Posts Tagged brain injury

[BLOG POST] The importance of focus when living with a brain injury | Jumbledbrain

via The importance of focus when living with a brain injury | Jumbledbrain

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[BLOG POST] A Brain Injury Life – formerly TBI to LIFE

Perception of Self after Brain Injury

Lately I’ve been wondering whether brain injury really changed the person I am or if it just added a new layer to my old self.  It may be impossible to articulate and probably unanswerable. Obviously, an injury physically changes how the brain works and directly causes a host of problems—physical pain, cognitive deficits, and the loss of identity (e.g. the tendency to ask existential questions like this). But cause and effect are not always clear. There are many problems that could be organic or could just as well be new incarnations of innate character traits.

I’ve gotten used to the idea that everything different in my life since my TBI has either been caused by the brain injury or what I learned in my neuropsychological rehabilitation. But what if there are fewer changes than I imagined? Am I still who I was but with some parts missing? That would explain the feeling of being lost in a foreign land.

For example, I used to think I was always right. But if brain injury has altered me functionally (it has, now I am often wrong), while leaving my sense of self intact (i.e. I still see myself as in the right), my perception would contradict reality. Since I’m nothing if not logical, one or the other would have to give. The belief of always being right could, unconsciously, be directed somewhere else. So instead of being convinced that my answers were better, I’d think I was wiser because I’d learned the best strategies, and was convinced that I could recognize a brain injury—or deficit—intuitively and in the moment. Which I am.

Does that make any sense? One more try:

If brain injury changed the life I lived—the structure, productivity, and satisfaction—but not who I think I am in life, it would explain why I feel rudderless. I keep trying to find my place in the world, a goal I can realistically accomplish and the initiation to follow through. Instead, I feel like I have no purpose. I come up with labels to define myself like an advocate (really?), a leader in the community (since when—6 years ago?), or educating people about brain injury (who am I teaching?). So what’s up with that?

All I can say with certainty is that the feeling of being unmoored seems to grow deeper as time passes.

via A Brain Injury Life – formerly TBI to LIFE

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[VIDEO] Brain Injury: A helping hand

“Every brain injury is different and there are no hard and fast rules about how it effects people. But it would certainly help if people were more educated about its hidden nature and some of the most common effects.”

via A helping hand | Headway

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[WEB SITE] Increased intracranial pressure (ICP): Symptoms, causes, and treatment

Last reviewed

Increased intracranial pressure is a medical term that refers to growing pressure inside a person’s skull. This pressure can affect the brain if doctors do not treat it.

A sudden increase in the pressure inside a person’s skull is a medical emergency. Left untreated, an increase in the intracranial pressure (ICP) may lead to brain injury, seizure, comastroke, or death.

With prompt treatment, it is possible for people with increased ICP to make a full recovery.

In this article, we look at the symptoms, causes, and treatments of increased ICP.

Symptoms of increased ICP

The symptoms of increased ICP can vary depending on a person’s age.

Infants with increased ICP may have different symptoms to older children or adults with the condition, as discussed below.

Symptoms in adults

Woman with a headache who is sleepy, possibly caused by increased intracranial pressure

Symptoms of increased ICP can include headache, sleepiness, and blurred vision.
Symptoms of increased ICP in adults include:

  • pupils that do not respond to light in the usual way
  • headache
  • behavior changes
  • reduced alertness
  • sleepiness
  • muscle weakness
  • speech or movement difficulties
  • vomiting
  • blurred vision
  • confusion

As raised ICP progresses, a person may lose consciousness and go into a coma. High ICP may cause brain damage if a person does not receive emergency treatment.

Symptoms in infants

Infants with increased ICP may show some of the same symptoms as adults. In addition, the shape of their heads may be affected.

Infants still have soft plates in their skull that fibrous tissue called skull sutures knit together. Increased ICP may cause the skull sutures to separate and the soft plates to move apart.

Increased ICP in infants may also cause their fontanel to bulge out. The fontanel is the soft spot on the top of the skull.

Causes

The following is a list of medical conditions and other causes that can lead to increased ICP:

In infants, high ICP may be the result of child abuse.

If a person handles a baby or infant too roughly, it may cause them to develop a brain injury. This is known as shaken baby syndrome.

