February 4, 2016

Brain Injury in Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts

by Levin & Perconti

It has been determined that repeated blows to the head can cause brain injury and, eventually brain damage, in professional sports. Professional football has come under considerable fire because of this, but how about boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Do participants in these sports also run the risk of brain injuries due to repetitive blows to the head during their matches? The easy answer is “yes.” But how bad is it? See Medical Daily

By now it is a well settled that individuals who suffer repeated blows to the head are at a high risk for brain injury possibly leading to brain damage, loss of brain processing speed, and shrinkage of brain matter. Professional sports teams, players, boxers and MMA fighters, and their managers, as well as the healthcare industry are now admitting that this is definitely a risk factor for the sport participants. It may also lead to the onset of various forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). These conditions are the progressive degenerative function of the brain and can be displayed by memory loss, confusion, aggression, depression, impaired judgment and loss of impulse control, and ultimately death.

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January 26, 2016

Traumatic Brain Injury and Rehabilitation

by Levin & Perconti

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) has many causes, and can take on many forms, from mild to moderate, to severe. Likewise, some TBI can be managed with a minimal amount of care, while other, more debilitating injuries causing loss of cognitive functioning, such as perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning, or the loss of normal body functioning, such as the ability to breathe on your own, to walk or talk, or take care of your everyday needs without assistance, may require ongoing and continuous treatment and care for the rest of the sufferer’s life.

Types of Possible Brain Injury

There are millions of people in America suffering from some form of brain injury relating either to birth defects, auto accidents, slip and falls, sports related injuries, etc. No two injuries or treatments are alike. The type of treatment and rehabilitation an individual receives after suffering any form of brain injury can make all the difference in that individual sufferer’s recovery. Programs and projects have been designed to address the specific care and treatment of various brain injuries and disabilities.

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January 20, 2016

Prescription Drugs and Brain Injury, What are the Risks?

by Levin & Perconti

We hear a lot of talk about street drugs and how bad they are for us; how they can result in brain injury and possibly death; but how about prescription drugs, their use and often misuse and abuse. What affect does the myriad of drugs prescribed to us by our healthcare providers for any ailment from “A” to “Z” have on our brain and our physical well being.

There are many different types of drugs prescribed to individuals as part of their normal treatment for illnesses and diseases. Some individuals must take these prescription drugs for long periods of time, and some may have to take these drugs for the rest of their lives. The risk is high that these individuals may eventually become addicted to these drugs over time, in that they will develop cravings for the drug that have nothing to do with the original illness for which the drug was prescribed.

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January 11, 2016

“Concussion,” the Movie and in the News

by Levin & Perconti

Any debate about whether the head injuries suffered by football players often leading to serious brain injuries have been a taboo subject amongst sports fanatics, until now. It’s a manly sport, and grown men can take it, or so it seems. However, there is growing concern for these players, once the lights on their celebrity status goes dim, what happens next; where do they go and what happens to them.

As today’s superheroes on the gridiron become washed up disabled citizens in our neighborhoods trying to come to terms with the “hows” and “whys” of their disabilities emerge from the shadows, we are beginning to understand that the end of the game is literally the end of the game for many of our football superstars. But now it is time for them to come out of the shadows, to make themselves known to their fans that rooted for their triumphs, and to let their fans understand the price that was paid.

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January 2, 2016

Birth Traumas Resulting in Disabilities: Head Injuries, Birth Injuries and Cerebral Palsy

by Levin & Perconti

The miracle of birth is a wondrous thing. However, the birthing process is froth with many dangers for both mother and child. And even though there are a number of things that can go wrong during delivery, most births happen without incident. The actual labor is probably where most of the physical injuries occur. Some of these injuries may cause long lasting disabilities for the child and major hardships for the family. The following is a list of things that can go horribly wrong during childbirth.

Head Injuries

Head injuries due to trauma at birth, although rare, may sometimes happen as a result of negligence on the part of the hospital staff during delivery. Such injuries can result in brain damage or death for the infant, and pain and suffering for the family. A baby suffering from such injuries will most certainly have long lasting effects hindering their ability to grow and develop normally during their lifetime. It will require ongoing and continuous medical care throughout the child’s life.

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December 22, 2015

What is Brain Hypoxia?

by Levin & Perconti

Brain hypoxia occurs when the brain has been deprived of oxygen to a point where the brain cells may either be damaged or destroyed altogether. Lack of oxygen to the brain is a major contributor to brain injury, and sometimes leads to debilitating brain damage or death. Your brain needs a constant uninterrupted flow of oxygen to remain healthy. See Healthline. When deprived of oxygen, even for a relatively short period of time, brain damage can occur. Your brain cells begin to die off after about 1 minute without oxygen. After 3 minutes, the brain may be seriously injured, and after 10 to 15 minutes, recovery is very unlikely.

Common Causes of Brain Hypoxia
Some well known causes of brain hypoxia are drowning, choking; suffocation due to the inhalation of carbon monoxide or smoke; the period suffered during a cardiac arrest.

Some medical conditions may also cause brain hypoxia due to inherent breathing difficulties such as asthma; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); pneumonia; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) or bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in premature babies; and cystic fibrosis. (See NHLBI) These conditions will require ongoing medical attention, and must be monitored very closely by your physician. With the exception of pneumonia, these conditions are lifelong illness, not curable, and may be terminal with respect to the life expectancy of the person afflicted with the disease.

