How traumatic brain injuries cause damage

On behalf of Parker Thorson posted in Brain Injury on Monday, October 12, 2015.

When California residents think about brain injuries caused by car accidents, they may believe that the brain bounces around inside the skull. However, this is not actually how brain injuries work. A professor at Columbia University stated that the brain has a consistency closer to Jell-O and that when trauma occurs, the brain cells actually warp against the interior of the skull.

Traumatic brain injuries are not always apparent immediately, because it can take some time for the brain cells to die. While there is no treatment for brain damage once it has occurred, there is a small window of time where further damage can be prevented. Research was being conducted to understand how the trauma actually causes the damage.

California grandmother in coma after car crash

On behalf of Parker Thorson posted in Brain Injury on Wednesday, December 9, 2015.

A 55-year-old woman was hospitalized in critical condition after being struck by a hit-and-run driver on Thanksgiving. The woman was struck after pushing her 8-year-old granddaughter out of the car’s path while they crossed the street in Inglewood at a marked crosswalk.

She was taken to UCLA Medical Center where she was in a coma. A family member said that the woman suffered damage to the right side of her brain, and her prognosis was uncertain. The 8-year-old suffered a leg fracture and was also treated before being released. Family members say that she has experienced recurring nightmares since the accident occurred.

The dangers of concussions

On behalf of Parker Thorson posted in Brain Injury on Monday, November 30, 2015.

Many California parents hear about how dangerous concussions can be in professional sports, and they are warned about the dangers in child sports as well. However, some of them may not fully understand what a concussion is, how it happens or why it is dangerous.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a concussion is a kind of traumatic brain injury that occurs after a blow, bump or impact to the head or to the body that causes the brain to move around inside the skull. The organization reports that about 175,000 kids receive emergency room treatment for concussions every year due to sports, including basketball, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, rugby, soccer and wrestling.

Another high school football player seriously injured

On behalf of Parker Thorson posted in Brain Injury on Monday, November 9, 2015.

Another high school football player has been seriously injured while playing football, this time in California. The incident occurred on Oct. 23 during in the third quarter in a game between Riverside Poly and Moreno Valley Rancho Verde high schools.

News sources indicate that the player, an 18-year-old senior safety, suffered a hit and then collapsed on the sidelines after stumbling off of the field. His stepfather reportedly said he appeared to be suffering from concussion-like symptoms, and the athletic staff called an ambulance.

Brain injuries among cheerleaders in California

On behalf of Parker Thorson posted in Brain Injury on Wednesday, October 28, 2015.

Many California residents think of cheerleaders as wholesome young men and women who provide encouragement from the sidelines, but modern competitive cheerleading is a highly demanding and dangerous sport in its own right. State and national cheerleading competitions feature teams of athletes forming human pyramids and performing elaborate tricks and stunts, and catastrophic injuries are not uncommon when things go wrong.

According to media reports, cheerleading is responsible for more than half of the catastrophic injuries suffered by young female athletes. The kinds of injuries suffered by cheerleaders include, fractured skulls, concussions, paralysis, spinal cord injuries and brain injuries. The American Association of Neurosurgeons ranks sports according to how many head injuries they cause, and cheerleading is among the most dangerous. The situation is unlikely to improve as protective equipment offers few benefits to cheerleaders, and the sport’s intense competition is prompting squads to perform more thrilling and dangerous stunts.

Brain injuries and energy drinks

On behalf of Parker Thorson posted in Brain Injury on Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

According to recent research, there is a strong link between traumatic brain injury in teens and the consumption of energy drinks. A neurosurgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital believes that significant caffeine consumption alters the makeup of the brain, which can make it harder for a patient to recover. Therefore, a TBI can be especially harmful for California teens because their brains are still developing.

It is believed that young athletes may drink them to get an energy boost or may be more likely to drink them because a popular athlete has endorsed it. Furthermore, many teens and their parents assume that energy drinks are like soda or other soft drinks and are not harmful in the long term. However, those who do research into their effects say that they are powerful stimulants that can impact a student’s ability to learn while in school.

New rules aim to make football safer for California athletes

On behalf of Parker Thorson posted in Brain Injury on Tuesday, September 15, 2015.

To make the game safer, the National Football League has hired a medical doctor to serve as a health and medical adviser to the league. Her mission will be to make sure that player safety needs are balanced with putting an entertaining product on the field for fans. After a player suffers a serious injury, he will be taken off of the field and examined using a standardized checklist.

However, it is acknowledged that players may want to take steps to get back on the field even when they are hurt because of their competitive nature. Also, players take pride in being able to play through any pain that they experience. To reduce the risk of injury, the health and medical adviser says that there will be rule changes related to how players tackle and protective gear that they wear. Making the game safer could help the NFL win over parents who may hold their kids out of youth leagues.

ADHD connected to traumatic brain injuries in report

On behalf of Parker Thorson posted in Brain Injury on Thursday, September 3, 2015.

Living with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder turns focusing on important tasks and maintaining personal relationships into a constant challenge for many California residents. Some experts hypothesize that there are significant connections between ADHD and traumatic brain injury with each issue providing potential causation for the other. A recent examination of a telephone survey of adults appears to support these thoughts.

Investigative researchers studied the responses to phone wellness surveys conducted in Ontario between 2011 and 2012 with a sample of 3,993 adults. Defining TBI as any head injury resulting in five or more minutes of unconsciousness or a required overnight hospital stay, they learned that 5.9 percent of respondents with TBI in their histories mentioned previous ADHD diagnoses. Another 6.6 percent of these respondents tested positive in a self-reporting ADHD assessment provided in the phone interview.

Brain injury rehabilitation

On behalf of Parker Thorson posted in Brain Injury on Friday, August 21, 2015.

Anticholinergics are a class of drug used to treat depression, insomnia and bladder problems. They often have been administered to patients in California who are recovering from a traumatic brain injury. However, new research has indicated that the drugs may actually interfere with the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with brain injuries.

Researchers in the United Kingdom studied patients with injuries to the brain or the spine who were treated in a neuro-rehabilitative hospital unit. Many of the patients were given anticholinergics for pain and urinary incontinence, common complications of injuries of the brain and spinal cord. However, the researchers found that the patients with higher level of anticholinergics stayed longer in the rehabilitation unit than patients with lower levels of the drugs.

California researchers say TBI guidelines may not be enough

On behalf of Parker Thorson posted in Brain Injury on Friday, August 7, 2015.

In the 1990s, the Brain Trauma Foundation came out with new guidelines to help treat patients after suffering a head injury. However, a recently-published study of 734 adults admitted to 14 trauma centers in Los Angeles in 2009 and 2010 shows that following those guidelines may not result in better outcomes for patients. The study, which was conducted by the Los Angeles County Trauma Consortium, found that there was no link between following those guidelines and the likelihood of that patient dying.

Overall, the mortality rate for patients was 20 to 50 percent. When adjusted for risk factors such as age or other medical conditions, the mortality rate was between 24.3 percent and 56.7 percent. The study also found that less than half of patients who should have gotten intracranial pressure monitoring or received a craniotomy if necessary actually did so.