One source has estimated that between 1,000 and 3,000 children in the United States experience shaken baby syndrome each year. The condition may arise if an adult shakes a baby violently to stop them crying.

Anyone who suspects a child may be experiencing abuse can contact the National Child Abuse Hotline anonymously at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).

Diagnosis

Woman having a CT scan

If a person has the symptoms of increased ICP, they should see a doctor straight away. This is a medical emergency and may lead to brain injury if a person does not receive rapid treatment.

A doctor will measure the ICP in millimeters of mercury (mm/Hg). The normal range is less than 20 mm/Hg. When ICP goes above this, a person may be experiencing increased ICP.

To diagnose increased ICP, a doctor may ask if a person has:

  • experienced a blow to a head
  • a previous diagnosis of a brain tumor

Then, the doctor may carry out the following tests:

  • neurological exam to test a person’s senses, balance, and mental state
  • spinal tap that measures cerebrospinal fluid pressure
  • CT scan that produces images of the head and brain

After these initial tests, the doctor may use an MRI scan to examine a person’s brain tissue in more detail.

Treatment

If a person has a diagnosis of increased ICP, a doctor will immediately work to reduce the pressure inside the skull to lessen the risk of brain damage. They will then work to treat the underlying cause of the increased pressure.

Treatment methods for reducing ICP include:

  • draining the excess cerebrospinal fluid with a shunt, to reduce pressure on the brain that hydrocephalus has caused
  • medication that reduces brain swelling, such as mannitol and hypertonic saline
  • surgery, less commonly, to remove a small section of the skull and relieve the pressure

A doctor may give the person a sedative to help reduce anxiety and lower their blood pressure. The person may also need breathing support. The doctor will monitor their vital signs throughout their treatment.

In rare cases, the doctor may put a person with high ICP into a medically induced coma to treat their condition.

Complications

Complications of increased ICP include:

  • brain damage
  • seizure
  • stroke
  • coma

Without proper treatment, increased ICP can be fatal.

Outlook

A sudden increase in ICP is a medical emergency and can be life-threatening. The sooner a person receives treatment, the better their outlook. Many people respond well to treatment, and a person who has experienced increased ICP can make a full recovery.

Preventing increased ICP and its complications

Increased ICP is not always preventable, but it is possible to reduce the risk of some underlying conditions that may lead to increased ICP. We explore how below.

Stroke

seniors exercising in a park

A person can reduce ther risk of stroke by exercising regularly.

Stroke may cause increased ICP. A person can reduce their risk of stroke in the following ways:

  • taking steps to lower high blood pressure
  • stopping smoking
  • managing blood sugar levels
  • controlling cholesterol levels
  • exercising regularly

High blood pressure

High blood pressure may cause increased ICP. A person can maintain healthy blood pressure by:

  • losing weight if overweight or maintaining a healthy weight
  • avoiding drugs that increase blood pressure
  • eating a healthful, balanced diet
  • reducing salt intake
  • exercising regularly

Head injury

A head injury may cause increased ICP. Some examples of how a person can reduce their risk of head injury include:

  • avoiding extreme sports or dangerous activities
  • always wearing a helmet for activities such as riding a bike
  • always wearing a seatbelt when in a car

Summary

Increased ICP is when the pressure inside a person’s skull increases. When this happens suddenly, it is a medical emergency. The most common cause of high ICP is a blow to the head.

The main symptoms are headache, confusion, decreased alertness, and nausea. A person’s pupils may not respond to light in the usual way.

A person with increased ICP may need urgent treatment. The immediate aim of treatment is to bring down the pressure on their brain tissue, which helps to reduce the risk of brain damage.

Without proper treatment, this condition may lead to seizure, coma, stroke, or brain damage. In severe cases, increased ICP can be fatal. Rapid treatment may improve a person’s outlook. Making a full recovery with timely treatment is possible.

Increased ICP is not always preventable, but a person can reduce their risk of some causes through lifestyle changes.

 

via Increased intracranial pressure (ICP): Symptoms, causes, and treatment

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[WEB SITE] Life-Changing Apps for People with Brain Injury – BrainLine

 

Posted on BrainLine February 20, 2018. Reviewed January 7, 2019.
Life-Changing Apps for People with Brain Injury

Almost every day, we hear of new apps developed for just about everything — from staying organized to finding pharmacies or restaurants while on the road. It’s hard to keep up.

