Blog Posts in January, 2015

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  • Methamphetamine can reduce impairment after severe TBI

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 30-Jan-2015

    After an initial injury to the brain, brain cells react with a cascade of inflammatory responses that can lead to further injury, greater disability, and reduced recovery. Many clinical studies have been conducted to determine safe, reliable interventions that can lessen this secondary brain response, and therefore reduce further injury and disability. Several studies have found methamphetamine to ...
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  • The stigma of a brain injury can be reduced with personal contact.

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 29-Jan-2015

    Traumatic brain injury can often result in "invisible" side effects such as memory and attention problems, mood changes, or fatigue. Past research has shown that people who have a visible scar as "evidence" of a brain injury are less likely to experience feelings of social anxiety and misunderstandings than people without a visible scar. Adolescents who experience a brain injury are particularly ...
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  • People with epilepsy at greater risk for sustaining a traumatic brain injury.

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 28-Jan-2015

    Epilepsy is a disorder recognized by long-term, recurring seizures, and is a well-known and common complication after a traumatic brain injury. However, it is also known that people who have epilepsy are at greater risk for sustaining a traumatic brain injury in general. Depending on the type of epilepsy a person has and medication that is taken, a person with epilepsy may be susceptible to ...
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  • Apathy Associated with Specific Brain Injuries

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 27-Jan-2015

    Apathy-a lack of motivation, interest and self-initiation-is a common symptom after moderate and severe traumatic brain injuries. Apathy is not easy to diagnose because it can be easily misinterpreted as depression or fatigue, both of which are also common after a brain injury. Researchers have thought that apathy after a brain injury is the result of damage to white matter connections between ...
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  • Ghrelin May Decrease Motor Impairment After TBI

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 26-Jan-2015

    Ghrelin is a hormone that is most often associated with hunger and appetite regulation. However, less is known about how ghrelin also plays a role in the brain. Past research has shown that ghrelin is specifically important for the hippocampus, an area of the brain important for memory and learning. A recent animal study has found that ghrelin can also help prevent neuron degeneration and improve ...
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  • The ethics of using a life saving intervention after severe traumatic brain injury.

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 23-Jan-2015

    When a decision is made to perform a life saving, but not necessarily restorative, procedure to manage a severe traumatic brain injury, both surgeons and family members face a complicated balance between "acceptable" versus "unacceptable" outcomes. Granting consent to perform such an intervention requires consideration from various points of view: the patient's wishes, implications for the future, ...
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  • Traumatic brain injury may lead to reduced bone density.

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 22-Jan-2015

    The hypothalamus and pituitary gland of the brain are important for producing and releasing critical hormones. Several studies have shown that a traumatic brain injury can frequently injure the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. This can cause hormonal deficiencies, including a deficiency in growth hormone-important for many physiological functions, such as building and maintaining bone ...
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  • Recruiting the right hemisphere for aphasia recovery.

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 21-Jan-2015

    Aphasia is a speech impairment that can result from injury to the language areas of the brain. The language areas of the brain are primarily found in the left hemisphere, however, due to the extensive neural networks and complexity of the brain, the right hemisphere can also be engaged to support language. Past research has shown mixed results of the ability of the right hemisphere to be ...
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  • Brain injury can cause reduced heart rate variability.

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 20-Jan-2015

    Heart rate variability is a measurement of the normal fluctuations in resting heart rate. A reduction in heart rate variability is associated with disorders such as diabetes or congestive heart failure, as well as mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Reduced heart rate variability is also associated with an increased risk of death. A recent study found that people with ...
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  • The Amsterdam Memory and Attention Test for Children

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 19-Jan-2015

    Problems with attention and memory are common after a brain injury sustained during childhood, and these problems can become even worse as a child progresses through normal development. Without a sensitive assessment tool to determine the extent of these challenges, parents and educators can find it difficult to advocate and plan for specific interventions. There are few evidence-based cognitive ...
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  • Correlation Between Depression and Self Awareness after TBI

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 16-Jan-2015

    Awareness is the conscious perception of both self and outside experiences that involve self. Awareness involves the ability to be introspective and interpret clues that accurately depict reality. Injury to certain parts of the brain sometimes results in impaired awareness-which means that the person's perception of reality is somewhat skewed. Recent research has shown that people who experience ...
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  • Perceptions of self are lowered after a traumatic brain injury.

