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Dr. Harch, a hero in the making for brain injury patients March 27, 2010

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When it comes to brain injuries doctors offer little hope to patients. There is one treatment however that works improving the lives of those who deal with daily struggles.

Sadly when it comes to obtaining this treatment governments do not currently cover the costs.

New research on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treatment(HBOT) for TBI will be presented next week at the 8th World Congress on Brain Injury in Washington DC.
After the initial positive findings of two Airmen who were treated with HBOT after being disabled during a roadside burning were complete Dr. Harch returned to continue his study.
Fifteen symptomatic U.S. military veterans who had been diagnosed by either military or civilian neuropsychologists and neurologists for TBI from blast-induced PCS(2) or PCS/PTSD(13) took part in the second study.
Subjects completed cognitive testing, brain imaging (identical to the imaging in the online case above in Cases Journal) , symptom and quality of life questionnaires, and affective measures pre and immediately post a course of forty HBOT sessions. The sessions took place twice a day, five days a week for four weeks.
After the thirty day course of HBOT treatment the subjects all showed significant symptomatic, cognitive, and affective improvements.
Dr. Paul G. Harch, author of The Oxygen Revolution: Changing Medicine & Saving Lives, has been working with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) at the University of Louisiana as an Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Program Director, Hyperbaric Medicine Department.
“I turned over the fellowship directorship in 3/09 to one of my junior faculty. I had been the director for 18 years”
He believes that HBOT treatments could be used to help millions of Americans who suffer from brain injury or disease.

here

When helmets don’t help Hockey concussions require new attitude, not new headgear, expert says March 27, 2010

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Collisions with the boards or with other players can cause skull or facial fractures that a helmet and faceguard can help prevent. But researchers say a hockey helmet has not yet been made that will help prevent concussions caused by the brain sloshing around inside the skull.

Dr. PAT Bishop just may be a hockey player’s best friend.

His research to improve protective equipment, especially helmets and faceguards, has saved countless players from serious injury.

or example, when the first face shields and cages were introduced to hockey, Bishop’s research revealed most sat too close to the face and not properly on the chin. He warned that the impact of a puck could cave in the shield or even break it.

The result was a new standard that brought the shield or cage safely away from the face.

Today, bigger, stronger, faster hockey players at almost every level, combined with their new-age equipment, have created the sport’s newest concern, a spate of concussions never seen before.

It’s no trifling matter. Concussions are brain injuries, not to be slept off or played through. Though there is rarely structural damage that shows up on an MRI or a CAT scan, they cause one or more symptoms like disorientation, dizziness or nausea.

Helmets, worn properly, protect a player from contusions, skull fractures and other bruising. But as you saw earlier this season when Philadelphia’s Mike Richards smashed his shoulder into the head of Florida’s David Booth, a helmet was no protection from a concussion that caused Booth to miss 45 games.

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Brain experts develop game plan for football concussions March 27, 2010

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If international expert Robert Cantu had his druthers, football teams would practice without helmets.

That would be the best way to teach players to avoid head-to-head collisions, utilize their shoulders and bodies more in contact, protect against the concussions and later-life brain maladies the brutal game creates at rates such scientists find alarming.

The same notion would apply for players from preps to pros, too.

“There may be one day a week you put them on,” Dr. Cantu said Friday in the first of a two-day, Duquesne University seminar entitled “Is Football Bad for the Brain?”

Dr. Cantu is a noted neurosurgeon and co-founder of the Boston-area Sports Legacy Institute that has helped to lead the NFL’s recent reform movement through its study of long-term brain damage in middle-aged or older athletes.

“Keep them off, so you don’t use your head as a battering ram,” said Dr. Cantu.

This idea was endorsed by Julian Bailes, a former player and team physician who presides over West Virginia University’s department of neurosurgery along with its Brain Injury Research Institute. He, in fact, counseled the WVU football coaches to decrease contact in practice to one day each week, “and I’d like to reduce that.”