Some of these apps have proven to be especially helpful for people with brain injury. The phone can be used to remind you of an upcoming appointment or to take medication, or it can be used like a traditional paper notebook to keep all your addresses, telephone numbers, calendar items, lists, and ideas.

Name Description Price Device Helps With
AccessNow AccessNow is sharing accessibility information about places around the world. Search for specific places like a restaurant, hotel or store, or browse the map to see what is nearby with the accessibility features you require. If info isn’t already on our map, you can add it yourself and contribute to our worldwide community. Filter the map by category and tags and find the access that you need now. Free iOSAndroid Accessibility
Android Accessibility Suite Android Accessibility Suite (formerly Google Talkback) is an accessibility feature. Its goal is to help the visually impaired navigate their devices. These features come built in with virtually every version of Androidand can be activated in the Settings menu. The app will then help the visually impaired interact with their devices. It’s fairly basic, but effective. It adds things like vibration, spoken, and audible feedback. Free Android Communication, Accessibility
Audible Listen to books on your mobile device. Great for people who have trouble reading or who retain information more effectively by listening. Free iOSAndroid Reading
Be My Eyes Fostering the largest global community for the blind and visually impaired, the free app, Be My Eyes, virtually connects someone with vision problems with a sighted volunteer who can help them “see.” Using any smartphone, a blind or visually impaired user can open the app to request assistance, be connected through live video with a sighted volunteer, and then point their camera at what they want described to them. The sighted volunteer will then tell the user what they see in the user’s native language – it’s as simple as that! Free iOSAndroid Accessibility
Behavior Tracker Pro Application that allows caregivers, behavioral therapists, aides, or teachers to track behaviors and automatically graph them. Option to record video of behaviors or interventions to later review with doctors, parents, teachers or therapists. $29.99 iOS Behavior
BestSuite This suite of three apps help people with brain injuries and other challenges get more done! Set and monitor goals, track and understand where your energy goes, get automatic reminders to take breaks — see it all appear in your calendar. Free video instruction and app training is also available on the BEST Connection website. $9.99 iOS Organization, Life-Skills, Memory
Breathe2Relax Hands-on stress management tool with diaphragmatic breathing exercises. Designed to help you with mood stabilization, anger control, and anxiety management. Free iOSAndroid PTSD, Anxiety, Stress
Clear Record Pro Audio recording app that suppresses ambient, background noise allowing the user to record conversations in noisy environments while maintaining clear voices. Control play-speed without modifying pitch-quality. Slow down conversations to a manageable pace for the user. $1.99 iOSAndroid Speech, Communication
Concussion Recognition & Response:
For Parents/Youth Coaches
Helps coaches and parents recognize whether an individual is exhibiting/reporting the signs and symptoms of a suspected concussion. In less than 5 minutes, the app allows a coach or parent to respond quickly to determine whether to remove the child from play and the need for further medical examination. Free iOSAndroid Concussion Screening
Corkulous Pro Collect, organize, and share ideas on virtual cork boards. “Pin” notes, labels, photos, contacts, and tasks. Group ideas visually on one board or spread ideas out across multiple boards. Free* iOS Organization
Cozi Family Organizer Family life organization app that includes a shared calendar, shopping lists, to do lists, family journal. This app allows you to stay in sync with your family. * Paid version available for advanced functionality. Free* iOSAndroid Organization
dictate2us Transcription Voice recorder with integrated transcription service* provides you with a comprehensive dictation and transcription solution. Record, edit, and upload a digital recording then have the file transcribed to text. HIPAA compliant. * Transcriptions are a paid feature. Free* iOSAndroid Communication
DialSafe Pro Learn proper phone usage and safety with an app that allows for hands-on practice. Learn these critical skills through the use of animated lessons, skill building games, practice sessions, and a realistic phone simulator. Free iOS Life-Skills
Evernote Help remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders, and make notes completely searchable. Free iOSWebAndroid Organization
Find My iPhone/Find My Device Location app that tracks wireless devices and enables a you to track where the devices are, where they have been, and enables you to send warning messages or tones to those devices. Free iOSAndroid Memory, Location Monitoring
Flashcards Deluxe Flashcard app which can be used to study just about anything you want. Built in dictionary, capacity to include pictures and sounds, zoom into pictures, and auto-repeat sounds on the cards. $3.99 iOSAndroid Memory
Google Maps Google Maps isn’t directly for the disabled or otherwise handicapped. However, it does have a variety of tools to help people with those kinds of issues. You can find stuff with wheelchair accessible entrances and the turn-by-turn navigation works even while walking. They even have a small group of engineers that work specifically on accessibility features, such as disability-friendly transit options. It takes a little bit of digging in the app, but it’s actually a pretty decent experience for this kind of stuff. Free iOSAndroid Accessibility
Hello My Name Is – Graffiti Sticker Use your fingers to write or draw your own personalized “hello my name is” name tag. Good for conferences or situations where a digital name tag may help you stand out. Free iOS Social Situations
