Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
  #5Thoughts Friday
The "FedEx" Edit ion
#5ThoughtsFriday is Powered By :
Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
Photo provided by Heather Hughes
On the BIAMD Helpline, we receive countless calls from individuals living with brain injuries and their families who are struggling to navigate complicated social service systems. They call our helpline to locate resources and to vent their frustrations. Connecting with a social worker is an enormous relief for families who feel as though they have run out of options. Social workers not only address social ills and help others; they operate from a strong code of ethics and values that guide everything that they do. Oftentimes, social workers are the professional intervening when an individual is being denied the right to make decisions about their care. A social worker’s drive to investigate, ask questions, and advocate enables them to be one of the fiercest allies to the brain injury community.

This week I am highlighting Heather Hughes, the Older Adult Behavioral Health PASRR Specialist for the Anne Arundel County Mental Health Agency Inc. Ms. Hughes has a master’s degree in Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University and has many years of experience serving individuals of diverse ages and backgrounds. I recently had the opportunity to speak with her about her work and to learn more about programs available for older adults in Maryland.

PASRR stands for Pre-admission Screening and Resident Review, which is a federal requirement to help ensure that individuals are not inappropriately placed in nursing homes for long-term care. Ms. Hughes conducts case consultation for individuals with PASRR certification who have been admitted to nursing facilities. She also assists with coordination of specialized behavioral health services and discharge planning efforts. Ms. Hughes also serves as a behavioral health consultant and liaison to professionals, raising awareness and training providers about older adults with behavioral health disorders.

CLICK HERE to read more of Arin's article on Heather.

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
Photo by  Apollo Reyes  on  Unsplash
Many of us brain injury survivors live with some degree of anxiety following our brain injuries. This anxiety primarily centers around how we feel about ourselves and our place in the world, and of course, that anxiety can change or become worse based on events happening around us.

The Coronavirus, by itself, may not have much to do with Brain Injury, except when our immune system has been compromised, but simply the  thought  of Coronavirus and how it is affecting the world can make it seem as though the rug is being pulled out from under us; triggering waves of Coronavirus anxiety.

Why is This So?

We, as brain injury survivors, can find it difficult to process events happening in the world around us, and we can also be affected by impulsiveness, poor judgement and penchant for reacting emotionally. At this very moment, Coronavirus and its impact are unknowns, and it’s impact is ripe for interpretation. We need to process and deal with the information we get, but processing information, dealing with change, especially a change that can be threatening, and making decisions under pressure, are not typically strong points for those who have experienced brain injuries.

If you’re anything like me, your brain injury has impacted your ability to perform and make decisions when things change or you are stressed. This increases my anxiety. One trick which helps me deal with this is to structure my life and have a routine which helps eliminate unforeseen change. By keeping my life structured and by following a routine, I am more in control and I limit the times when I am caught off guard and don’t know what to do, or am forced to make a decision when under stress.

We all know this: it is hard enough for us to live our lives post-brain injury without having our world suddenly totally turned upside down by a public health crisis. Having this happen can leave us feeling lost, depressed, frustrated and angry; not knowing what to do.

In a nutshell, we have spent all this time after our BI adjusting to a new world which we still may not totally understand, and, Boom!, the rug is pulled out from under us and the everything changes, once again. It’s almost as though our brains have been injured all over again and we need to figure out our place in the world once more.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of TBI Survivor Jeff Sebell's article.
Photo by  Dragos Gontariu  on  Unsplash
When adult brain cells are injured, they revert to an embryonic state, according to new findings published in the April 15, 2020 issue of Nature by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues elsewhere. The scientists report that in their newly adopted immature state, the cells become capable of re-growing new connections that, under the right conditions, can help to restore lost function.

Repairing damage to the brain and spinal cord may be medical science's most daunting challenge. Until relatively recently, it seemed an impossible task. The new study lays out a "transcriptional roadmap of regeneration in the adult brain."

"Using the incredible tools of modern neuroscience, molecular genetics, virology and computational power, we were able for the first time to identify how the entire set of genes in an adult brain cell resets itself in order to regenerate. This gives us fundamental insight into how, at a transcriptional level, regeneration happens," said senior author Mark Tuszynski, MD, PhD, professor of neuroscience and director of the Translational Neuroscience Institute at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Using a mouse model, Tuszynski and colleagues discovered that after injury, mature neurons in adult brains revert back to an embryonic state. "Who would have thought," said Tuszynski. "Only 20 years ago, we were thinking of the adult brain as static, terminally differentiated, fully established and immutable."

CLICK HERE to read more about this new study.
2) What We are Reading This Week on its 95th Birthday and Know You Will Enjoy
Why are Danes the happiest people in the world? The answer, says Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, is Hygge. Loosely translated, Hygge―pronounced Hoo-ga―is a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. "Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience," Wiking explains. "It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe."

Hygge is the sensation you get when you’re cuddled up on a sofa, in cozy socks under a soft throw, during a storm. It’s that feeling when you’re sharing comfort food and easy conversation with loved ones at a candlelit table. It is the warmth of morning light shining just right on a crisp blue-sky day.

The Little Book of Hygge introduces you to this cornerstone of Danish life, and offers advice and ideas on incorporating it into your own life.

Couldn't we all use a hygge right now?

1) Quote We Are Contemplating...

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.

Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but
for the heart to conquer it.”

Rabindranath Tagore , Nobel Prize, Literature 1913 
Have you ever clicked on the pictures posted at the end of every #5ThoughtsFridays? Try it. You might learn something fun!
Photo by  Mike Cummings  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 .  

  Please let us know your requests and suggestions by emailing us at

  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.