Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
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welcomes back one of its most popular annual events,
at the

Join us for a great afternoon/evening of food, fellowship, and fund-raising at Baltimore's Best Taphouse. All proceeds go to support the Maryland Brain Injury Connection Center Helpline (1.800.221.6443) which provides information, assistance, and support to Maryland families dealing with the devastating effects of brain injury. 

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#5Thoughts Friday

Evidence-based medicine: A ubiquitous phrase. A phrase used as if it conferred authority. A phrase treated like a religion. Before the pandemic, you couldn’t turn around without seeing it in newspaper articles, blog posts, and magazines. On social media, doctors with loud voices lobbed it at advocates for types of medicine they disagreed with. They used it to maintain their power status and to assert the superiority of their way of doing medicine. The phrase "evidence-based medicine" reflected the homogeneity of their groupthink, which claimed familiar evidence that'd been proven long ago as the best, most current science, whether or not recent research had disproved it or replaced it with something better.

"Evidence-based" inherently denied the essential element of art in medicine. And it denied that science evolves continually.
But proponents didn't admit to either reality. They promulgated meta-analyses as authoritative research, not what it really is: gathering background studies preparatory to designing original research studies. Meta-analyses don't replicate recent groundbreaking original studies, either. Replication is what confirms the evidence original research provides; it can also evolve it. But the proponents of the phrase "evidence-based medicine" focused on espousing the idea that science was certain, not on what medicine and research are supposed to do.

The focus on evidence-based roots itself in the past, in what was proven long ago, and has now become certain knowledge that's familiar. It resists change or a different way of thinking. This stance denies the present-day desires of the ill and injured to be cured and to live in the future healed. Only forward-thinking researchers and cure-focused clinicians listen to those desires and continually seek ways to meet them. Their work quickly leaves "evidence-based medicine" studies in the dust.

CLICK HERE for more on this new perspective.
 A study conducted at five military and Veterans’ hospitals has identified the first effective and highly-scalable intervention to address cognitive deficits that can persist for years after a mild Traumatic Brain Injury — typically from concussion or blast exposure. The intervention studied was the computerized brain training app BrainHQ, made by Posit Science, which was administered via telehealth in the study. The peer-reviewed study results were published in Brain: A Journal of Neurology
More than 413,000 members of the US military have been diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury. Of these, more than 82% are classified as mild TBI (mTBI), often called the “signature injury” of recent conflicts. In many cases, service members can experience a full recovery from mTBI – but for those who do not, cognitive consequences can persist for years, with life-altering results. 

Current best practices for treatment of persistent cognitive deficits following mTBI focus on in-person, customized cognitive rehabilitation, which can be helpful, but is costly, time-consuming, requires travel for treatment and relies on the craft and expertise of the healthcare provider.

The Department of Defense (DoD) funded the BRAVE Study to determine whether a computerized, brain-training intervention based on the science of brain plasticity could be broadly and remotely applied and could produce significant improvements in persistent cognitive deficits across a diverse mTBI population. No computerized cognitive training has previously been shown effective in a gold-standard trial.

BRAVE enrolled 83 participants with a history of mTBI and diagnosed with cognitive impairment. Typically, participants had been deployed to combat areas, and, on average, had cognitive issues that had persisted for more than seven years after their most recent mTBI. Their average age was 33, and 81% were male. Before training, they tested, on average, about two standard deviations below normal on the ANAM (a test used by the military to screen for cognitive impairment).

CLICK HERE for more on this instructive study.

MSKTC Recruiting Family Members of People with TBI for
Consumer Factsheet Testing

The NIDILRR-funded Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) is recruiting family members who are caregivers of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI), including veterans with TBI, to provide feedback on a new factsheet, "Stress Management Strategies for Caregivers." Interviews will last approximately 60 minutes.

Individuals must be at least 18 years old to participate. Participants will receive $25 for their time.

To register, call (202) 403-5600 or email
Jessica Sevick’s family was told she might not make it.
The 12-year-old from Strathmore, Alta., had just suffered a severe brain injury during a luge training run at Calgary’s Olympic Park.