iBooks with VoiceOver Search and instantly download thousands of popular book and magazine titles. iBooks works with VoiceOver, which will read the contents of the pages out loud. Free iOS Hearing, Reading
ICE Medical Standard ICE Medical Standard lets you put your emergency medical contact information on your smartphone’s lock screen image. If you are in an accident, first responders and emergency room staff can find your emergency medical contact information as soon as they turn on your smartphone. Free* iOSAndroid Emergency
IFTTT IFTTT is an app that helps you set up automated actions. It’s useful for a lot of various things: reading your text messages out loud, turning off your lights, and all kinds of other stuff. With a bit of investment, you can make most of your house compatible with IFTTT. That can make life a whole lot easier for a lot of people. However, it does take some work and potentially some money tog et eveything set up. The app is completely free, though. You can also find recipes for IFTTT with a simple Google Search. It’s one of the best disabled apps out there. Free iOSAndroid Accessibility
Index Card Non-linear writing tool that helps capture your ideas and store notes as they come to you. Organize the flow of your thoughts by using a familiar corkboard interface and compile your work into a single document. $4.99 iPad Organization
Inspiration Maps Inspiration Maps is a graphic organizer and idea-mapping tool that can help you visually organize ideas. You can create diagrams, maps, organizers, brainstorms, create text outlines, and easily share with others. The app allows you to create up to five documents to test the functionality of the app for free before using in-app purchase to upgrade to full, unlimited function. Free* iOS Organization
JABtalk JABtalk is a free speech communication application designed to help non-verbal children and adults communicate. Speech therapists commonly refer to JABtalk as an easy and effective augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device. By combining personalized voice and images with an extremely simple user interface, JABtalk delivers a speech solution that is both fun to use and easy to learn. Originally designed as a communication tool for children with special needs, JABtalk has evolved into a communication tool used by special needs children, stroke patients, toddlers, speech-language pathologists, and others. Free Android Communication
Learning Ally Link This app provides access to the Learning Ally library of human-read audiobooks offering the largest selection of books students want and need to read, including bestsellers, literature, and textbooks. Interactive learning tools include: highlighted text synced with the audio narration, speed control, bookmarking, highlighting, and note taking. * Learning Ally membership is required to use this app. Membership is free with eligible print disability. Free* iOSAndroid Reading, Vision
Lumosity Brain exercises targeting memory, attention, speed, flexibility, and problem solving. You can design your own personalized training, including “courses” with TBI- and/or PTSD-specific content. *Paid subscription available for advanced features. Free* iOSAndroidWeb Brain Training
MakeChange This app will show you the best way to count change so that you use the least number of coins. Slide and stack coins until you have the amount shown on the register display and check your answer. $1.99 iPad Life-Skills
Matrix Game Helps you develop visual perception skills such as visual discrimination. It can also help you to develop attention and concentration, spatial orientation and principles of classification and categorization. * Paid version available for advanced levels and more functionality. Free* iOSAndroid Problem Solving
Naming Therapy Word-finding app to help people with aphasia and children with special needs practice important naming and description skills. Allows users to add their own images. $24.99 iOSAndroid Communication, Speech
Notability A sleek, powerful note-taker to annotate documents, record lectures, sketch illustrations, and more. With built-in iCloud support, it’s perfect for keeping notes, documents, and doodles up to date on both iPhone and iPad. Also includes a great searchable microphone functions.“I can no longer focus on a speaker AND take quality notes. Notability permits me to go back in an amplify my notes to match speaker heard on microphone.” $9.99 iOS Organization
Penultimate Handwriting app that helps you get the fast, tactile gratification of writing on paper, with digital power and flexibility. Take notes, keep sketches, or share your next breakthrough idea — in the office, on the go, or at home. *Advanced functionality and features are paid. Free* iPad Memory, Organization
Pictello Create visual stories and talking books. Each page in a story can contain a picture, a short video, up to ten lines of text, and a recorded sound or text-to-speech using natural sounding voices. $19.99 iOS Communication
Proloquo2Go An alternative communication solution to help you if you have difficulty speaking. Natural sounding text-to-speech voices, high-resolution, up-to-date symbols, powerful automatic conjugations, a vocabulary of more than 7,000 items, and advanced word prediction. $249.99 iOS Communication
Proloquo 4 Text Text”‘based communication app that gives a voice to people who cannot speak. It offers a customizable single screen layout for easy conversation, free natural-sounding voices in 15 languages, word and sentence prediction and social media. $119.99 iOS Communication
PTSD Coach Designed for veterans and service members who have, or may have, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Education about PTSD, information about care, a self-assessment for PTSD, help finding support, and tools that can help you manage the stresses of daily life with PTSD. Free iOSAndroid PTSD
