Articles Posted in Brain Injuries

Image result for bicycle helmetWearing a bicycle helmet substantially reduces your risk of injury in an accident, unless the helmet is designed deficiently and fails to protect your head upon impact. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated bicycle helmets, and found that all helmets do not offer the same level of injury protection. Some helmets seem to do a much better job of protecting the head, compared to others.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety collaborated with the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab to create a bicycle helmet rating system that the two organizations claim is the first such rating system for helmets. The rating system assigned stars to each helmet based on its effectiveness against injuries.

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brain injury, concussion, traumatic brain injuryEven a mild concussion can have effects that are serious enough to exacerbate a person’s risk of suffering Parkinson’s disease.

Those findings come from a study conducted on 300,000 veterans. Approximately 150,000 of these veterans had suffered a mild, moderate or severe traumatic brain injury. The persons were monitored and tracked over a period of twelve years. At the end of the study period, the researchers found that suffering even a mild traumatic brain injury increased the risk of suffering Parkinson’s disease by as much as a staggering 56%. The risk was also high in the case of moderate and severe brain injury.

The authors of the study say that the results point to the need for increased monitoring and tracking of patients who suffer from traumatic brain injury, preferably for years after the injury.

Image result for semi trailer dangerA recent truck rollover accident involving a tanker carrying several tons of liquid chocolate led to viral internet memes that featured highways flowing with molten chocolate and smart captions. However, these memes don’t do justice to the underlying seriousness of such accidents.

There is no way to know exactly how many such food truck accidents happen every year, because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration do not officially track these numbers. However, food truck accidents make for great humorous memes. When a food truck rollover accident occurs, the resulting spillage makes for dramatic visuals. In the recent past, there have been accidents involving food trucks carrying everything from frozen McDonald’s French fries and oranges, to biscuits and frozen fries. When an accident like this occurs and results in all the contents of the truck being spilled over the highway, the Internet lights up with these viral memes.

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Cold Weather Rider

You’re still much more likely to be injured while riding a motorcycle than driving a car, but those risks seem to have dropped somewhat. In 2017, there was a significant decline in the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents in the United States. However, that progress doesn’t seem to have percolated down to Indiana. Here, there was actually a significant increase in the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents in 2017, compared to 2018.

According to data from the Governors Highway Safety Association, preliminary statistics seem to indicate a drop of 6% in the number of motorcycle fatalities across the country in 2017, compared to 2016. Overall, there were 4,990 motorcycle accident deaths in the United States in 2017, a decline of 296 motorcyclist fatalities from 2016. It is a significant decline, and seems to indicate some progress in making the streets safer for motorcyclists to ride on. Even so, your risks as a motorcyclist are much higher than the risks of a motorist. Motorcyclists have a disproportionate risk of being killed or seriously injured in an accident. Fatalities for motorcyclists are as much as 20 times higher than for people riding in or driving passenger vehicles.

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Image result for highball glassIn spite of being aware of the risks of drunk driving, many teens choose to ride in cars being operated by intoxicated or impaired motorists anyway.

Those facts come from a recent study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. The researchers focused on accidents involving both alcohol- intoxicated and drug-impaired motorists. They found that teenagers are much more likely to ride in a car operated by a driver impaired by marijuana, than a driver intoxicated by alcohol.

The study was based on findings from between 2013 and 2014, and focused on young students who had just graduated from high school. The researchers found that at least one in three of the young teens reported that they had traveled in a car with an impaired motorist, on at least one occasion in the previous 12 months. Out of these, 23% of the young students surveyed said that they had traveled with a driver impaired by marijuana, while 20% had traveled in a car operated by a driver under the influence of alcohol.  According to the findings, teenagers need to be made more aware of the dangers of riding in a car with an impaired driver, especially one under the influence of drugs like marijuana.

Image result for motorcycle helmetIt’s a well-established fact that wearing a motorcycle helmet significantly raises the risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury in an accident. However, new research now indicates that helmets are also very beneficial in helping protect motorcyclists against a possibly dangerous cervical spine injury.

New research was conducted by conducted by a team of neurological surgeons at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics in Madison, and published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. According to the new data, the old theory that motorcycle helmets do nothing to protect against spine injury and other injuries in an accident, may not be true after all.

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playground-swings-300x199A new study finds that children who suffer from traumatic brain injury may suffer consequences that continue for a longer period of time than earlier believed.

A child’s delicate brain is much more likely to sustain impact during a head injury, and that impact could cause long-term consequences. According to a new study conducted by researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, some of those effects could actually last for years after the injury.

The results of the study were presented recently at a conference of the Association of Academic Physiatrists. The researchers found that children who had suffered a mild to moderate brain injury were twice as likely to suffer from attention and concentration problems for as long as seven years after the injury. Children, who had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, had a risk of developing secondary attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that was five times higher than children without a history of TBI.

00.WheelchairA new spinal injury treatment program focused on brain training has helped eight people who had serious spinal cord injuries regain some level of sensation and movement in their bodies.

According to researchers, the step-by-step brain training seemed to help trigger a connection between brain impulses and the body. The eight patients who had suffered paralysis after a spinal cord injury underwent training using virtual reality simulators and exoskeletons. After a period of time, the researchers found that the training helped trigger impulses in many of the undamaged nerves that had not been destroyed in the accidents and falls that caused these spinal cord injuries.

After these weeks of training, the researchers found that these patients were not able to move any of their limbs, and had no tactile sensation in the region below the level of the site of the injury. Some of the patients were also able to recover bladder control.  These functions had been lost after their injury.

accupuncture1063One of the long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury is recurrent headaches. A new study finds that acupuncture could provide relief to people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury and are struggling with these headaches.

The study was published recently in the journal Medical Acupuncture, and found that auricular acupuncture was more beneficial in helping reduce the impact of headaches, compared to traditional Chinese acupuncture. The study was performed on members of the US military, who had suffered mild to moderate traumatic brain injury, and continued to suffer headaches as a result of their injuries. Traumatic brain injury is an epidemic in the US military, and approximately 80 percent of service members who have suffered a brain injury complain of recurrent headaches.

The researchers monitored these service members over the six-week study period, and evaluated the quality of life of those who were given normal care, with those who were given either auricular acupuncture or traditional acupuncture sessions. They found that the service members, who had been provided auricular acupuncture treatments, were better able to deal with their headache symptoms.

Several rough sports, like football, have a bad reputation when it comes to brain injury. However, the most brain injury-prone sport, may be something else altogether. According to a recent study by the journal Neurological Focus, the sport that causes the highest number of brain injuries every year is not even a contact sport.

horse ridingSurprisingly, the sport of greatest concern is horse riding. According to the study which focused on brain injuries documented in a database, the sport that caused the highest number of brain injuries was horseback riding, contributing to approximately 45% of brain injuries involving adults. Horse riding, in fact was the single leading cause of brain injury, with the second leading cause of brain injury involving contact sports like football and soccer. However, these two sports accounted for just about 20% of all brain injuries that occurred while playing sports.

That’s not the only study that points to the dangers of riding a horse. Another study that focused on children and adults found that horse riding was the third leading cause of brain injuries. In fact, horseback riding is actually much more closely linked to injuries that result in hospital admissions, than other types of high-risk activities, including motorcycling.