Archive for the ‘Concussion’ Category

Concussions must be taken seriously

Posted on: December 19th, 2011 by CORE Health Care Admin 1 Comment

Chris Pronger in Flyers uniformAs a hockey fan who loves to see stars like Chris Pronger play, it’s always sad to see an athlete suffer a season-ending injury. However, as a medical professional who works every day with people who’ve suffered brain trauma, it’s refreshing to see organized sports taking concussions so seriously.

This article illustrates the multi-faceted approach that must be taken to concussion management with athletes at all levels.

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Help make TBI recovery available to all

Posted on: November 29th, 2011 by CORE Health Care Admin 1 Comment

A couple of weeks ago ABC’s 20/20 aired an inspiring piece on Congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ recovery. Her story is truly amazing and all of us at CORE Health Care wish her much success as she continues to heal and progress.

But we can’t help but think about the hundreds of thousands of average people with traumatic brain injuries, many of them veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, whose federal insurance plans don’t cover the kind of post-acute care Giffords is receiving.

Once the average person is discharged from the hospital, he or she is medically stable, but usually still very impaired in terms of cognition and day-to-day functioning. This leads to behavior that can endanger the injured person and others. Most post-acute care for people with brain injuries takes place in a residential setting, a sort of halfway house between the hospital and the home. Patients typically receive therapy that helps them concentrate, control their impulses, speak, reason and improve their memory.

Skipping the post-acute phase of rehabilitation sets up people with brain injuries for failure, leading to feelings of frustration and anger for them and their families.

CORE Health Care urges everyone to speak out for those with brain injuries. A good place to start is the Brain Injury Association of America’s (BIAA) legislative updates and alerts. The BIAA lets you know when legislation important to people with brain injuries is before Congress and offers legislative fact sheets that you can review. Click here to sign up.

With your help perhaps we can make Gabby Giffords’ remarkable recovery available to all people with brain injuries!

Children and concussion

Posted on: October 18th, 2011 by CORE Health Care Admin No Comments

By the time they’re 6, most kids have seen a concussion play out at least a dozen times. For example, Foghorn Leghorn, in one of his many tangos with Barnyard Dawg, gets whomped on the head with a plank of wood. The impact leaves him staggering with a wreath of stars and moons orbiting around his pointy crown. He sputters some gibberish, not exactly sure where he is or what or whom clocked him.

What Mr. Leghorn is experiencing is a classic concussion: temporary disorientation, transient memory loss, dizziness, and an inability to think or speak clearly.

The word concussion derives from the Latin “concutere,” which means “shake violently,” and “concussus,” or “strike together.” As it happens, these ancient words are a fairly apt description of what goes on when one suffers a concussive blow. The initial impact – whether received on the head or another part of the body – causes the brain to crash against the inner wall of the skull. This shaking disrupts the brain’s normal chemical balance and causes the brain to bruise and swell. (more…)

Wear a helmet!

Posted on: September 28th, 2011 by CORE Health Care Admin No Comments

It won’t ruin your hair.

It won’t make you look stupid.

It’s not uncool.

What will ruin your hair, make you look stupid and be totally uncool is injuring your brain while not wearing a helmet when you’re skateboarding, bicycling, inline skating, snowboarding or riding a scooter. Falling from as little as 2 feet can cause a traumatic brain injury.

The statistics from the Think First Foundation, a national group:

  • Helmets can prevent an estimated 75 percent of bicycle fatalities among children – riders without helmets are 14 times more likely to be in a fatal crash than riders wearing helmets.
  • Bicycle helmets can prevent 85 to 88 percent of critical head and brain injuries.
  • If all children aged 4 to 15 wore a bicycle helmet, up to 45,000 head injuries would be prevented each year.
  • Inline skaters sustain 11,000 head and face injuries annually; about 75 percent of skaters don’t wear any safety equipment.
  • About 27 percent of injuries from riding a scooter are head injuries.
  • In 2000, nearly 50,000 children aged 5 to 14 went to a hospital emergency room for skateboard-related injuries.
  • Wearing a helmet could prevent 85 percent of scooter and inline skating injuries.
  • Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury among skiers and snowboarders by 35 percent. (This statistic is from researchers at the University of Calgary based on research published in 2010 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.) (more…)

Keeping your head in the game can hurt your brain

Posted on: August 15th, 2011 by CORE Health Care Admin No Comments

Many of us at CORE are sports fans – the most passionate seem to be the hockey fans. So we were saddened when we heard that Bob Probert, a hockey player revered for his toughness and tenacity who died suddenly at 45 last year, was found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in his brain.Bob Probert protecting Steve Yzerman

Probert was one of the National Hockey League’s most feared players. He was a quick and resourceful fighter (he was one of the reasons the league instituted a rule requiring jersey to be tied down) who fearlessly defended his teammates and took many, many blows to the head.

CTE is a progressive degenerative brain disease found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including concussions. The trauma causes brain tissue to break down and levels of an abnormal protein, call tau, to increase. Build-up of the tau protein also is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The changes caused by repeated brain trauma can start months, years or decades after the last trauma. Symptoms of CTE can include memory loss, impaired judgment, aggression, depression, difficulty controlling impulses and progressive dementia. (more…)