Quick Talk AAC This app gives a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. Quick and flexible app designed to help you talk as quickly as possible. $24.99 iOSAndroid Communication
Red Panic Button This emergency app allows anyone to send out a call for help with the tap of a button. For people with disabilities, being able to quickly access assistance in case of an emergency or problem is very helpful. The app allows a user to send one SMS message to an entire list of panic contacts that also includes a Google Maps link to their location. Additional features include recording a 10 second audio message to send to contacts, notifying people on twitter, as well as sending emergency emails. $4.99 iOSAndroid Emergency, Communication
SpeakWrite Recorder Voice recorder that turns your phone into a fully functional dictation system. Record, edit, and send your audio. App integrates with SpeakWrite’s 24/7 paid transcription service. Compile your dictation, upload, and within a few hours receive your transcribed document. Free Android Speech, Communication
Spaced Retrieval Therapy Facilitates recalling an answer over expanding intervals of time (1 minute, 2 minutes, 4 minutes, 8 minutes…) helps to cement the information in memory, even for those with impaired memory. $3.99 iOSAndroid Memory
T2 Mood Tracker Designed for service members and veterans, this app helps you self-monitor, track, and reference emotional experiences associated with common deployment-related behavioral health issues like post-traumatic stress, brain injury, depression, and anxiety. Free iOSAndroid PTSD, Behavior
TapGram Tapgram Tapgram makes sending simple messages to your loved ones easy. Once you are set up, you won’t need to touch a keyboard to send messages to the people that you love. Instead, you create messages by tapping on images and the messages can be posted to your social media feed or sent to your friends and loved ones via email. In turn, friends and family can tap on pictures to send you a reply. You will need a phone, tablet, or a computer with a connection, and a free tapgram account. It comes with a quick start guide. This website is tablet & smartphone friendly. Add to your phone homescreen to use like a phone app. Free Website Communication
Touch Calendar Touch Calendar makes viewing your calendars easy. See your whole calendar at a glance. No more flipping between different calendar views. Touch Calendar does it all from one zoomable and scrollable view. This app is especially useful for people with attention problems who do better with fewer steps. $3.38 Android Organization
Unus Tactus (Touch. Locate. Call) Developed to assist people of all ages with mild cognitive and/or motor deficits by allowing you to have an easy to use cell phone, with a simple set up. It utilizes a one-touch photo dialing system to generate phone calls using phone numbers from your existing contacts or those that you import directly. $9.99 iOS Communication
Verbally Comprehensive Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app for the iPad. This app enables real conversation for those who have challenges speaking. Just tap in what you want to say and Verbally speaks for you. *Premium features available with an in-app purchase. Free* iPad Communication, Speech
Visual Schedule Planner Customizable visual schedule iPad app that is designed to give you an audio/visual representation of the events in your day. In addition, events that require more support can be linked to an activity schedule or video clip. $14.99 iPad Organization
Voice4U Picture-based, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) application that helps you express your feelings, thoughts, actions, and needs. $59.99 iOSAndroid Communication, Speech
Voice Access Voice Access is an accessibility service that lets you control your device with spoken commands. It utilizes the power of Google’s Voice Search to help you control your device. It includes navigation functions, you can use your voice as a back button, home button, etc to move aorund. Additional commands includes scroll down, click next, and you can even type with it. Voice Access can be useful for people who have difficulty using a touchscreen due to paralysis, tremor, temporary injury, or other reasons. Assistance is using the app is available here. Free iOSAndroid Accessibility
Week Calendar Week Calendar is a user friendly and the all-round calendar app. Visualize your busy schedule using colors and emojis. Have a clear and detailed overview based on day, week, month or year level. Move your appointments by simply dragging, copying and pasting. It works with all your calendars including shared calendars. iCloud, Google Calendar, Yahoo! Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Exchange ActiveSync, iCal, CalDAV, ICS subscription calendars are all supported. “Color coding permits me to visually see when I need to take a break. Also, it automatically adds in travel time; a failure on prior calendars. Also, I learned that I can update the WeekCal via Google or iCalendar if am using a PC or web at time of making appointment.” Free* iOS Organization
WheelMap This free app helps wheelchair users and their caregivers search and find wheelchair accessible places worldwide. Based on aggregated data from users with disabilities all over the globe, Wheelmap helps people with disabilities plan out trips and destinations based on their ability to access a building. For example, when choosing a restaurant to eat out, a user with a wheelchair might use Wheelmap to check for wheelchair accessibility prior to going. Free iOSAndroid Accessibility
Where Am I? View and share your location, including your city, zip code, telephone area code, and approximate street address as well as the times of sunrise and sunset and GPS latitude and longitude. Free Android Location
Word Warp Game with which you can create as many words as possible from a selection of letters. If you’re stuck, just press the “warp” button and it will help you out. Free iOS Brain Training

