May 19, 2015

TBIs May Contribute to PICA Condition

by Levin & Perconti

The effects of a traumatic brain injury can prove vast and far reaching. From cognitive disorders to emotional difficulties, injury to the brain can touch virtually every aspect of a patient’s life. As suggested in a medical study, this may also include the urge to eat substances that are dangerous to the body and seen by most people as extremely odd.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) defines Pica as an urge to eat non-food substances, such as laundry detergent or paper. It is reportedly more common in children than in adults, affecting about a third of all minors between the ages of 1 and 5 years old. Some of the most common materials ingested by people with this disorder include:

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May 7, 2015

WWE Faces Brain Injury Lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is one of the most popular and profitable sporting ventures in the United States. On a weekly basis, millions of viewers tune in to watch their favorite wrestlers battle in the ring. The luckiest of fans get to see the matches in person, as the stars of the WWE travel across the country to give entertaining performances that are filled with body slams, kicks and jumps from the top rope. But the moves that are so beloved by fans may lead to long term brain injuries, as alleged by a lawsuit that was recently filed against the WWE.

Newsweek is reporting that three former wrestlers filed suit against the organization in California. Russ McCullough (a/k/a Big Russ McCullough), Ryan Sakoda and Matt Wiese (a/k/a Luther Reigns) are reportedly seeking damages, with claims that WWE officials purposely hid information regarding the potential dangers of traumatic brain injuries. The legal complaint states the organization “has for decades subjected its wrestlers to extreme physical brutality that it knew, or should have known, caused...latent conditions and long term irreversible bodily damage, including brain damage.” The former wrestlers also reportedly allege that they were forced to fight, even when suffering from concussions and other injuries.

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May 1, 2015

Study Finds Premature Aging from TBIs

by Levin & Perconti

When trauma affects the brain, the consequences can range from a temporary concussion to a lifetime of physical disabilities and neurological complications. While the prevalence of sports concussions is commonly reported in the news, researchers are also focusing on the long term affects of a traumatic injury on the brain. MedicineNet is reporting about a recent study, which suggests that premature aging of the brain is consequence of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The British study reportedly found that severely traumatized brains showed structural changes similar to those found in healthy older brains.

The Study Details

According to the report, study researchers examined the brain scans of 99 patients, suffering from TBIs. The causes of injury included automobile accidents, falls and physical assaults. The time of initial injury ranged from one month to more than 40 years, and each of the participants reported persistent neurological complications, even years later. The brain scans were then compared to scans taken from individuals with no history of TBI.

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April 24, 2015

Using Light Therapy to Treat Brain Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

In the ongoing fight to treat debilitating brain injuries, scientists may have identified a new and unexpected tool. According to the Science Blog, Gulf War veterans and other traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients are receiving innovative light treatments in hopes of improving brain function. The 30 minute procedure is reportedly painless and involves the application of infrared lights through the scalp of the head.

How the Treatment Works

Patients are reportedly given helmets containing diodes, which are electronic components that emit a current. These diodes send red lights and near-infrared lights through the head. Additionally, physicians place diodes into the patient’s nose for the purpose of reaching deeper regions within the brain. According to the report, MRI scans revealed that the light increased the flow of blood inside of the brain by causing an increase in the output of nitric oxide.

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April 16, 2015

Using Smell to Diagnose Brain Injury

by Levin & Perconti

The prevalence of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) is a continuous challenge for the United States military. The conditions that soldiers face in battle are conducive to mild and serious concussions, which left untreated, can evolve into lasting injuries to the brain. In response, researchers are constantly looking for productive methods of diagnosis and treatment, even in the chaotic heat of battle. Medscape is reporting about a possible new method of diagnosing brain injuries on the battlefield and it focuses on the sense of smell.

The Study Details

The study was reportedly conducted by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. It included 231 soldiers who were injured following battle explosions in Iraq or Afghanistan. All of the soldiers were immediately air lifted to Walter Reed Military Medical Center. Using the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT), physicians evaluated the soldiers for TBI. According to the report, the patients with mild or no brain injuries exemplified normal senses of smell. Soldiers with severe brain injuries were found to have olfactory impairment, meaning their sense of smell was abnormal.

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April 9, 2015

TBIs Fuel Premature Retirement from the NFL

by Levin & Perconti

Recent headlines are filled with stories about the dangers of traumatic brain injuries among players in the National Football League (NFL). The aggressive hitting that intrinsically accompanies the game creates an environment where players are at substantial risk for blows to the head. As players advance in age, the possible long term effects become obvious, leading to an abundance of legal actions against the league. A class action lawsuit alleges that NFL leaders purposely withheld information about the potential ramifications of multiple concussions and brain injuries. The two sides are currently finalizing a settlement agreement. In consideration of these findings and events, several players are making the decision to prematurely end their professional football careers.

