number of Golf Cart Injuries

Researchers evaluated approximately 100 children under age 17 treated in Pennsylvania trauma centers for injuries sustained in golf cart accidents over an 11-year period.

Twenty seven percent of the children injured in golf cart accidents suffered a concussion. The risk for concussion was found to be higher for children ages six to 11, compared with kids under six. Twenty five to 30 percent sustained intracranial injury and brain bleeding. One child died.

Continue Reading Should Children Be Driving Golf Carts?

Bruce Stern’s Traumatic Brain Injury Law Blog has been nominated for participation in The Expert Institute’s 2017 Best Legal Blog Contest.

Nominees were divided into nine categories ranging from criminal law to legal technology. With an open voting format that allows participants one vote per blog, each blog will be ranked within their category by the number of votes they receive. The three blogs that receive the most votes in each category will be declared the winners in those categories and will earn a permanent position in the Institute’s Best Legal Blogs Hall of Fame.

Voting began on September 25 and continues until November 4th.

Readers can submit one vote per blog, but can vote for as many blogs as they like across every category.

The Traumatic Brain Injury Law Blog’s voting page is here.

About The Expert Institute: Founded in 2011, The Expert Institute is a technology-driven platform for connecting qualified experts in every field with lawyers, investment firms, and journalists looking for technical expertise and guidance.