Pricing, availability, and features accurate as of the last update February 20th, 2018. 


Share with us

Technology is always changing. New iterations of mobile devices and apps are constantly being released. Please share with us what apps have and haven’t worked for you in the comment section below.

 

via Life-Changing Apps for People with Brain Injury | BrainLine

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[Abstract] Cognitive and Motor Recovery and Predictors of Long-Term Outcome in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury

Abstract

Objective

To explore the patterns of cognitive and motor recovery at four time points from admission to nine months post-discharge from IR and to investigate the association of therapeutic factors and pre- and post-discharge conditions with long-term outcomes.

Design

Secondary analysis of traumatic brain injury-practice based evidence (TBI-PBE) dataset.

Settings

Inpatient rehabilitation (IR) in Ontario, Canada.

Participants

A total of 85 patients with TBI consecutively admitted for IR between 2008 and 2011 and had data available from admission to nine months follow-up.

Interventions

Not applicable.

Main outcome measure

Functional Independence Measure-Rasch cognitive and motor scores at admission, discharge, three, and nine months post-discharge.

Results

Cognitive and motor recovery showed similar patterns of improvement with recovery up to three months but no significant change from three to nine months. Having fewer post-discharge health conditions was associated with better long-term cognitive scores (95% CI -13.06, -1.2) and added 9.9 % to the explanatory power of the model. More therapy time in complex occupational therapy activities (95% CI .02, .09) and fewer post-discharge health conditions (95% CI -19.5, -3.8) were significant predictors of better long-term motor function and added 14.3% and 7.2% to the explanatory power of the model, respectively.

Conclusion

Results of this study inform health care providers about the influence of the timing of IR on cognitive and motor recovery. In addition, it underlines the importance of making patients and families aware of residual health conditions following discharge from IR.

via Cognitive and Motor Recovery and Predictors of Long-Term Outcome in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury – Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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[BLOG POST] Brain Injury, Social Skills, and the Holidays – BrainLine

Ask the Expert: Social Skills and the HolidaysQuestion:

My husband fell off a ladder almost a year ago now and sustained a brain injury. I’ve noticed that his communication and social skills tend to get worse at parties, especially during the holiday season. Why is this? And what can I do to help

Answer:

The holidays can be fraught with pitfalls for someone with a brain injury. The fact that your husband’s communication and social skills worsen at parties is not unusual. For starters, routines are disrupted and there can be an increased number of social functions with less time to rest in between.

TBI related fatigue could cause a decline in social skills. Things can get even more challenging if alcohol is added to the mix. And for individuals prone to seizure activity, holiday lighting — particularly flashing lights — could increase the risk of a seizure.