The Boston Globe is reporting about Chris Borland, who is a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers. At 24 years old, he announced his decision to leave the NFL after only one season of play. According to the article, his decision is based on concerns about about long lasting brain conditions. The significance of his actions stems from the fact that Borland is a member of the first generation of players to have full disclosure about the dangers of the game. Players are now armed with enough data, studies and personal experiences to make in informed decision about playing the game for an extended amount of time.

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April 2, 2015

Brain Injury Association Seeking Federal Support

by Levin & Perconti

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is hoping to bring attention to the level of work that is still needed to adequately diagnose and treat the millions of Americans who suffer from traumatic brain injuries. In recognition of this month, the organization is highlighting its 2015 legislative goals:

*Increase and advance brain injury research studies – While acknowledging the progress that has been made in TBI research and treatment, this initiative seeks to decrease the vast amount of unknown variables that still exist. BIAA asks Congress to support the BRAIN Initiative, which works to give physicians a better understanding of the brain and its workings.

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March 24, 2015

Study Examines TBI Complications in Children

by Levin & Perconti

A recent study published in “Critical Care Medicine” investigates a disturbing side effect among children with moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The research focuses on a condition called vasospasm, which is the narrowing of blood vessels within the body. The constrictions happen quickly, like a muscle spasm.

As reported by News Medical, researchers set out to better determine the prevalence of the condition. The resulting information found that vasospasm was present in 3% to 8.5% of children with moderate TBI and 21% to 33.5% of children with severe brain injury. Additionally, the condition was found to appear within four to five days after the causing injury occurred.

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March 17, 2015

TBIs Linked to Sexual Disinhibition

by Levin & Perconti

Every year, more than 2.4 million people experience some level of traumatic brain injury. Falls and motor vehicle accidents are the most common causes, along with items striking the head and assaults. Though most of the 2.4 million incidents are relatively minor, many of them result in extensive pain injuries that impact the victim’s brain for the remainder of his life. People who live with TBIs experience a variety of symptoms, including:

***Depression and anxiety
***Memory loss
***Visual/Hearing Impairment
***Loss of Control over body movements
***Inability to concentrate
***Loss of cognitive thinking skills

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March 7, 2015

Back to the Basics - The Statute of Limitations in Illinois

by Levin & Perconti

Patients put a lot of trust in the abilities of their physicians. They expect their doctors to act with professional expertise and provide the utmost level of treatment. When this expectation is not met, the patient may face serious injuries and even more questions. Though you may know something went wrong and suspect that your physician is at fault, you may not understand your rights or the correct course of action to assert them. Your many concerns may include the statute of limitations. While many people are familiar with the term, most individuals are clueless about how it affects their individual circumstances.

The statute of limitations is the time limit that the law places on a person to pursue a legal claim. The reasons for these laws include:

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February 19, 2015

Musical Therapy for Brain Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

Immediate action is vital to the successful treatment of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). As soon as the causing event occurs, damage begins spreading throughout the brain, leading to increased risk for more serious injury, or even death. Recent reports are discussing a new treatment option that is showing some optimistic results.

The technical magazine, Xconomy, is reporting that music is the latest tool in the fight against brain injury complications. A new Boston-based company is reportedly leading the initiative with an innovative specialization called Neurological Music Therapy (NMT).

How it Works

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February 12, 2015

Longer Recovery for Hockey-Related Brain Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) incidents are commonly in the news, especially in relation to the game of football. The National Football League, along with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, are both facing multi million-dollar civil lawsuits from current and former players regarding the risks and consequences of TBIs. These concerns translated into precautionary programs for little league athletes who are just starting out in football. A recent Canadian study is focusing on the game of hockey and the risk of TBIs among the youngest players of the sport.

The Vancouver Sun is reporting on a new research paper about brain damage in hockey players with a history of concussions. The study used brain scans to examine adolescent athletes who are otherwise healthy. Researchers reportedly found disturbing changes to the brain, leading to the conclusion that concussions persist longer than previously believed.
Pediatric psychiatrist James Hudziak, the paper's co-author, is quoted in the article as stating, “We believe that injury to a developing brain may be more severe than injury to an adult brain.” As stated in the research paper, experts are well aware of the cognitive disorders and personality changes that can result from multiple concussions. This new study highlights the need for prevention among young hockey players.

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