Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
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#5Thoughts Friday
The "Kitchen Debate" Edit ion
Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
On July 29th at 6 PM via Facebook Live, I will have the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Kinjal Sethuraman, Principal Investigator of the HOBIT Trial at The University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma Center. I will be asking Dr. Sethuraman questions about this innovative form of brain injury therapy as well as soliciting questions from BIAMD members. Here is a sneak peak into this fascinating trial and it’s impact on individuals with brain injury in Maryland:

HOBIT stands for Hyperbaric Oxygen Brain Injury Treatment. Patients inhale 100% oxygen at higher than atmospheric pressure (in a pressurized chamber). For brain injury patients, this therapy reverses the lack of oxygen that precipitates cellular energy failure and brain cell death by increasing oxygen delivery to the traumatized brain. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (commonly abbreviated HBO2) dates back to the 1930s, when it was first used for treatment of decompression illness in divers. There are currently 13 FDA-approved uses for HBO2, including decompression illness, gas gangrene, air embolism, osteomyelitis, radiation necrosis, and the most recent addition-diabetic ulcers.

Past studies have indicated that HBO2 has a positive impact on reducing brain injury and improving outcomes in severe TBI. The HOBIT Study is in phase II, and prior to beginning phase III, important information is required regarding the pressure, frequency, and other parameters of the HBO2 treatment schedule. The lungs in severe TBI patients have frequently been compromised by direct lung injury and/or acquired ventilator pneumonia and are susceptible to O2 toxicity. This is why it is essential to determine the most effective HBO2 dose schedule without producing O2 toxicity and clinical complications. Subsequently, the primary aims of this phase II HOBIT trial are to select patients with severe TBI and identify the combination of HBO2 treatment parameters that is most likely to demonstrate improvement in the outcome of severe TBI patients in a subsequent phase III trial.

CLICK HERE to read more about this upcoming July 29th Facebook Live event.
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.

Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash
Certain patients who receive hospital care for coronavirus infection (COVID-19) exhibit clinical and neurochemical signs of brain injury, a University of Gothenburg study shows. In even moderate COVID-19 cases, finding and measuring a blood-based biomarker for brain damage proved to be possible.
Some people infected with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 get only mild, cold-like symptoms, while others become severely ill and require hospital treatment. Among the latter, it has become clear that the patients sometimes show obvious signs of the brain not functioning as it should. These cases are not common, but do occur.

In a project at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg,  blood samples  were taken from 47 patients with mild, moderate and severe COVID-19 in the course of their hospital stay. These samples were analyzed by means of highly sensitive biomarkers for brain  injury . The results were compared with those from a healthy control group comprising 33 people matched by age and sex.

Now that the research is being presented in the journal  Neurology , it is evident that an increase in one of the biomarkers took place even with moderate COVID-19—that is, in patients admitted to hospital but not in need of ventilator support. This marker, known as GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein), is normally present in astrocytes, a star-shaped neuron-supportive cell type in the brain, but leaks out in the event of astrocytic injury or overactivation.

CLICK HERE to read more about this COVID-19 connection.
CLICK HERE f or more information and to register for this free information session on this emerging best practice alternative to formal guardianship.
Molecular hydrogen (H 2 ) is known to protect neurons against reactive oxygen species (ROS) and has ameliorative effects on ischemia/reperfusion injury with few side effects 6 . H 2  gas or H 2 -rich saline also has beneficial effects against EBI after SAH 7 , 8 . H 2  suppresses expression of S100 calcium-binding protein B (S100B), phosphorylation of C-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and reactive astrogliosis through reduction of ROS and lower neuronal cell damage in several rat disease models except for SAH 9 , 10 , 11 . However, the effects of H 2  on DBI remain unclear.

Recently, we developed and reported a new modified rat endovascular perforation (EVP) SAH model, the SAH + unilateral common carotid artery occlusion (UCCAO) model 12 . In this SAH + UCCAO model, mild EVP SAH-induced UCCAO was combined with early cerebral hypoperfusion begun 24 h after SAH induction to mimic the clinical course of early cerebral hypoperfusion after SAH.

This model is useful to elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms of EBI, CV, and DBI without high mortality 12 .

CLICK HERE to read more about this experiment treatment.

ONLINE Brain Injury Support Groups

Severe Brain Injury Caregiver Group
Zoom Room Internet Conference
2 nd  and 4 th  Sunday of the month, 7:30 p – 8:45p
Tom Gallup 301-502-8420

BIAMD Check In Chats
Every Friday at Noon
To register for a Check-In-Chat please visit

Young Stroke Group
The first and third Fridays of the month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET.
​For individuals in their 20’s to 60’s, Contact: Susan Emery

Rockville Brain Injury Support Group
2 nd  Thursday, 6:30p – 7:30p
Tom Wilkinson 240-493-8472
Anne Arundel County Brain Injury Support Group
3rd Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Debbie Cottrill (410) 320-8948 

Brain Injury Support Group
1st Monday, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Candice Rebuck (410) 448-6303

Caregivers Support Group
4th Tuesday, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Gwen Alexander (410) 448-6311

Stroke Support Group
Meets monthly 10:00 a.m. – Noon
Brandy Breaux (410) 448-6821
Call for the monthly calendar
Online stroke support and information resources
The John “Jack” Godfrey Brain Injury Support Group
2nd Tuesday, 6:00p – 7:00p 
Dawn Moreland (301) 618-2364 
Brentrell Spencer (301) 618-2134
BIADC Support Group
3rd Wednesday, 5:30p – 7:30p
Gemma Rosas (NRH) (202)-877-1192
Joan Joyce (NRH) (202) 877-1420

2) What We are Reading This Week
Head Cases takes us into the dark side of the brain in an astonishing sequence of stories, at once true and strange, from the world of brain damage. Michael Paul Mason is one of an elite group of experts who coordinate care in the complicated aftermath of tragic injuries that can last a lifetime. On the road with Mason, we encounter survivors of brain injuries as they struggle to map and make sense of the new worlds they inhabit.

Underlying each of these survivors’ stories is an exploration of the brain and its mysteries. When injured, the brain must figure out how to heal itself, reorganizing its physiology in order to do the job. Mason gives us a series of vivid glimpses into brain science, the last frontier of medicine, and we come away in awe of the miracles of the brain’s workings and astonished at the fragility of the brain and the sense of self, life, and order that resides there. Head Cases “[achieves] through sympathy and curiosity insight like that which pulses through genuine literature” (The New York Sun); it is at once illuminating and deeply affecting.

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

“An investment in knowledge
pays the best interest.

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


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