Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
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#5Thoughts Friday
Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
As the world learns more about COVID-19, medical providers are connecting the dots between neurological complications and the virus. From strokes, to seizures, to delirium – neurologist Pravin George, MD, explains how COVID-19 can affect your brain and nervous system. He also discusses prevention, treatment and who is most at risk.

CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast or read the transcripted interview with this frontline COVID-19 physician.
Group Check-In Chat
from Noon to 1pm.

Please CLICK HERE to sign up using our online registration.

Once we receive your registration, we will send you the link.

We hope to "see" you there!
We are witnessing mandated social isolation and social distancing on an epic scale. As part of BIAMD's interest in serving Maryland's Brain Injury Community, we are starting what we call "Check-In Chats".

We would like to "check in" with anyone looking to share their experiences and challenges with either an individual or in a social group setting.

Even though we can't meet in person, there are many ways open to us, and, if you are interested, we would like to hear from you about your needs and how we can help you feel more connected.

The Maryland Department of Health Violence and Injury Prevention Program (MD VIPP) and the Partnership for a Safer Maryland (PSM) are hosting the 2020 MD Violence and Injury Prevention (MD VIP) Virtual Forum for individuals that are interested in and/or working on violence and injury prevention projects and programs. This includes intentional and unintentional injury topics such as intimate partner/sexual violence, suicide prevention, and alcohol/substance use disorder.
CLICK HERE to Register for this FREE Virtual Forum on
Sept. 22nd.
Photo from teh Easter Family
Alison Epperson was out at a bar with some friends late one evening in December 2015 when her worst nightmare finally came true.
Her boyfriend Zac Easter, then 24, had planned on joining her but decided to stay home instead, saying he wasn’t feeling well.
For the past year, the one-time high school football standout had been sliding deeper and deeper into depression, culminating in a suicide attempt weeks earlier.

Epperson, then 22, was already worried, but it was around midnight that she panicked when she was unable to reach him on the phone after becoming alarmed by a text he sent her.
“I love you and will always be over your shoulder looking after you no matter what,” Zac wrote. “Always remember me.”

Fearing the worst, Epperson called Zac’s older brother, who roused their sleeping parents. “We went sprinting upstairs to his room, but he wasn’t there,” says Zac’s mom, Brenda Easter — who found a note her son had left on his bed — in an interview that appears in this week’s issue of PEOPLE.

CLICK HERE to find out more on Zac's story.

ONLINE Brain Injury Support Groups

CLICK HERE to find a list of Brain Injury Support Groups Currently Meeting ONLINE.
One of the grand quests in neuroscience is to build a precise map of the brain, charting all its neurons and the connections between them. Such a wiring diagram, called a connectome, promises to help shed light on how a collection of cells can together give rise to thoughts, memories, behaviors and myriad other functions.

Now, researchers at Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) have demonstrated that a new x-ray microscopy technique could help accelerate efforts to map neural circuits and ultimately the brain itself.
Reporting in Nature Neuroscience on Sept. 14, the team describes how x-ray holographic nano-tomography (XNH) can be used to image relatively large volumes of mouse brain and fruit fly nervous tissue at high resolutions.

Combined with artificial intelligence-driven image analysis, they reconstructed dense neural circuits in 3D, comprehensively cataloging neurons and even tracing individual neurons from muscles to the central nervous system in fruit flies.

“We think this is going to open new avenues for understanding the brain, both in how it’s organized and the circuitry that underlies its function,” said co-corresponding author Wei-Chung Allen Lee, HMS assistant professor of neurology at Boston Children’s. “This type of knowledge can give us foundational insights into neurological disorders, diseases that affect the structure of the brain and much more.”

For biological questions like neural circuit discovery, x-ray microscopy holds several advantages over current approaches based on electron microscopy (EM), according to the authors.
“We think XNH can bring a lot of value to neuroscience, because we can now access much larger volumes in shorter times,” said co-corresponding author Alexandra Pacureanu, a scientist at the ESRF. “This is the beginning of a new approach for efforts to map neural circuits.”

CLICK HERE for more on this amazing new brain mapping technique. .
CLICK HERE for more information about the the services, resources, and connections you can make with through the Maryland Coalition of Families.
Feature Event ONLINE : Sept. 22 and 23, 2020

Workgroup Sessions : Sept. 24, 25, 28, & 29, 2020

Podcasts Available : Beginning Sept. 22, 2020

Post-Intensive Workshop : Sept. 29, 2020

CLICK HERE for the Agenda (Tentative.)

CLICK HERE to Register
2) What We are Reading This Week
In December 2015, Zac Easter, a twenty-four-year-old from small-town Iowa, decided to take his own life rather than continue his losing battle against the traumatic brain injuries he had sustained as a no-holds-barred high school football player.

For this deeply reported and powerfully moving true story, award-winning writer Reid Forgrave was given access to Zac’s own diaries and was able to speak with Zac’s family, friends, and coaches. He explores Zac’s tight-knit, football-obsessed Midwestern community; he interviews leading brain scientists, psychologists, and sports historians; and he takes a deep dive into the triumphs and sins of the sports entertainment industry.

Forgrave shows us how football mirrors America, from the fighting spirit the game has helped inscribe in our national character to the side effects of the traditional notions of manhood that it affirms. But above all, Love, Zac is a warning to parents and those entrusted with the care of our kids not to ignore concussions and warning signs of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). For parents struggling to decide whether to allow their kids to play football, this eye-opening, heart-wrenching, and ultimately inspiring story may be one of the most important books they will read.

CLICK HERE for more on this book.
1) Quote We Are Contemplating...

"Limitations live only in our minds.
But if we use our imaginations,
our possibilities are limitless."

Have you ever clicked on the pictures posted at the end of every #5ThoughtsFridays? Try it. You might learn something fun!
Photo by Zhen Hu on Unsplash


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 Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.