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Sunday, July 31st, 2011
First Study to Link TBI to Stroke
The American Heart Association recently published a study, which found that victims of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) face 10 times the risk of a stroke when compared to people without such injuries.
While the biomechanics of a TBI could certainly suggest a greater possibility of stroke, this is the first study to conclusively link stroke to a TBI.
Specifics of the Study
Researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing five years’ worth of medical data in Taiwan. In the months that followed a TBI, 2.91 percent of TBI victims experienced a stroke, compared to only 0.30 percent of people who did not experience a TBI. (more…)
Friday, July 29th, 2011
Murderball: the name alone sounds like a James Bond film or fight-to-the-death Gladiator event in ancient Rome. Although Murderball is not quite as deadly as a secret agent or as vicious as a battle in the Collosieum, many of its players have faced a near-death experience before ending up on the court.
Origins of Murderball
Also known as Quad Rugby or Wheelchair Rugby, Murderball is an aggressive, full contact, international sport that can trace its history back to 1979. Three quadriplegic Canadians, inspired by Wheelchair Basketball, combined elements of rugby and hockey with the wheelchair accessibility of a basketball court. Murderball was born.
A few years later the sport expanded to the U.S. and has been growing in popularity amongst athletes and spectators looking for a unique athletic event, and it is extremely athletic. The sport officially became a part of the Paralympics in 2000 and now has 25 countries competing for the gold.
Quadriplegic Rugby Basics
Quadriplegic rugby is co-ed and despite being nominally associated with quadriplegics, the sport is open to people with any disability that affects their arms and legs. Most players have suffered a spinal cord injury and are partially paralyzed, although some players are disabled due to polio, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, amputations, dysmelia or neurological conditions. (more…)
Thursday, July 28th, 2011
As of this writing, a victim of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) so serious he was comatose for nearly a month has recovered and is nearing the end of a 2,700 mile bicycle ride from Reno, Nevada to Vienna, Virginia.
Josh Morros joined Monster Energy Kawasaki’s pro off-road racing team when he was 17 years old, no doubt looking forward to an exciting career as a racer. In his first race as a professional, Josh placed third and won what’s known as a “holeshot” award for the rider with the fastest start. It was a promising start to his racing career.
Then, almost four months to the day later, Josh was competing in an American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Hare and Hound style race when he crashed at high speed. Although he was wearing proper safety equipment, including a helmet, Josh sustained serious bodily injury and a traumatic brain injury. He was airlifted to the hospital where doctors placed him into a medically-induced coma in an attempt to reduce the swelling in his brain. His doctors said he had a “shearing of the brain with sparse brain activity,” and they couldn’t make any promises of recovery. Josh stayed in the coma for 24 uncertain days as his family watched and waited. (more…)
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
While short and long term complications of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are numerous, insomnia is believed to occur in 30 to 70 percent of TBI victims. Just as a TBI can vary in its intensity, so can insomnia. Some patients report general restlessness, while other patients barely get enough rest for their bodies to function.
Good Sleep is Vital
Patients suffering with insomnia may either have difficulty falling asleep or, once asleep, not be able to stay sleeping. This can have profound neurological and psychological effects on a victim of TBI, above and beyond the initial trauma causing the insomnia. Insomnia, even without TBI, can cause:
Brain Changes Cause Insomnia
While 7 to 10 percent of the general population may suffer from insomnia due to anxiety or the stresses of life, insomnia in victims of TBI is of a different variety. (more…)
Monday, July 25th, 2011
Recently we’ve been writing about concussion, especially repetitive concussion, and its effects on the brain. Awareness of these issues is growing as an increasing number of studies link concussion to serious medical conditions later in life. Naturally, those most susceptible to long-term damage are closely monitoring these studies.
In July 2011, 75 former football players filed a lawsuit against the National Football League (NFL), claiming the NFL has known of the risk of long-term damage since the 1920s, but did not warn players or provide adequate protection. They also named Riddell, the league’s helmet manufacturer, in the lawsuit.
The NFL Study
In 1994, the NFL commissioned a study to better understand the risks faced by players on the field. In addition, Riddell used the data to improve their helmets and protective gear. Between 1996 and 2001, researchers analyzed reports on mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI) from team physicians and trainers. They also reviewed footage of plays believed to have caused a concussion and submitted the data to the NFL’s Committee on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. The study found “no evidence of worsening injury or chronic cumulative effects” from mild TBIs – like the concussions typically sustained by players in the NFL.
The NFL announced the results of their study in 2004, but by 2010 they reversed this position in accordance with current medical data, stating that concussion can lead to dementia, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), memory loss and other neurological problems. (more…)
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