Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
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MAY is National Stroke Awareness Month.
BIAMD in the News

An increase in COVID-19-related strokes is putting added emphasis on the need to look for signs.

BIAMD Executive Director, Bryan Pugh, appeared on WJZ Channel 13 in Baltimore along with Dr. Adrian Goldszmidt, Chief of the Department of Neurology at Sinai Hospital this week to highlight Stroke Awareness Month and the evolving relationship between stroke and the COVID-19 virus.

CLICK HERE to see the video.
Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
Photo by  Juja Han  on  Unsplash
In this week’s COVID-19 “Learning Pack,” we are highlighting 15 podcasts on topics including brain injury recovery, harm reduction, and disability justice. Many of these podcasts were created by people with lived experience of brain injury, caregiving, or addiction. While much of the country continues to shelter in place, we can utilize this time to spark conversation, heal our communities, and foster resilience and mutual aid.  

CLICK HERE for Arin's fantastic list.

CLICK HERE for the list in downloadable PDF.
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.

Group Chat
from Noon to 1pm.

Please CLICK HERE to sign up using our online registration form.

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

We hope to "see" you there!
Strengthened amygdala pathways increase aggression,
may be targets for PTSD treatment
Traumatic stress can cause aggression by strengthening two brain pathways involved in emotion, according to research recently published in JNeurosci. Targeting those pathways via deep brain stimulation may stymie aggression associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The consequences of traumatic stress linger long after the stress ends. People suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder often display heightened aggression, caused by unknown changes in the amygdala. An almond-shaped structure nestled deep inside the brain, the amygdala plays an essential role in emotion, social behaviors, and aggression.

CLICK HERE for more on this exciting new finding.

CLICK HERE for a copy of the article abstract.
Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash
A Duke University research team has found a small area of the brain in mice that can profoundly control the animals' sense of pain.
Somewhat unexpectedly, this brain center turns pain off, not on. It's also located in an area where few people would have thought to look for an anti-pain center, the amygdala, which is often considered the home of negative emotions and responses, like the fight or flight response and general anxiety.

"People do believe there is a central place to relieve pain, that's why placebos work," said senior author Fan Wang, the Morris N. Broad Distinguished Professor of neurobiology in the School of Medicine. "The question is where in the brain is the center that can turn off pain."
"Most of the previous studies have focused on which regions are turned ON by pain," Wang said. "But there are so many regions processing pain, you'd have to turn them all off to stop pain. Whereas this one center can turn off the pain by itself."

The work is a follow-up to earlier research in Wang's lab looking at neurons that are activated, rather than suppressed, by general anesthetics. In a 2019 study, they found that general anesthesia promotes slow-wave sleep by activating the supraoptic nucleus of the brain. But sleep and pain are separate, an important clue that led to the new finding, which appears online May 18 in Nature Neuroscience.

CLICK HERE for more on this neurobiological revelation.
The Maryland Department of Disabilities is requesting stakeholder input as it works with partner agencies to develop the 2020-2023 State Disabilities Plan. The Department of Disabilities wants to hear from Marylanders with disabilities, families, service providers, and professionals who work with and advocate for people with disabilities.

Please complete the 2020-2023 State Disabilities Plan Stakeholder Survey and help guide the direction and priorities of the plan by clicking the below link. For questions, further information, or to request this information in an alternative format please email or call 410.767.3660. 
Click the link below to complete the survey:

Zoom Room Support Group Meeting for Caregivers

If you're missing your in-person Brian Injury Caregiver Support Group due to cancellations but still would like to join in with others caring for a Brain Injury Survivor, please join our Zoom Room Support Group Meeting for Caregivers this Sunday evening from 7:30-8:45pm (Eastern Time).
Login with this link:
Find out more information on our website:  
or contact Tom Gallup at

2) What We are Reading This Week and Know You Will Enjoy
Todd suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a bicycle accident on Oct 27, 2014. He and his family have been blogging about his recovery ever since.

We invite you to meet Todd Westley and Team Todd through this weekly blog post.

Its funny, touching, tragic, but always honest. We have been reading and we invite you to as well.

CLICK HERE for more.
1) Quote We Are Contemplating...

  • "The most fortunate of us all in our journey through life frequently meet with calamities and misfortunes which greatly afflict us. To fortify our minds against the attacks of these calamities and misfortunes should be one of the principal studies and endeavors of our lives."

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

Did you enjoy #5ThoughtsFriday? If so, please forward this email to a friend! 

Got a story we need to follow or share? Send it to .  

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  Which bullet above is your favorite? What do you want more or less of? Let us know! Just send a tweet to  @biamd1 and put #5ThoughtsFriday in there so we can find it.

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.