He said he also has spoken to NCAA officials and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about efforts limiting, if not eliminating, helmets as a device for hitting and injuring.

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Foundation gives $10M to Duke for stem cell research March 27, 2010

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Durham, N.C. — The Robertson Foundation has given $10.2 million to Duke University to create a state-of-the-art Translational Cell Therapy Center, officials said Thursday.

Dr. Victor Dzau, Duke’s chancellor for health affairs and chief executive of the Duke University Health System, said the center would advance the university’s pioneering cell therapy research and treatment programs for children and adults with cancer, cerebral palsy, stroke and brain injuries suffered at birth. Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg and her research team have spent decades investigating the therapeutic use of umbilical cord blood stem cells, he said.

“The emerging field of regenerative medicine has great promise, and this generous gift will accelerate the pace of Dr. Kurtzberg’s and other Duke scientists’ world-renowned, translational work in cell therapies,” Dzau said in a statement. “The creation of the TCTC will support the work of many Duke researchers exploring various applications of cell-based therapies.”

Kurtzberg is director of Duke’s Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and director of the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, which she established in 1996 with support from the National Institutes of Health and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The cord blood bank is one of the largest such facilities in the world, currently storing about 27,000 units.

Umbilical cord blood stem cells, normally discarded after birth, have the ability to grow and develop into various types of cells throughout the body. They can be harvested after birth and stored for future transplant in patients with many types of blood disorders, and increasingly, other diseases as well.

“Dr. Kurtzberg’s research reflects the kind of transformational science that has the potential to change the lives of thousands of people throughout the country and around the world,” Julian Robertson, of the Robertson Foundation, said in a statement.

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Pentagon sets brain trauma protocols March 27, 2010

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WASHINGTON, March 16 (UPI) — Guidelines for treating mild traumatic brain injury among service personnel in combat areas are being rolled out, the U.S. Defense Department said Tuesday.

“The tenet behind this is we strongly believe that early detection and early treatment decrease the complaints of post-traumatic brain injury after sustaining an injury,” Kathy Helmick, director of traumatic brain injury clinical standards of care at the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, said in a Pentagon release.

The new protocol will go into effect soon, Helmick said. Among other things, the protocol will make head injury evaluations mandatory for military personnel who are near explosions or blasts, rather than troops deciding for themselves whether to report any symptoms.

here

Life 4 Years After Traumatic Brain Injury – An Exclusive Talk with Journalist Lee Woodruff About How Husband ABC News Anchor Bob Woodruff Is Thriving Today March 27, 2010

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This is Robin Jay with http://www.BehavioralHealthCentral.com. Joining me today is Lee Woodruff, a Good Morning America contributing journalist, and also the wife of Bob Woodruff, the ABC World News Tonight co-anchor who was injured in Iraq in 2006 in a devastating roadside bombing that left him in a coma for five weeks. Lee told BHC that Bob had been in Iraq for his eighth assignment and was traveling down what was supposed to be a very safe road to do a story about where the troops were in terms of training and handing over to the Iraqi forces. He was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device that had been buried in the road just minutes before the convoy went down. The shrapnel hit Bob in the head and in the back and his helmet was blown off. He received a traumatic brain injury and was peppered with shrapnel in the whole left side of his face and upper body. Lee recalls he was incredibly close to death, not expected to live through the first night. But thanks to his skilled surgeons, physicians and loving support of his wife and four children, Bob has made an incredible recovery.

Today on http://www.BehavioralHealthCentral.com, we’re speaking with Lee about how Bob and her family are doing today, four years after the devastating injury, about the Bob Woodruff Foundation, its missions and goals and – and a special fund-raising promotion at the luxurious Omphoy Ocean Resort in Palm Beach, Florida. We’ll also discuss some interesting things that have been going on with the Woodruff family and Lee’s book, Perfectly Imperfect, that’s coming out in paperback in April. (And, ladies in our BHC audience, don’t miss a special personal note from Lee at the end of this article about an opportunity to participate her new video project.) Lee, welcome back to BHC and thanks so much for joining us today.

