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head injury

Stopping Epilepsy Before It Starts?

“Being able to identify that a person is likely to develop epilepsy following a brain injury is one of the most important focus areas in modern-day epilepsy research,” says Dr. Laura Lubbers, CURE’s Chief Scientific Officer. “With 3.4 million Americans suffering from epilepsy and seizures in the U.S., this discovery of a predictive biomarker for a certain form of epilepsy could prevent unpredictable seizures from taking over the lives of millions of Americans and their families.”   New research, funded by Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), has discovered a ‘smoking gun’ biomarker that could result in treatments that stop some epilepsies before they even start.   Using a rat model of brain injury and epilepsy, CURE-funded researcher Dr. Annamaria Vezzani and her team...

Symptom trends may help predict recovery of patients suffering from post-concussion syndrome

Researchers at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre’s (KNC) Canadian Concussion Centre (CCC) have identified symptom trends that may not only help predict how soon patients suffering from post-concussion syndrome (PCS) will recover, but also provide insight on how to treat those who experience persistent concussion symptoms.

How Much Should One Rest After Concussion?

While rest in the first day or two following a concussion may help prevent further damage to the injured brain, prolonged rest may actually impede recovery in young patients, according to an exciting new study in the journal Pediatrics. Standard practice of 24 to 48 hours of rest after concussion is based upon limited data, and many have advocated for extended periods of rest in a dark and quiet room, also known as “cocooning.” But whether or to what extent this is actually helpful hasn’t been supported by good-quality research. The authors of the new study sought to settle the debate with a randomized, controlled trial studying 88 patients ages 11 to 22 who were diagnosed with concussion in a pediatric emergency room. Hypothesizing that stricter rest would reduce concuss...

VIDEO: Neurologists research answers to concussion questions

AUSTIN — The future of Longhorn David Ash remains uncertain — after another concussion during Saturday night’s game against North Texas. Ash missed most of last season due to concussions as well. Despite following the standard return to play protocols, neurologists and health experts we talked to say there really isn’t any hard and fast number when it comes to how many concussions are too many. During the week, Juli Castro works as the Director of the Departments of Medicine at Baylor Scott & White Round Rock. The burnt orange memorabilia in her office – including national championship photos under glass – lets you know every Saturday in the fall she’s a passionate Longhorns football fan.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids Offer an Affordable Way to Reduce Effects of Traumatic Brain, Spinal Cord Injuries

The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) found in seafood and marine oils called EPA and DHA may offer a simple, affordable way to reduce the effects of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries by decreasing inflammation and nerve cell damage. They may also protect against cognitive impairment that can follow surgery or critical illness. These encouraging findings and more are being presented at the 11thCongress of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) in Stockholm 29 June-1 July, 2014. Traumatic brain injury (TBI), resulting from combat, falls, traffic accidents and sports, is a leading cause of death in children and adults 1-44 years of age. In 2010 alone, there were more than 10 million TBIs worldwide. TBI is associated with long-term complica...

Football Concussions Shrink Hippocampus

A new study has found that football players with a history of concussions have a smaller brain area connected to memory and emotion.  While the real-life significance of brain difference between football and non-football players is not yet clear, these findings have demonstrated initial evidence of long-term effects on the mind among young players. Researchers from the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Oklahoma led by associate professor Patrick Bellgowan analyzed the MRI brain scan results of 50 college football players. Half of them had a history of concussion. They compared the results with 25 non-players of the same age and education level. The researchers focused on the hippocampus – the area of the brain that stores memories and regulates emotions. They found that player...

Commonly available blood-pressure medication prevents epilepsy after severe brain injury

Between 10 and 20 percent of all cases of epilepsy result from severe head injury, but a new drug promises to prevent post-traumatic seizures and may forestall further brain damage caused by seizures in those who already have epilepsy. A team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, Ben-Gurion University in Israel and Charité-University Medicine in Germany reports in the current issue of the journal Annals of Neurology that a commonly used hypertension drug prevents a majority of cases of post-traumatic epilepsy in a rodent model of the disease. If independent experiments now underway in rats confirm this finding, human clinical trials could start within a few years. “This is the first-ever approach in which epilepsy development is stopped, as opposed to common dru...

Texas researcher receives U.S. patent for new class of compounds that protects against TBI

A researcher in the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio received a U.S. patent  Dec. 31 for his discovery that a class of compounds is protective against traumatic brain injury (TBI). The patent, No. 8,618,074, covers novel methods of preventing or treating neuronal damage, and work is continuing on development of potential therapies for TBI based on this invention. Cell, animal and human studies James D. Lechleiter, Ph.D., professor of cellular and structural biology at the Health Science Center, reported the findings in cell and animal models in peer-reviewed journals. Studies yet to be published extend the results to human brain tissue obtained from patients who underwent temporal lobectomies to curb treatment-resistantepilepsy. Dr. Lechlei...

Blows to head may affect the brain’s white matter and cognition even without concussion

New research suggests that even in the absence of a concussion, blows to the head during a single season of football or ice hockey may affect the brain’s white matter and cognition, or memory and thinking abilities. The study is published in the December 11, 2013, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. White matter is brain tissue that plays an important role in the speed of nerve signals. “We found differences in the white matter of the brain in these college contact sport athletes compared to non-contact sport varsity athletes,” said study author Thomas W. McAllister, MD, of Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. “The degree of white matter change in the contact sport athletes was greater in those who ...

War veterans face epilepsy as side effect of head trauma

Congress created VA epilepsy centers to help 66,000 patients a year As a single mom and combat-wounded Navy corpsman, Holly Crabtree has too much on her mind to stress about the next time she might black out. She’d rather think about her daughter’s busy schedule packed with things such as dance classes and Girl Scouts. But Crabtree’s been getting seizures every week or two since she was shot in the head while serving on a Special Operations mission in western Iraq three years ago. The bullet led to two strokes, partial paralysis and epilepsy. She doesn’t feel the seizures coming and she can’t prepare for them. “They surprise me,” said Crabtree, 33. Epilepsy is a common side effect veterans experience after suffering head trauma at war. It’s debilitating for parents such as Crabtree who wor...

New FREE App by American Academy of Neurology: Concussion Quick Check

New FREE App by American Academy of Neurology: Concussion Quick Check Make sure to download this useful guide on your iOS or Android powered smart phone today! It can really come in handy! iOS App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/concussion-quick-check/id613178630?mt=8 Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aan.concussion&hl=en

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