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December 16, 2015

PTSD: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and Cures, if Any

by Levin & Perconti

We first started hearing about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with our active duty military and veterans as a result of the trauma suffered by them in combat. Many of us do not really understand this condition, or why it is so debilitating. If we have a loved one suffering from this disorder, all we know is that they are often irritable and disagree most of the time.

What we do know about PTSD, is that it is a mental health condition that develops in what was once a healthy mind that has been subjected to terrifying events either by experiencing these events first hand, or by being present when the terrifying event is happening to others. As a result, these events, in horrific detail, may be re-lived by the individual through flashbacks or nightmares, causing anxiety or worse. If the symptoms increase in intensity or last for several months or years, PTSD will be the most probable diagnosis.

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December 3, 2015

Back to the Basics - The Different Forms of Brain Injury

by Levin & Perconti

Brain injury and (3) swelling. Millions of people are treated for brain injury in America, more than most people think. Most often these injuries are because by auto accidents, participation in sports, falling, etc., and they can go from mild to moderate, and in some instances, severe.

Bruising/Bleeding

When you are driving in a car at about 50 miles an hour; and you are involved in an auto accident that brings your vehicle to an abrupt stop, your brain is still travelling at a velocity of around 50 MPH at impact. The brain is then, slapped back and forth inside the inner walls of your skull, causing a bruising in mild cases or possibly tearing and swelling with more severe impacts. This is similar to the “shaking baby” syndrome that we were hearing so much about, a little while ago.

The brain is made of soft tissue, inside the skull. It is not stationery. The skull is hard and without the ability to expand. If the brain is moved back and forth inside the skull, and is hitting up against the walls of the skull, there is the possibility of it being damaged. Bruising may lead to bleeding, which is a very dangerous situation since the skull has no way of releasing (without medical intervention) the buildup of pressure inside the skull due to the bleeding.

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October 25, 2015

Understanding a Klumpke Palsy Injury

by Levin & Perconti

Klumpke paralysis, or klumpke palsy, is a type of newborn injury known as brachial palsy. As explained by the National Institute of Health (NIH), the condition occurs when the nerves of the brachial plexus are injured, due to stretching, tearing or scarring. This network of nerves extends from the spinal cord to the shoulders, arms, wrists and fingers. Each one controls a specific movement or sensation in the arms or hands.

The injury occurs at birth as a result of improper delivery techniques by the doctor. It begins when the baby’s shoulder lodges behind the pubic bone of the mother during delivery. This situation creates an emergency situation where it is vital to the viability and health of the newborn to complete delivery. In response, your obstetrician may use a variety of methods, including:

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October 17, 2015

Another NFL Suicide Reveals CTE Diagnosis

by Levin & Perconti

The autopsy of a deceased National Football League athlete reveals some troubling news about his health and the toll that the game of football may have taken on his mind, as well as his body. As reported by ABC News, an autopsy of the former linebacker’s body revealed that he suffered from a degenerative brain disease.

Adrian Robinson, Jr. spent his life playing football. After playing at Temple University, he first entered the NFL in 2012, after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Over the next few years, he bounced around between a few teams before signing with the Canadian Football League in April of 2015. A month later, Robinson reportedly took his own life by hanging himself.

The results of an autopsy reportedly confirmed that Robinson had a brain injury called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Researchers reportedly state that the disease was likely caused by years of playing football, where he experienced numerous concussions and trauma to the head. According to the report, Robinson’s family has not filed any lawsuits in regards to his death. However, it was only a little over one year ago that the family of another deceased player sued the NFL regarding his suicide.

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October 8, 2015

Bike Helmet Use Significantly Reduces TBI Risk

by Levin & Perconti

When you think of bicycling, you probably think of children wobbling from side-to-side or families riding through a neighborhood park. Unfortunately, what may not immediately come to mind is the vital importance of wearing a helmet when bike riding. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 48% of children between the ages of five and 14 wore adequate helmets when riding on their bicycles. Additionally, biking injuries resulted in more than half a million serious injuries and 800 deaths in 2010. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are among the common bike related injuries. From a fall on the street to a collision with a vehicle, the head should be protected when riding a bike.

A recent study published on Health.com researchers how well helmets protect cyclists from TBIs. The study involved 6,200 people who experienced a TBI after a biking accident, only 25% of which were wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. Researchers found that:

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September 27, 2015

Study Shows Prevalent CTE Among Football Players

by Levin & Perconti

Researchers find new evidence regarding the potential effects that the game of football has on the brain. As reported in the Chicago Tribune, a study conducted by the Department of Veteran Affairs and Boston University shows an overwhelmingly large percentage of degenerative brain diseases among deceased National Football league (NFL) players.

The study included 165 post mortem brains, all of which were donated to the study by former players from the high school to the NFL level. Researchers examined the brains for known signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The reported findings were as follows:

***Of the 91 deceased NFL players examined, 87 showed signs of CTE

***Of the 165 total deceased players examined, 131 showed signs of CTE

***Of the deceased NFL players examined, 96% tested positive for a degenerative brain disease

***Of the total deceased players examined, 79% tested positive for a degenerative brain disease

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