Doctors didn’t know whether or not Sevick would survive the traumatic collision on one of the icy course’s final turns. If she pulled through, there was a chance Sevick was facing a serious disability.

Two decades on she not only lives a normal life, Sevick is now an Olympian after the 32-year-old rower raced to a second-place finish with Gabrielle Smith in Friday’s heats of the women’s double sculls at the Tokyo Games.

“I learned so much from that experience,” Sevick said of her accident as she fought back tears at the sweltering Sea Forest Waterway. “I don’t think I could have got here if that hadn’t happened.

“I learned a lot [about] resilience.”

The Canadian duo finished in a time of 6 minutes 57.69 seconds over 2,000 metres to comfortably qualify for Monday’s semi-finals.

Sevick, who grabbed a surprising gold in the single sculls at the 2019 Pan Am Games after taking up rowing at age 26, was in a coma for two weeks in the wake of that terrifying crash 20 years ago.

Her injury led to cerebellar atrophy – Sevick has to work at staying balanced on both land and water – and the recovery process continues to this day.

But it hasn’t slowed her down.
CLICK HERE find out more about Jessica's journey.

Kessler Foundation Solicits Participants for a Telehealth Study

Are you a spouse or partner of a person with a traumatic brain injury (TBI)? Researchers at Kessler Foundation are conducting a telehealth study comparing the effectiveness of two different types of group wellness interventions for partner caregivers of individuals with TBI. This study is open to men and women at least 18 years of age who meet the following criteria:
  • Are in an intimate relationship with a person with TBI for at least one year prior to their injury.
  • Your partner was discharged from inpatient rehabilitation at least 3 months ago.
  • You provide care to your partner on a daily basis.
  • You have access to the internet in a private location.
The study will take 20 weeks to complete. All participation will take place through a secure online website and live video conferencing - no in-person visits are required! Participation will include:
  • Completing questionnaires during week one (1-2 hours)
  • Attending one 75-minute online wellness class per week for a total of six weeks.
  • Completing follow-up questionnaires during week 8 (1-2 hours)
  • Completing follow-up questionnaires during week 20 (1-2 hours).
There will be no contact required between weeks 8-20. Participants will be compensated $300 for completion of the study. If interested in participating, please contact Samantha Schmidt at sschmidt@kesslerfoundation or at 973-323-3686.
2) What We are Reading This Week
In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life. Using the psychological insights and the practical techniques of the Stoics, Irvine offers a roadmap for anyone seeking to avoid the feelings of chronic dissatisfaction that plague so many of us.

Irvine looks at various Stoic techniques for attaining tranquility and shows how to put these techniques to work in our own life. As he does so, he describes his own experiences practicing Stoicism and offers valuable first-hand advice for anyone wishing to live better by following in the footsteps of these ancient philosophers. Readers learn how to minimize worry, how to let go of the past and focus our efforts on the things we can control, and how to deal with insults, grief, old age, and the distracting temptations of fame and fortune.
We learn from Marcus Aurelius the importance of prizing only things of true value, and from Epictetus we learn how to be more content with what we have.

CLICK HERE to see more.


Congrats to Laurie Elinoff, last week's winner.

Hope you enjoy the book!

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Watch for more Book Giveaways in upcoming #5Thoughts Fridays this summer
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What Families Need to Know
About Planning for
a Loved One with Special Needs
August 6 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Presented by Elville and Associates’ Managing Principal and Lead Attorney Stephen R. Elville, this webinar is a broad reaching discussion about planning for their loved one with special needs.

The key issues of understanding the role of public benefits, making decisions about the future, Maryland ABLE, creating flexibility in your planning, and using estate planning and trusts to protect assets will be discussed along with the types of special needs trusts and their specific purposes (along with who the decision makers and beneficiaries can be in these trusts). Also, to be touched upon will be the “planning team concept” — how your planning team (attorney, financial advisor, CPA, and others) — can work together to help provide your family peace of mind during the special needs planning process.

To register and receive the webinar link ahead of time, please

Should you have questions ahead of time, please contact Community Relations Director Jeff Stauffer at 443-216-9626 x117.
1) Quote We are Contemplating
“O! how shall summer's honey breath hold out, / Against the wrackful siege of battering days?”

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 Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.