Click here to read interview.

Free help for people with traumatic brain injuries March 27, 2010

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Two organizations in Colorado provide assistance for adults and children who have a traumatic brain injury.

Colorado Connections is a statewide program of Denver Options that provides care coordination to children and adults with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Operation TBI Freedom provides intensive care coordination for returning military troops with brain injury and their families.

In both programs, care coordinators help survivors reach their best possible health and well-being. The Denver Options programs connect people to traditional and alternative therapies, find resources for home and vehicle modifications and identify long-term resource networks.

here

Budget Impact of Treating Brain Injured Homeless Veterans With Hyperbaric Oxygen March 27, 2010

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March 3, 2010 (MMD Newswire) — It is now possible to successfully treat brain injured veterans and restore them as productive citizens at a fraction of the cost of the social services they would otherwise require.

1) There are currently 154,000 homeless veterans across the nation. California can be expected to have at least 10% of that number.

2) It is well established that 70-82% of all homeless persons are suffering from a brain injury. Among homeless combat veterans exposed to blasts, that number is nearly 100%.

3) There is an FDA-approved medical treatment that is the only non-hormonal treatment known to repair and regenerate human tissue. The drug is oxygen. When delivered at 7 to 12 times the normal atmospheric concentration in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, it becomes an effective means of healing damaged brain tissue that will otherwise not heal. Of the 25+ brain-injured veterans treated in this manner to date, 80% have been able to return to active duty, work or school. All have been able to return to the basic activities of independent daily living, thus greatly reducing the cost of the maintenance and assistance they required pre-treatment.

4) Study participants have also experienced, on average, a 15 point IQ jump, a 37% reduction in post-concussion syndrome symptoms, and a 28% reduction in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

5) The use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for the treatment of brain injury is very safe and is NOT new. The navies of the world have been using it to treat neurologic decompression sickness since the 1930s. What is new is the understanding that HBOT can also be used to successfully treat other forms of brain injury.

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Time is now to eliminate head shots in hockey March 27, 2010

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Toronto, Canada (Sports Network) – A concussion is serious, and the NHL may finally be waking up to the fact. Anyone who has had a serious knock will tell you that the effects can be scary. While the league has spent years dancing around the subject of hits to the head, it is an issue that has become more pressing than ever.

It makes you wonder if the suits in the front office have been suffering from the same confusion and blurry vision as the players who seem to be dropping like flies around the league.

Hockey’s alleged top brains will be concluding a three-day summit Wednesday, where the topic of shoulder hits to the head is being discussed. As it stands, the shoulder blow is still a legal part of the game, meaning that no penalty can be assessed for the goon-like offense.

“The managers in their heart of hearts feel something’s wrong here, but it’s not against the rules. That’s what we’re trying to attack,” said Colin Campbell, the NHL’s principle disciplinarian.

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Clinical Trial Will Determine Effectiveness of Progesterone as Brain Injury Treatment March 27, 2010

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A massive clinical trial began this month to determine the effectiveness of the female sex hormone progesterone as a treatment for brain injury patients. An earlier study of 100 patients revealed that receiving progesterone shortly after incurring a brain injury reduced the death rate by half and led to an improvement in patients’ ability to recover compared to a control group who received a placebo, according to a Guardian article.

The clinical trial will include 1,140 randomly assigned brain injury patients who arrive in emergency rooms at hospitals in 15 states within 11 hours of their injuries. “The trial is the final step before application for a license to use the hormone as a standard treatment for brain injury. Progesterone is cheap and already approved for other medical uses,” the article reported. Patients will receive either a three-day course of progesterone treatments or a placebo.

<a href="http://www.brainandspinalcord.org/blog/2010/03/09/clinical-trial-will-determine-effectiveness-of-progesterone-as-brain-injury-treatment/&quot;

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