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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February 5, 2015

Super Bowl Injury Raises Questions About NFL Concussion Policies

by Levin & Perconti

This past weekend marked one of the most important events in all of professional athletes. Across the country, millions of fans watched the Seattle Seahawks and New England patriots battle for the Super bowl championship. As fans sat glued to their televisions, they winced as players collided with one another in a gladiator like fashion. There were a few injuries to witness, including a somewhat graphic incident that kept a Seahawk out of the game. But one particular collision left viewers and the media questioning the League's concussion policies and game protocol.

The Bleacher Report is reporting about a concussion scare that involved New England Patriot Julian Edelman. The incident occurred in the fourth quarter of the game, when Edelman was the subject of a jolting block by Seattle's Kam Chancellor. Following the hit, viewers watched as Edleman seemingly staggering around the field as he continued in the game. As stated in the article, several of his team members also noticed his unsteadiness and later made statements to the press in regards to it. In addition, social media exploded with tweets questioning his well being.

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January 29, 2015

Military Researchers Consider a New Type of Brain Injury

by Levin & Perconti

Each year, thousands of people die from brain injuries or the complications they cause. The Centers for Disease Control characterize traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) as a serious public health issue, occurring at a rate of about 2.5 million incidents each year. They generally occur when the head is jolted or bumped violently, which commonly happens during sports play, car accidents or physical attacks. For victims that survive their injuries, certain brain functions may become permanently impaired. TBIs range in seriousness from mild concussions to severe episodes of unconsciousness. Though TBIs affect individuals in different ways, new research suggests that affected military personnel may suffer from a previously undiagnosed type of TBI.

USA Today is reporting about a recent study regarding young soldiers who died after being caught in violent wartime blasts. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University studied the brains of five deceased soldiers who died between the ages of 23 and 38. Each of the individuals were survivors of one or more combat blasts, but died some time later. When studying the patterns of the brains, researchers reportedly found lesions that differed from those normally seen in brain injury cases. According to the report, the physicians described honeycomb patterns of damage, spread across various areas of the brain.

Vassilis Koliatsos is professor of pathology, neurology and psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins. he co-authored the study and is quoted in the article as stating, "We saw a pattern that we had not seen before." He went on to explain that military troops have not been exposed to this level of repeated blasts since World War I, when the trenches where soldiers took cover were subjected to explosives and blasts repeatedly.

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January 22, 2015

More Information on Head Cooling to Treat Hypoxia

by Levin & Perconti

During birth, a lack of oxygen to the brain can lead to extensive developmental complications, including traumatic brain injuries and death. Crucial development occurs during the first stages of life and a healthy brain is essential to proper growth. A number of complications can lead to a lack of brain oxygen, or hypoxia in medical terms. The attending physician and medical staff should recognize the signs of hypoxia during or directly following the birth. When that occurs, certain treatments can lessen the extent of the injury and prevent further problems. Head cooling is one possible course of action and it is the subject of recent studies.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association investigated the best practices for head cooling treatments among infants. Head cooling occurs when the temperature of the brain is gradually cooled to a stage where its cells are at a resting point. After 72 hours, the cells are reportedly “woken up” without significant damage, which improves future neurodevelopment.

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January 14, 2015

Measuring the Brain's “Temperature” to Fight TBIs

by Levin & Perconti

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) are common among military personnel, especially those involved in active duty. As reported by the website, concussions are the most common combat related injuries. Violent blasts, falls and strikes to the head may all cause soldiers to experience concussions. These occurrences may be mild, with symptoms that only last a few minutes or hours. Median level concussions are the most common, with symptoms lasting a few months and a small percentage of soldiers experience the most serious TBIs, with symptoms that persist for months and even years. The US military actively works to prevent, diagnose and treat TBIs in the most effective an efficient manner possible. According to recent reports, the Army has a new tool in its fight against this serious condition.

Army Times is reporting that the Defense Automated Neurobehavioral Assessment (DANA) is helping medics to more quickly diagnose the existence and seriousness of TBIs. With the assistance of a cellular phone application, information about a soldiers condition is instantly shared with other physicians, even if the soldier is on the battlefield. Here's how it works. The soldier is given a series of tests that are conducted like a video game. The testing can last anywhere from five to forty five minutes and measures the soldier's speed and accuracy when responding to the questions. The scores are then sent to a medical provider, who analyzes them for possible TBI indications. The army likens this to measuring the temperature of the brain, so DANA is commonly referred to as a "brain thermometer".

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January 10, 2015

Doctors Advise Less Rest for Teen TBI Patients

by Levin & Perconti

As concern continues to mount over teen concussions and brain injuries, a recent research study is giving advice that seems to contradict the norm. Concussions are mild forms of brain injury. When they occur, most physicians advocate for extended rest before a return to regular activities. Where opinions differ is the appropriate duration for that rest. While some doctors assert that a day or two is sufficient, others direct their teenage patients to remain inactive for up to a week. Some physicians even prescribe prolonged rest in a dark room. US News Health is reporting about a new research study, which suggests that longer resting periods may prove counterproductive to the healing of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

Researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin conducted the study involving 88 participants, aged 11 to 22, who recently suffered a concussion. Half of the participants were reportedly directed to rest for a period of two days before easing back into their normal daily routines. The other half were instructed to rest for five full day. During the rest period, the patients were instructed to refrain from school work, as well as any physical activity. According to the report, participants in both groups reported a 20% loss of mental and physical energy, leading researchers to conclude that extra days of rest were of little consequence.

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January 3, 2015

Researchers Improve Helmets to Prevent Brain Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

Concussions are common occurrences in the world of sports. Some athletes constantly experience hits to the head or violent jolts from bodily impacts. Football is one such sport, where players are required to perform in a manner that promotes the likelihood of traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurrences. The National Football League (NFL) is currently battling a class action lawsuit that accuses organization leaders of purposely withholding information about the dangers of TBIs. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) are also facing lawsuits filed by current and former players.

The website is reporting that researchers are looking at how helmets can better prevent head injuries for football players. Information presented during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, showed that current football helmets are inadequate at protecting players from concussions. When studies were completed to determine their usefulness, results reportedly showed that the frequency of brain injuries was only reduced by about 20 percent, when compared to players not wearing any helmet all. These statistics are prompting researchers to look for technological methods for safety improvement.

Protecting The Player

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December 24, 2014

Soldiers and Athletes Fights Brain Injuries Together

by Levin & Perconti

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) are a major issue of concern within the medical community. These injuries can range from mild concussions to serious, debilitating conditions. The most common causes are falls, vehicle accidents and violent behaviors. Two professions rank high among the causes of TBIs. According to researchers, professional athletes and active duty military personnel experience brain injuries at significantly higher than normal rates.

Much has been done to address the issue of brain injuries among military soldiers, who are often impacted during active combat. Severe blows to the head, along with violent explosives leave these men and women with serious injuries. A recent report by ESPN discusses how military treatment efforts are now being expanded to include professional athletes, including members of the National Football League (NFL). Researchers hope that the new program will aid TBI recovery for both the participating soldiers and the athletes.

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