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 15-Jan-2015

    A strong sense of identity and well-being is important for self-confidence and self-esteem. People who have endured a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are often faced with changes in the way they perceive themselves and may struggle to adapt to a new identity, or self-concept. A recent study found that people who have had a TBI had significantly lower scores in tests of self-esteem and self-concept ...
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  • Simvastatin may help reverse memory impairment after traumatic brain injury

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 14-Jan-2015

    Memory deficits are common after mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries, especially in relation to the ability to acquire and retain new information. Past animal studies have found that placing a brain-injured animal in an environmentally enriched setting will enhance memory recovery. In a recent animal study, scientists compared memory performance of rats placed within an environmentally ...
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  • Post-Traumatic Brain Injury Fatigue May Result From Cardiorespiratory Impairment

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 13-Jan-2015

    After a traumatic brain injury, many people experience chronic fatigue. Past studies have suggested that chronic fatigue may be the result of an increased demand on cognitive processes after the injury. However, a recent study suggests that decreased cardiorespiratory fitness may also contribute to fatigue. By measuring oxygen consumption during a treadmill test of people who have had a traumatic ...
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  • Hormone therapy improves performance during traumatic brain injury rehabilitation.

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 9-Jan-2015

    The hypothalamic-pituitary axis (HPA) sits deep near the center of the brain, and is responsible for the production and distribution of hormones. The HPA is vulnerable to injury, and several studies have found that people who have sustained a traumatic brain injury will also show damage in the HPA. Decreased levels of certain hormones such as testosterone, growth hormone, and IGF-1 have also been ...
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  • Repetitive TMS Successfully Treats Tinnitus Sfter a Traumatic Brain Injury

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 8-Jan-2015

    Tinnitus affects up to 53% of people who suffer a traumatic brain injury. Tinnitus can profoundly affect quality of life, but unfortunately there are few effective treatments for it. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has typically been contraindicated for people who have had a traumatic brain injury because of the possibility that it may it increase the risk of seizures. However, ...
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  • Case of hypersomnia after left temporal lobe injury

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 7-Jan-2015

    Post-traumatic hypersomnia is excessive sleepiness that occurs after a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and that is not directly related to loss of consciousness. Hypersomnia after a TBI is common, but the exact causes of it are unclear. A recent case study of a young woman who had suffered a TBI after a car accident provided some insight into potential causes of hypersomnia. The woman had ...
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  • Self-awareness affects perceived quality of life after TBI

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 6-Jan-2015

    A traumatic brain injury can result in a complex chain of functional and cognitive impairments and changes that can negatively affect quality of life. Many studies have shown that TBI survivors experience a significant decrease in the perception of health and life quality after a traumatic brain injury. However, this decrease isn't always predicted by injury severity or level of disability. Some ...
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  • Are male caregivers more stressed than female caregivers?

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 5-Jan-2015

    When a person who survives a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) returns home, it can cause a disruption in the family system as everyone learns to adjust. Many studies have explored family and caregiver relationships, but little attention has been paid to gender roles in those relationships. In the studies that do show a gender difference in caregiver psychological distress, there is not a clear ...
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  • Recovering From TBI–The Long Road Ahead

    Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 2-Jan-2015

    After a traumatic brain injury, the road to recovery can be long and fraught with problems. One example of this is the story of Kristin McCollum, a young woman who was injured in an auto accident on Christmas Day in 2010. Four years later, Kristin, 35, is still working on her recovery and slowly chalking up minor victories as she struggles to regain her independence. The accident took place on Old ...
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