TBI In The News

“Translating neuroscience into effective solutions”

September 27 — October 11, 2013




Adherence to Guidelines for Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Saves Lives
Science Daily / October 9, 2013

Researchers found a significant reduction in the number of deaths of patients hospitalized in New York State with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) between 2001 and 2009. The Brain Trauma Foundation, in collaboration with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, published the first edition of the “Guidelines for Management of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury” in 1986.  Data from 22 trauma centers in New York State were studied by researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College, the Brain Trauma Foundation, and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in New York, and Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. The reduction in deaths at the trauma centers between 2001 and 2009 corresponded to increased adherence to tenets of the Guidelines, particularly recommendations on monitoring of brain pressure and management of brain perfusion pressure. Detailed findings of this study are reported and discussed in “Marked reduction in mortality in patients with severe traumatic brain injury”, by Linda M. Gerber, Ph.D., Ya-Lin Chiu, M.S., Nancy Carney, Ph.D., Roger Härtl, M.D., and Jamshid Ghajar, M.D., Ph.D., published today online, ahead of print, in the Journal of NeurosurgeryView the Journal of Neurosurgery paper here.


TBI and Sports

High Schools Struggle to Tackle Safety on the Football Field
National Public Radio / October 10, 2013

The NFL adopted a new rule this season that makes it illegal for players to hit of their helmet. In other words, ramming your head into someone. In high school football, it’s been illegal to hit this way for years. But unlike in the pros, I’ve hardly ever seen it called in a game. Still, Nic McMaster, coach at Castro Valley High School in the San Francisco Bay area — where I’m a defensive end — tries to teach us better. At a recent practice, McMaster scolded a linebacker for leading with his head. “Alfaro, that was horrible technique. That’s why you can’t lean and put your head down when you block,” he called out.

Youth Sports Organizations Join Together in New Concussion Coalition
Education Week / October 10, 2013

A number of the nation’s largest youth-sports organizations announced today the formation of a new coalition that aims to protect young athletes against concussions. The new National Sports Concussion Coalition pairs major sports organizations with medical experts in an attempt to share best practices regarding concussion management and prevention. The founding members of the coalition are the National Council of Youth Sports, the Pop Warner Little Scholars, the Sports Concussion Institute, U.S. Lacrosse, U.S. Youth Soccer, USA Hockey, the American College of Sports Medicine, the Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball, USA Basketball, USA Football, and the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention. At the collegiate and professional levels, the NCAA, NFL, NFLPA, and National Football Foundation have signed on as partners.

Girls getting more concussions than before
SF Gate / October 8, 2013

Today, 42 percent of all high school athletes are female – an all-time high. But girls are also gaining on boys in a much less desirable sports statistic: number of concussions. Girls’ soccer is second only to boys’ football in the number of concussions during a game, several studies show, and other research indicates that girls report different concussion symptoms than boys, increasing the possibility that girls’ injuries could be overlooked.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Says “Game Is Safer and More Exciting Today Than Ever”
The Washington Post / October 4, 2013

The e-mails began landing in inboxes early Thursday morning, the latest message of progress and change from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “The NFL season is off to another exciting and competitive start,” the more than 1,000-word letter began. “I want to thank you and all NFL fans for your passionate support.” Goodell went on, his remarks evolving more into a reminder of the league’s focus on player safety, the reduction of head injuries and what can be done to make the NFL safer in the future. But was it an innocent and unprovoked state-of-the-league notice to supporters or merely a timely move to soften reaction to a pair of approaching threats to the NFL brand?

Sports-Related Brain Injuries Landing More Kids in ERs
ABC News / September 30, 2013

A small study from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is likely to get the attention of doctors and may panic some parents, given recent worry over head injuries sustained in sports such as football, soccer and cheerleading. In the new study, published today in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found a 92 percent increase in pediatric visits to their hospital emergency room for sports-related traumatic brain injury from 2002 to 2011. But the overall severity of these cases appears to be decreasing. Despite the increase in cases, the “injury severity scores” were lower and the number of kids admitted to the hospital for additional care remained the same, a finding that study author Dr. Holly Hanson said indicates a higher level of concern among parents and coaches when it comes to sports-related head injury. But she added that in most cases, the worry is warranted.


TBI and Defense

Treatment for PTSD and TBI ‘Limited and Inadequate”
Navy Times / October 3, 2013

The nation’s largest veterans group says the Veterans Affairs Department and Pentagon are not doing enough to treat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Calling current medical protocols and treatments at VA and DoD “limited and inadequate,” the American Legion urged the two departments to provide more non-pharmaceutical care and invest research dollars in complementary and alternative medical therapies such as acupuncture, yoga and biofeedback. In a new report, a seven-member Legion committee largely found that DoD and VA have “no well-defined approach to the treatment of TBI” and veterans who seek care at VA for PTSD are 2½ times more likely to be prescribed opioid pain medications than those experiencing chronic pain.

Alan Alda and Joe Mantegna to Host “Homeward Bound”: A Telethon Supporting Veterans with PTSD and TBI
The Wall Street Journal / October 1, 2013

On Sunday, November 10, 2013, Alan Alda and Joe Mantegna will host HOMEWARD BOUND, a live four-hour national telethon to support American veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. The broadcast will feature celebrities, music and comedy entertainment, telethon results, profiles of various charities, and a great number of veterans telling personal stories behind their dramatic armed forces experiences abroad which led them to come home with PTSD and TBI.


TBI Research

Stem Cells Help Repair Traumatic Brain Injury by Building a “Biobridge”
Medical Express / October 4, 2013

University of South Florida researchers have suggested a new view of how stem cells may help repair the brain following trauma. In a series of preclinical experiments, they report that transplanted cells appear to build a “biobridge” that links an uninjured brain site where new neural stem cells are born with the damaged region of the brain. Their findings were recently reported online in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE. “The transplanted stem cells serve as migratory cues for the brain’s own neurogenic cells, guiding the exodus of these newly formed host cells from their neurogenic niche towards the injured brain tissue,” said principal investigator Cesar Borlongan, PhD, professor and director of the USF Center for Aging and Brain Repair.

Other TBI News

NIH official says spending cuts pose unprecedented threat to biomedical research
MedicalXpress / October 2, 2013

Scientific progress and innovation are speeding along, faster than ever before, but arbitrary spending cuts are posing an unprecedented threat. That’s the sobering paradox of biomedical research according to Sally Rockey, PhD, a high-ranking official at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who visited UC San Francisco last week. Rockey, PhD, deputy director for extramural research at the NIH, oversees about $25 billion in grants, which represent more than 80 percent of the NIH budget.  The Brain Initiative, meanwhile, wants to accelerate the development of innovative new technologies to target brain disorders – the No. 1 source of disability in the United States. Rates of autism, Alzheimer’s, and post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury in soldiers are increasing, as well as costs – the annual cost of dementia is $200 billion.