Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
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Because every brain is different, every brain injury is different, and every brain injury recovery is different, most individuals and families dealing with brain injuries have many more questions than answers. 

Join Bryan Pugh, Executive Director of the Brain Injury Association of Maryland, as he searches for answers by interviewing individuals with brain injuries, family members, healthcare providers, policy makers and other members of the brain injury community. Each episode contains powerful information to help you learn more about brain injury, discover new treatments and solutions, and meet inspirational people making meaningful impacts on their community by changing the world.

You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Please join us.
Still Some Tables Left for Blue Crabs for Brain Injury

welcomes back one of its most popular annual events,

at the

Join us for a great afternoon/evening of food, fellowship, and fund-raising at Baltimore's Best Taphouse. All proceeds go to support the Maryland Brain Injury Connection Center Helpline (1.800.221.6443) which provides information, assistance, and support to Maryland families dealing with the devastating effects of brain injury. 

For more Information or to book a table or purchase a ticket.

#5Thoughts Friday

Photo by FLY:D on Unsplash
Imperial researchers have created a traumatic brain injury (TBI) computer model that maps blood vessels in a rat brain in the highest resolution yet.

They say the models could help improve our understanding of how blood vessels are affected by TBI, as well as its effects on the protective layer encasing them known as the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which protects the brain from harmful circulating molecules and pathogens.

If the methods translate well onto human brains, they could help improve our understanding of how TBIs develop and how best to treat and protect against them. The simulations could even help to replace animal models of TBI, potentially reducing the use of animals in brain research.

TBIs are the commonest cause of chronic disability in under 40-year-olds and result from severe blows or jolts to the head—commonly during road traffic incidents, falls, and assaults. Symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability and memory impairment.

Beginning at the site of impact, mechanical forces travel in waves through the brain, twisting, stretching, and shearing brain structures as the injury cascades. These forces are known to affect blood vessels, but the finer details of the relationship between mechanical forces and vascular injury are yet to be pinned down.

Now, researchers at Imperial College London have created a computer model of TBI which maps the network of vessels in the brain—called the vasculature—in the highest resolution yet, incorporating rat brain vessels just 10 microns in diameter.

CLICK HERE for more on this mapping story.
A procedure widely used to treat birth-related brain damage in new-born babies in low and middle income (LMICs) countries may increase the risk of death, a new study conducted largely in India reports here on Tuesday.

The research led by Imperial College London, together with several hospitals in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and published in the journal The Lancet Global Health' used a technique called therapeutic hypothermia with 408 babies with suspected birth-related brain damage. This technique cools a baby's body temperature by four degrees, by placing them on a type of cooling mat.

These data, from the HELIX trial, suggest therapeutic hypothermia, alongside high quality intensive care treatment, does not reduce the risk of brain injury or death in LMICs, said Professor Sudhin Thayyil, lead author of the trial from Imperial College London's Department of Brain Sciences. The findings also suggest the treatment may increase the risk of death, compared to babies who did not receive the treatment. Hence, hypothermia treatment should no longer be used as a treatment for neonatal encephalopathy in low and middle income nations, he said.

Prof Thayyil called for the international guidelines from ILCOR, the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation, on cooling therapy in LMIC to be immediately amended based on the findings.

He adds: COVID-19 has exposed how some diseases affect disadvantaged populations differently. It is possible that ethnicity, socioeconomic status, infection and nutritional status, for example, could influence birth-related brain injury, even in high income countries, and thus not all will respond to the same treatment.

CLICK HERE for more on this research.

MSKTC Recruiting Family Members of People with TBI for
Consumer Factsheet Testing

The NIDILRR-funded Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) is recruiting family members who are caregivers of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI), including veterans with TBI, to provide feedback on a new factsheet, "Stress Management Strategies for Caregivers." Interviews will last approximately 60 minutes.

Individuals must be at least 18 years old to participate. Participants will receive $25 for their time.

