Specializing in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation
with Emphasis on Trauma to the Brain
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Football Concussions Not Properly Appreciated
A new type of rehabilitation may help stroke victims regain nearly full use of paralyzed limbs. By immobilizing the good arm of a stroke victim and forcing the patient to use his or her "bad" arm, it may be possible to renew muscle activity in the paralyzed limb. A study reported in "Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association" supports this finding which seems to vindicate the theory the brain can be actively rewired and is not static or fixed.
The Headache Impact Test (HIT) is an Internet-based amIhealthy.com questionnaire measuring the severity and impact of headaches and shows how it limits the patient's ability to function. New research suggests this test can improve diagnosis and treatment of headaches.
In a study presented at the American Stroke Association meeting in February, the cases of 176 patients who contacted their primary care physicians due to symptoms of a TIA (transient ischemic attack) or stroke were reviewed. The results of the study show that these patients are not likely to be admitted to a hospiital, undergo special scans to assess their stroke risk or be referred to a specialist. TIAs are temporary stroke-like symptoms, such as sudden weakness of the face, arm or leg; loss of vision; dizziness; or trouble speaking. Patients fully recover, but must take these symptoms seriously because they are important danger signs of stroke. Unfortunately, primary care physicians often do not recognize this risk to their patients
An antioxidant drug, called LY341122, which inhibits free radical molecules that are thought to contribute to brain damage after a head injury, may be effective if administered in the immediate aftermath of the injury. Rats which were given the drug up to 30 minutes after a head injury had less bruising and fewer damaged brain cells. If the drug were give three hours after injury, it did not reduce the damage. The research is reported in the September issue of the journal Neurosurgery.
Damage to an area at the front of the brain called the prefrontal cortex causes severe behavior problems, including stealing, lying, physical and verbal aggression, poor parenting, and an inability to consider the consequences of actions. When this brain trauma occurs to infants, they may never be able to overcome this pathological behavior even though they can otherwise develop normal mental abilities as adults. This study is reported in the November issue of Nature Neuroscience.
As reported in the November 19th issue of the journal Science, a new treatment to destroy nerve cells responsible for long-term pain has been successfully tested on rats. Chronic pain is believed to occur when neurons in the spinal cord send faulty signals. The study done at the University of Minnesota uses a substance toxic to neurons injected into the spinal cord. Fine-tuning of the approach is required to temporarily shut down neurons without destroying them because the treatment in its current form also destroys nerve cells that are needed by the body.
Teens and Brain Power
Brain Area Responsible for Compulsion To Clutter
Estrogen Boosts Memory in Men With Prostate Cancer
First Reliable Measure of Neurobehavioral Functioning During Coma from Severe Brain Injury (March 2005)
Blood Test Gives Early Warning of Brain Injury (November, 2005)
Chilling Newborns May Prevent Brain Damage (October, 2005)
Improving Brain Cell Survival After Brain Injury (July, 2006)
Exercise Keeps the Brain Fit (August, 2006)
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has entered into a partnership with ABC Anchor Bob Woodruff and his family to raise awareness of brain injury and to administer the newly created Bob Woodruff Family Fund for TBI to assist servicemen and women and their families affected by the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Woodruff sustained a serious brain injury as a result of an improvised explosive device while on assignment for ABC News in Iraq in January 2006. Although he received superior care, Bob, his wife, Lee, and their extended family recognize that many individuals with brain injury do not receive the services and supports needed to regain their independence. They also understand the lack of funding in the public, private and military sectors, and best of all, they want to help. In an effort to �give back� to the people who saved Bob�s life, the family has established the Bob Woodruff Family Fund for TBI. The Fund will raise money through events and other activities. Donations will be used to make grants to nonprofit organizations serving members of the military who have sustained a TBI. In some circumstances, funds may be used to provide direct financial assistance to military personnel and their families and/or grants for medical research, public education, awareness and prevention of TBI. Bob Woodruff will file a series of reports for World News, Good Morning America and Nightline throughout the month of March. The reports will cover various aspects of brain injury and will include some of the individuals featured in BIAA�s Brain Injury Awareness Month campaign, �Living with Brain Injury, As Diverse as We Are.� Bob Woodruff and members of his family will serve as honorary spokespersons for BIAA by testifying before Congress and recording public service announcements. It is hoped the family�s willingness to partner with BIAA and discuss Bob�s injuries will encourage other public figures to do so as well. Susan H. Connors, President/CEO Brain Injury Association of America 8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 611 McLean, VA 22102 703.761.0750 ext 627 (Main) 703.761.0755 (Fax) 703.584.8627 (Direct) firstname.lastname@example.org
As reported in the September-October issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine, high school football players who sustain concussions often return to play prematurely because the significance of their injuries is not appreciated. Return-to-play guidelines are not inclusive of some of the most common signs and symptoms such as concentration deficits, blurred vision (sensitivity to light), amnesia, dizziness and balance deficits.
Sophisticated imaging techniques can be used to visualize changes in brain structure during childhood. A report published in the March 9, 2000 issue of the journal Nature describes "the creation of spatially complex, four-dimensional quantitative maps of growth patterns in the developing human brain." The authors of the report believe that their form of dynamic mapping "may . . . offer advantages in tracking fine-scale effects of therapeutic interventions in dementia (and other diseases)."
A study from the University of California, Los Angeles Stroke Unit, has shown that the early use of clot-busters may reverse stroke injury. Time is critical: clot-busting drugs generally must be used within 3 hours of symptom onset. Therefore, it is particularly important for patients to be aware of the warning signs of a stroke. Stroke symptoms include sudden onset of weakness or numbness, difficulty speaking, severe headache and vision problems, among others.
Findings to be published in the September issue of the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology support earlier studies saying brain trauma can raise the risk of Alzheimer�s disease. In experiments performed on anesthetized pigs, a research team at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that even moderate brain trauma can set off a biochemical process that leads to development of amyloid plaques in the brain tissues. This is the same kind of brain deterioration seen in patients with Alzheimer�s disease.
As reported (in the July, 2002 Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine), human neurons grown as cells cloned from a tumor help restore some function in severely injured spinal cords of rats. All seven rats in the delayed (two weeks after injury) transplant group recovered electrical activity in spinal cord neurons that control muscle movement. The cells sprouted fibers, or axons, that grew into the undamaged, intact portions of the spinal cord above and below the injured area.
Researchers at Boston's Children's Hospital and Harvard University report that the protein, inosine, switches on a number of genes involved in the growth of nerve cells. Inosine caused nerve cells in rats to sprout new axons and when those axons meet, they form new synapses through which messages can be sent. Also inosine and related molecules may help prevent damage from brain injury and stroke, as well as the progression of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, by shutting off the mechanism that signals healthy brain cells to die.
President Reagan's Death Renews Search for Alzheimer Cure
Damage to Left Side of Brain Raises Infection Risk
Use of Anti-Inflammatory Steroids for TBI May Increase Risk of Death (January 2005)
Researchers Pinpoint Circuit in the Brain Responsible for Encoding Decision-Making (May 2005)
Pure Brain Stem Cells Cultured in Lab by British Scientists (August, 2005)
Caffeine Can Improve Short Term Memory (December, 2005)
Brains �God Spot� Hard to Pin Down (August, 2006)
Drugs May Quickly Lift Depression (August, 2006)
Progesterone Shows Promise as Treatment for Brain Injuries (October, 2006)
Gene Map of Mouse Brain May Provide Human Benefits (September, 2006)
I hope my website helps you if you or your loved one
face these life-challenging injuries.
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David L. Goldin
750 B Street, Suite 3300
San Diego, California 92101
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