Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
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#5Thoughts Friday

2020 Scarecrow Classic
​Virtual Brain Challenge Series
October 17th through
November 14th
The 2020 Scarecrow Classic Virtual Brain Challenge Series be held from October 17, 2020 through November 14, 2020. 

This Virtual event, hosted by the Brain Injury Association of Maryland (BIAMD) will rally survivors, families, friends, and supporters around the common goal of raising awareness about brain injury within the community and providing much needed funding to support the programs and initiatives of BIAMD.


A virtual CHALLENGE is a race that can be run (or walked) from any location you choose. You can run, jog, or walk on the road, on the trail, on the treadmill, at the gym, as part of your therapy, or on the track (or even at another race). You get to run your own race, at your own pace, and time it yourself. And your medal and technical t-shirt will be shipped directly to you.


  • Register for the Scarecrow Classic Virtual Brain Challenge Series before November 13, 2020

  • Complete a 1 Mile Run/Walk, 5K (3.1 miles) or 10K (6.2 miles) at your convenience any time and anywhere before November 14, 2020. 

  • Celebrate your accomplishment by emailing us your time, distance, and a photo with the medal or t-shirt and share on social media using the hashtag #ScarecrowBrainChallenge2020

Every entry gets you an All New 2020 Scarecrow Classic Virtual Brain Challenge TECHNICAL tee that you’ll love to wear with pride,
new for the Brain Challenge Series, 
ALL runners will receive a Scarecrow Classic Finisher Medal
the FIRST piece of a 5 piece Brain Challenge Medal. 
This year the piece will be the FRONTAL LOBE. 


Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
Photo by Lauren Taylor
Perched at third base, Lauren Taylor dug in ready to play another smash at the hot corner. She had done this a thousand times before from her years as a college softball player. The batter swung and in less than an eye blink, the ball arrived. Instinctively, she put her glove up to snag the line drive, but this time she was milliseconds late and the ball hit her squarely in the face.

With her eyes swollen shut as she laid on a backboard, a artistic career was the farthest thing from her mind. Yet four years later, still dealing with the struggles of recovering from a misdiagnosed traumatic brain injury, Taylor has emerged as one of the most coveted visionaries in baseball. She now possesses a sense of purpose she has not experienced since her days as a collegiate softball player.

“When I got hit in the face with the line drive … I started picking back up art and doing it in the form telling stories of baseball history,” Taylor said during a phone interview. “That's how I refound my identity because I lost it as an athlete. … That's all I ever did was sports. When I could no longer play, I started using art to tap into that, and that's when those worlds collided.”

CLICK HERE to find out more about Lauren's unique gifts.

Volunteer for The Brain Injury Research Center's online study!

The Brain Injury Research Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center is seeking people in Maryland, Missouri, who have had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and are experiencing difficulties with their emotions and/or behaviors

This online study offers an research-backed program delivered straight to your home. Participation involves 24 group sessions over 12 weeks. Compensation will be provided.

To qualify for the study, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Documented TBI of any severity
  • At least 6 months post-injury
  • Currently aged 18 or older
  • English-speaking
  • Adequate communication skills; ability to use a computer, the internet, a webcam and a microphone
  • Active email address
  • Access to high-speed internet sufficient for videoconferencing
  • Located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, or Washington DC during the 12-week intervention phase
  • Cannot have active suicidality; diagnosis of psychosis within past 6 months; diagnosis of alcohol or substance abuse within past 6 months

If interested, please fill out the form by


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 Peter Oslanec on Unsplash
Researchers in China have discovered a potential way to prevent a lack of oxygen or blood flow from causing long-lasting brain damage in newborn children. The study, which will be published September 29 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), suggests that targeting the histamine H2 receptor with drugs already used to treat acid reflux in infants could help newborns recover from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a condition that affects over 1 in 1,000 live births and can cause life-long neurological disabilities.

HIE can develop during pregnancy or from complications during labor and delivery. Premature infants also have a high risk of the disorder, in which disruptions to the oxygen and blood supply damage the brain's white matter, primarily composed of fat-producing oligodendrocytes that insulate and protect the brain's nerve cells. This can cause severe and long-lasting neurological disabilities, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and cognitive impairment. Researchers suspect that some of these symptoms could be alleviated if oligodendrocyte precursor cells could be prompted to form new oligodendrocytes capable of restoring the lost white matter.

"However, very few drug targets capable of inducing oligodendrocyte formation have been identified," says Weiwei Hu, a professor at Zhejiang University School of Medicine in Hangzhou and the senior author of the new study.

CLICK HERE to check out these fascinating results.
HobbleJog Foundation (HobbleJog), in partnership with Brain Education Strategies Technology (BEST), is establishing a pilot iOS app training to help 10 young adults with brain injuries return to school or the workforce. HobbleJog is inviting potential recipients to apply for this beneficial program.

Thanks to a grant from the HobbleJog Foundation, BEST will provide each selected participant with the following:

1. The BEST Suite App to address common challenges in executive function:

  • PaceMyDay to help plan each day and learn to manage energy and fatigue
  • ReachMyGoals to set, monitor, and accomplish SMART goals
  • StrategizeMyLife to document and track strategy use and efficacy; and
  • CompleteMyToDos to monitor and complete tasks

2. Online cognitive and app training

3. Three 30-minute online cognitive and app coaching sessions



Email or call 410-975-9752.

ONLINE Brain Injury Support Groups

CLICK HERE to find a list of Brain Injury Support Groups Currently Meeting ONLINE.
Photo by Motoki Tonn on Unsplash
Future technology may be able to monitor and modify the brain to produce enhanced team performance, while increasing the efficiency and accuracy of decisions.
The U.S. Army may be able to use this information to enhance future operations.

"We are working toward fused human-technology systems that work synergistically to not only impact perceptions, decisions and actions of the Soldier, but also to enhance the hybrid human system's capabilities for rapid and adaptive decision making," said Dr. Javier Garcia, an Army neuroscientist.

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory, the Italian Institute of Technology, Italy, Harvard Medical School and the University of California, Irvine teamed up to study and advance research on the complexities of the human brain. Scientific Reports recently published the discoveries from their study.

Building on previous studies, the researchers used transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, and within minutes of continuous stimulation, subjects were placed in a functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, scanner and asked to perform a very challenging attention tracking task.

CLICK HERE for more on this story of resilience.
2) What We are Reading This Week
Five months pregnant, on a flight to their “babymoon,” Allison Pataki turned to her husband when he asked if his eye looked strange and watched him suddenly lose consciousness. After an emergency landing, she discovered that Dave—a healthy thirty-year-old athlete and surgical resident—had suffered a rare and life-threatening stroke. Next thing Allison knew, she was sitting alone in the ER in Fargo, North Dakota, waiting to hear if her husband would survive the night.

When Dave woke up, he could not carry memories from hour to hour, much less from one day to the next. Allison had lost the Dave she knew and loved when he lost consciousness on the plane. Within a few months, she found herself caring for both a newborn and a sick husband, struggling with the fear of what was to come.

As a way to make sense of the pain and chaos of their new reality, Allison started to write daily letters to Dave. Not only would she work to make sense of the unfathomable experiences unfolding around her, but her letters would provide Dave with the memories he could not make on his own. She was writing to preserve their past, protect their present, and fight for their future. Those letters became the foundation of this beautiful, intimate memoir. And in the process, she fell in love with her husband all over again.

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

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

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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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.