A social setting, like a party with many people engaged in conversation, eating, and drinking, can easily become over-stimulating and even upsetting to a person with TBI. To help your husband deal with all these issues, you might try limiting the number of engagements during the holidays. And when in a social setting, help support your husband’s conversations by introducing easy topics, and repeating or rephrasing questions asked by others.

You know your husband better than anyone else, and when you hear him having difficulty using the right words, or even slurring his speech, it’s time to go home. All the activity has probably tired him out. For someone with TBI, it can be exhausting trying to converse in crowds, with strangers, and in over-stimulating settings.

 

via Brain Injury, Social Skills, and the Holidays | BrainLine

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[Magazine] Major Issues in Post-acute TBI Rehabilitation by Brain Injury Professional – issuu

via Major Issues in Post-acute TBI Rehabilitation by Brain Injury Professional – issuu

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[Abstract] Evidence for Training-Dependent Structural Neuroplasticity in Brain-Injured Patients: A Critical Review

Acquired brain injury (ABI) is associated with a range of cognitive and motor deficits, and poses a significant personal, societal, and economic burden. Rehabilitation programs are available that target motor skills or cognitive functioning. In this review, we summarize the existing evidence that training may enhance structural neuroplasticity in patients with ABI, as assessed using structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)–based techniques that probe microstructure or morphology. Twenty-five research articles met key inclusion criteria. Most trials measured relevant outcomes and had treatment benefits that would justify the risk of potential harm. The rehabilitation program included a variety of task-oriented movement exercises (such as facilitation therapy, postural control training), neurorehabilitation techniques (such as constraint-induced movement therapy) or computer-assisted training programs (eg, Cogmed program). The reviewed studies describe regional alterations in white matter architecture and/or gray matter volume with training. Only weak-to-moderate correlations were observed between improved behavioral function and structural changes. While structural MRI is a powerful tool for detection of longitudinal structural changes, specific measures about the underlying biological mechanisms are lacking. Continued work in this field may potentially see structural MRI metrics used as biomarkers to help guide treatment at the individual patient level.

via Evidence for Training-Dependent Structural Neuroplasticity in Brain-Injured Patients: A Critical Review – Karen Caeyenberghs, Adam Clemente, Phoebe Imms, Gary Egan, Darren R. Hocking, Alexander Leemans, Claudia Metzler-Baddeley, Derek K. Jones, Peter H. Wilson, 2018

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[WEB SITE] Investigating how epilepsy is triggered after a brain injury: Final Report

Posted Nov 1 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

This is the final report for a 2015 project grant for £147,334 awarded to Professor Andy Trevelyan, Dr Ryley Parrish, Dr Claudia Racca, and Dr Simon Cockell at Newcastle University. 

In some cases of brain injury such as stroke, or brain trauma, people will go on to develop epilepsy. We know a little about how this happens – it can involve the death of brain cells and other rewiring of the circuits in the brain, as well as changes in which proteins are made by the brain cells, which in turn affects their function. However, we don’t understand how or why these changes happen, and more particularly how they might be prevented to stop epilepsy developing.

This project aimed to explore how a brain injury can lead to changes in how brain cells function. The research team discovered a notable feature of the rewiring, which is that one particular type of brain cell, the pyramidal cell, dictates what changes are made to the network.

High levels of pyramidal activity lead to a reduction in levels of a specific protein that is important for brain cell inhibition, whereas low levels of pyramidal activity cause the opposite change – an increase in these inhibitory proteins.

Professor Trevelyan and colleagues believe this may provide a means to understand the complexity of the brain changes that are associated with the development of epilepsy, and perhaps even a means to prevent it from happening.

Professor Trevelyan said: “This project has enabled us to further extend our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms by which seizures develop, and how the brain networks respond to these extreme periods of activity. We have uncovered important regulatory pathways which we hope will open up new avenues for treating the condition. On a personal level, the funding was also critical in allowing me to keep a key member of my research team, Dr Ryley Parrish. It is incredibly helpful for the research if we can maintain a research team together, because research is a slow process, and requires committed people who have been trained over many years. Only then can we start to make real inroads into understanding this difficult and complex condition.”

 

via Investigating how epilepsy is triggered after a brain injury: Final Report | Epilepsy Research UK

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