To register, call (202) 403-5600 or email
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Researchers have made significant advancements in correlating aberrations in specific brain circuits with neuropsychiatric conditions like depression. However, it remains difficult to prove that damage to these circuits causes the symptoms themselves and that targeting them with therapeutics could help patients. By integrating brain lesion datasets with data on how two treatments—deep brain stimulation (DBS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)—influence neuropsychiatric disorders, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and collaborators developed a new brain mapping approach that may help clarify the cause of a variety of neuropsychiatric conditions and identify promising stimulation sites to target therapeutically. Findings are published in Nature Human Behavior.

"This is a new technique that uses existing data on patients with brain damage to develop new treatment targets for real-world patients with similar symptoms," said the paper's corresponding author, Shan Siddiqi, MD, of the Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics at the Brigham. "In principle, this should open the floodgates for researchers to study any stroke- or brain-injury-associated symptom to find a new treatment target for people who developed the same symptom without brain damage."

The researchers developed their approach using data on depression and Parkinson's disease, both of which are already associated with well-defined brain lesions and are commonly treated with DBS and TMS. They combined the location and connectivity of 461 brain lesions, 101 DBS sites, and 151 TMS sites, and compared patients who developed depression, patients who had improvement in depression, and patients who had no change in mood. Using this approach, they identified a brain circuit that is an effective therapeutic target for both invasive and noninvasive brain stimulation treatments. The study also indicates that brain stimulation outcomes vary not according to the technique used—DBS versus TMS—but according to the circuit that is targeted.
CLICK HERE find out more about this possible good news.

Kessler Foundation Solicits Participants for a Telehealth Study

Are you a spouse or partner of a person with a traumatic brain injury (TBI)? Researchers at Kessler Foundation are conducting a telehealth study comparing the effectiveness of two different types of group wellness interventions for partner caregivers of individuals with TBI. This study is open to men and women at least 18 years of age who meet the following criteria:
  • Are in an intimate relationship with a person with TBI for at least one year prior to their injury.
  • Your partner was discharged from inpatient rehabilitation at least 3 months ago.
  • You provide care to your partner on a daily basis.
  • You have access to the internet in a private location.
The study will take 20 weeks to complete. All participation will take place through a secure online website and live video conferencing - no in-person visits are required! Participation will include:
  • Completing questionnaires during week one (1-2 hours)
  • Attending one 75-minute online wellness class per week for a total of six weeks.
  • Completing follow-up questionnaires during week 8 (1-2 hours)
  • Completing follow-up questionnaires during week 20 (1-2 hours).
There will be no contact required between weeks 8-20. Participants will be compensated $300 for completion of the study. If interested in participating, please contact Samantha Schmidt at sschmidt@kesslerfoundation or at 973-323-3686.
2) What We are Reading This Week
Shortly after 9:00 p.m. on April 19, 1989, a young woman jogs alone near 102nd Street in New York City's Central Park. She is attacked, raped, savagely beaten, and left for dead. Hours later she arrives at the emergency room—comatose—she has lost so much blood that her doctors believe it’s a miracle she's still alive. Meet Trisha Meili, the Central Park Jogger.

I Am the Central Park Jogger recounts the mesmerizing, inspiring, often wrenching story of human strength and transcendent recovery. Called “Hero of the Month” by Glamour magazine, Meili tells us who she was before the attack—a young Wall Street professional with a promising future—and who she has become: a woman who learned how to read, write, walk, talk, and love again...and turn horrifying violence and certain death into extraordinary healing and victorious life. With “moments of unexpected grace and insights into life’s challenges….Meili’s story—the story the public never knew—is unforgettable”

CLICK HERE to see more.


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  • Name,
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One lucky email will be chosen and
the winner will be mailed this week's book!

Watch for more Book Giveaways in upcoming #5Thoughts Fridays this summer
thanks for being a #5Thoughts Fanatic!

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1) Quote We are Contemplating
  •  “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

Looking for Something fun to do in Maryland this weekend?

Click the picture below and discover a world of possibilities!
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This blog is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement of treatments, individuals, or programs which appear herein. Any external links on the website are provided for the visitor’s convenience; once you click on any of these links you are leaving BIAMD's #5ThoughtsFriday blog post. BIAMD has no control over and is not responsible for the nature, content, and availability of those sites. 

 Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.