Monthly Archives: September 2010

PTSD & Traumatic Brain Injury

The skyrocketing number of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) due to the conflicts involving U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, while unfortunate, has revealed new connections that may eventually lead to better treatments. As the connection between TBI and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) becomes clearer, so does the understanding of the difference between the disorders.

Causes of TBI is Civilian and Military Populations

The Department of Veterans Affairs has studied mild TBI (mTBI) in both civilian and military populations. The department found that approximately 80 percent of all TBI’s in civilians are mild. Most TBI is caused by falls, car accidents, a blow to the head, or assaults. Troops face different dangers, with the majority of mTBI coming from blasts. Continue reading

Kids and TBI: Window Fall Prevention for Parents and Daycare Providers

Nearly 5,000 children are hurt in window falls every year in the United States, according to Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center. Falls are usually linked to poor window designs, not necessarily poor child supervision.

Traumatic Brain Injury

According to WebMD, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, resulting in 35.2% of the total. Rates are highest for children from birth up to age 4, and for adults 75 and older. TBI is caused by a bump or blow to the head that is severe enough to interrupt normal brain function. If a child falls through a window two stories above ground, chances are he or she will have a concussion, which is the mechanism of injury for the majority of traumatic brain injuries. Annually, among children from birth to age 14, TBI causes an average of 2,174 deaths. Continue reading

VA Diverted Funds Intended for Traumatic Brain Injury Research

One of the most common injuries that occur to veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is traumatic brain injury. According to, the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center reports 10 to 20 percent of troops with combat exposure suffered these concussions from roadside bombs.

Recently, questions have been raised regarding the money that was intended to research these injuries, and it has been brought to attention that the funds had been used wrongly. Those who have been victims of brain injury should consider retaining an experienced personal injury attorney in order to seek damages and compensation.

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Xenon Gas Shows Promising Results for Brain Injury

Infants can suffer brain injury during birth due to various circumstances. Brain damage occurs as a result of trauma to the child’s head, poor decisions on the part of caregivers during a difficult labor, or any situation that disrupts the flow of blood and oxygen to the infant’s brain.

The trauma from injury may be temporary or cause lifelong disabilities. Health care providers utilize various methods and medications in an attempt to reduce or reverse the effects of brain injury including hypothermia. Recent studies by British researchers involving the use of Xenon gas show promising results.

Xenon Gas Attributes and Uses

Xenon exists in minuscule quantities in the atmosphere as a colorless, odorless, tasteless, noncombustible substance. The process of singling out this component is expensive, contributing to high cost of procuring this non-toxic gas. Formerly used for illumination in street lamps and other devices, the gas has been used as a general anesthetic for more than 50 years. Studies indicate patients undergoing Xenon anesthesia experience fewer side effects compared with other commonly used compounds. Continue reading

Controversy over Bike Helmet Laws


Statistics indicate that traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is the foremost cause of death in persons under the age of 45. The majority of these events occur as the result of motor vehicle accidents, with falls and sports related situations following close behind. Studies show that annually, well over one million Americans suffer an injury that results in TBI and 50,000 of those people die.

Continuing Controversy over Bike Helmet Laws

Twenty states, including the District of Columbia require all individuals to wear an approved helmet while operating or riding on a motorcycle. Nineteen states require minors under the age of 18 to wear a helmet whether as the operator or as a passenger of a motorcycle. These laws vary from state to state with regard to mandatory helmets and the operation of low-powered scooters and bicycles. However, states having the most stringent helmet laws also have stipulations for these categories. Continue reading

Stem Cells to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are horrific in their potential to leave the victim with serious types of disabilities ranging from the inability to recall new events with the loss of short-term memory as in anterograde amnesia, to the inability of expressing a full-range of intellectual capacities because of a paralyzed body as in locked-in syndrome. TBI is so alarming because the full extent of injuries and disability takes weeks or even months to ascertain; the suspense can feel like a devil’s idea of Christmas. TBI strikes the vessel that holds our personalities, memories, and potentials – the brain. Victims and their families are left with few options for treatment. Traditionally, many types of brain injury have been regarded as incurable. But researchers such as Dr. Venkataramana of India intend to prove that maxim of hopelessness as wrong. Continue reading

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Misdiagnosis in U.S. Troops

Soldiers are threatened daily by attacks, explosives, vehicle rollovers and other life threatening events. While the resulting cuts, bruises and broken bones are easy to diagnose and treat, another common injury is harder to spot and may have farther-reaching consequences. Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) is prevalent among U.S. Soldiers and can lead to other continuing problems such as post-traumatic epilepsy, mental health problems such as depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

PTSD and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

An estimated 20 percent of returning U.S. soldiers have or will develop PTSD, resulting in high suicide rates and other emotional disorders. In the early half of 2009, more American troops died by suicide than combat injuries. While the Army regards PTSD as a treatable condition, it is not always properly recognized or monitored in soldiers suffering from head injuries. The problem may be that MTBI can be difficult to spot. Continue reading

The Compton Junior Posse Fundraiser

The Brain Injury Law Center is a major sponsor of the Compton Junior Posse, an organization dedicated to keeping inner-city youth off the streets, out of gangs, and on horses!

As the founder and director of the Brain Injury Law Center, Stephen M. Smith has dedicated his personal time to this philanthropy.  The third-annual fundraiser for the Compton Junior Posse was held on May 22, 2010 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, California. As the Master of Ceremonies for this event, Stephen M. Smith presented an award to Bruce Smith, a NFL Hall of Fame lineman, honoring his contributions to helping underprivileged children throughout the country. Eric Dickerson, NFL Hall of Fame Running Back and a guest of Stephen M. Smith’s, co-presented this award.

Also present at the Compton Junior Posse fundraiser was Roderick Potts, a youth that the Brain Injury Law Center has sponsored with a scholarship to participate in national equestrian competitions.

Pictured Left to Right: Stephen M. Smith, Founder of the Brain Injury Law Center; Mayisha Akbar, Founder of the Compton Junior Posse; Saundra Price, Fundraising Chair of the Compton Junior Posse; and Bruce Smith, NFL Hall of Fame Lineman

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Traumatic Brain Injury and Anterograde Amnesia

Anterograde amnesia is a devastating condition that could render a person permanently disabled. Defined as the loss of the ability to form new memories, anterograde amnesia affects short-term memory. Patients with this form of amnesia have trouble recalling the day’s events, even while retaining memories that were present before the injury.

Causes of Anterograde Amnesia

Various neurological changes can cause anterograde amnesia, from surgery to stroke. However, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), especially those involving oxygen deprivations, remain a leading cause of this debilitating condition. Continue reading

Dan Rice and the Road to Tramatic Brain Injury Recovery

In 2002, Dan Rice was a vibrant young man, with an emerging Hollywood career and soon to be earned PhD in Psychology. A serious car crash that resulted in an undiagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI) sent Dan’s life into a downward spiral that took years to mend.

End of the Trail

In a new autobiography, “End of the Trail,” Dan tells of his journey to recovery. He reveals his injury, the discoveries he made and his journey to recovery. He uncovers a struggle with deteriorating mental faculties, emotional anguish, depression, anger, suicidal thoughts, and his increasing difficulty in understanding the world around, all brought on by something he could not identify at the time. Continue reading

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