Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
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#5ThoughtsFriday is Powered By:
#5Thoughts Friday
The "Purple Heart"\Edition

Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
After a traumatic brain injury, why do some people quickly regain their skills while others face long-lasting setbacks? Boston University neuroscientist Jerry Chen and his colleagues have been trying to answer this question by understanding which parts of the brain are used to process sensory information and remember different skills.

"From a biomedical standpoint, the question is whether certain parts of the brain are [solely responsible for] certain types of function," says Chen, a College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor of biology and faculty member of BU's Center for Systems Neuroscience. The latest research from his lab, published in Neuron, could eventually help us determine which abilities are particularly difficult to recover after a traumatic brain injury—likely because these skills are represented in only one area of the brain—and which are more resilient.

Chen's team created a memory game for mice in order to examine the function of two brain areas that process information about the sensation of touch and the memory of previous events—areas of the brain they called S1 and S2. Chen wanted to see whether S1 and S2 both processed the same information (distributed processing), or if the areas each had specialized, independent roles (localized processing).

CLICK HERE to read more about this "optogenetic" story.

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.

The Institute of Musical Traditions presents

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020 at 8pm ET Live CLICK ON on Facebook and to join the concert!

Tune in for free. Tipping and merch purchases strongly encouraged.
CLICK HERE or on the arrow to the left, to hear more from BIAMD's friend, Rob Guttenberg about his music and his journey back from brain injury.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most relevant external risk factor for dementia and shares hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer and Parkinson disease, and frontotemporal dementia [1-3]. Each year, over 50 million people sustain a TBI, which renders TBI the global leading cause of death and disability among the young and working populations. Thus, TBI is a major public health concern with tremendous socioeconomic implications and estimated costs of approximately USD 400 billion annually.

Mild TBI (mTBI) accounts for 80–90% of all brain impacts and is defined according to the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) by a score of 13–15 on the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), a maximum loss of consciousness of 30 min, and posttraumatic amnesia <24 h after the brain injury [5-7]. The term mild TBI often misrepresents the patient’s burden with functional, emotional, and cognitive long-term sequelae, as half of mTBI patients with a negative cranial computed tomography (CCT) complain functional limitations 12 months after the brain impact, and up to one third suffer from cognitive dysfunction [8-12]. Nearly 90% of CCT or routine MRI brain scans remain negative despite major clinical health concerns with the inability to return to work after mTBI [13-17], which emphasizes the need for additional diagnostic tools to identify patients earlier who are at risk for unfavorable outcome or even posttraumatic dementia. Current state-of-the-art CCT and MRI techniques are limited in recognizing the full complexity of the mTBI neuropathology, and thus more sensitive, yet still realistic clinical measures to detect early compromised brain metabolism that might help to predict long-term cognitive deficits are required [16, 18].

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) allows for in vivo measurement of metabolites that are undetectable by conventional neuroimaging thereby holding potential to identify mTBI patients that could benefit from specific neuropsychiatric and cognitive rehabilitation [19]. Brain energy metabolism is altered after TBI due to posttraumatic ischemia with mitochondrial dysfunction and loss of neuronal integrity with increased cell membrane turnover. In vivo MRS is an MRI technique that can detect nuclei with spins such as 1H, an abundant by-product of cellular respiration and brain tissue metabolites. As a noninvasive and safe technique, MRS is available on clinical MR scanners (1.5 and 3.0 T) without ionizing radiation [20]. This method holds the potential to identify compromised brain metabolism, but evidence after mTBI is scarce [21].

CLICK HERE to find out these new ideas for MRIs.
A scientific team led by the University of Arizona and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope, identified a robust set of biomarkers through proteomics and metabolomic analysis that could help guide treatment for tens of millions of patients who each year sustain brain injuries, potentially preventing severe long-term disabilities.

The team's findings were reported in a study published today in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

An estimated 69 million people worldwide annually sustain traumatic brain injury (TBI). That includes at least 3 million in the U.S., resulting in nearly 288,000 hospitalizations, 56,800 deaths and more than 90,000 with permanent disabilities.

One of the practical applications of the study was to show the effectiveness of a treatment for brain injuries known as RIC (Remote Ischemic Conditioning). RIC involves, for example, using a tourniquet to restrict, then release, the flow of blood in one of the head-injury patient's arms or legs. Scientists still don't know why, but circulating molecules in the bloodstream are produced that could help the brain minimize or repair the injury through this seemingly unrelated technique of on-again, off-again flow of oxygen and nutrients to a patient's limb.

"The molecules released by alternately restricting and releasing the blood flow seem to have a neuro-protective effect," said Dr. Patrick Pirrotte, Director of TGen's Collaborative Center for Translational Mass Spectrometry and one of the study's senior authors.

CLICK HERE to read more about this biomarker research.

CLICK HERE to read the study in NATURE: Scientific Reports.

ONLINE Brain Injury Support Groups

Severe Brain Injury Caregiver Group
Zoom Room Internet Conference
2nd and 4th 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
2nd 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
Feature Event : Sept. 22 and 23, 2020

Workgroup Sessions : Sept. 24, 25, 28, & 29, 2020

Podcasts Available : Beginning Sept. 22, 2020

Post-Intensive Workshop : Sept. 29, 2020


This event will include a combination of live and recorded sessions in a variety of formats and an exhibit hall for event sponsors and attendees to network and collaborate. 

Rate (Covers the entire event.)

$250 for Members
$300 for Non Members
CEUs applied for APA, SW, and CRC. 

All events are virtual.

CLICK HERE for the Agenda (Tentative.)

CLICK HERE to Register
2) What We are Reading This Week
All of our lives are filled with ups and downs, triumphs and tragedy, success and stress. The question is not whether we will experience difficulty, challenge, or trauma; it is what we will do in response to such events and experiences. While the dominant narrative of cultures around the world suggests that trauma diminishes our prospects for a great life, Richard Tedeschi, Bret Moore, Ken Falke, and Josh Goldberg know differently.

Rich, Bret, Ken, and Josh have dedicated their lives to ensuring that people can grow in the aftermath of trauma, and live great lives — filled with Posttraumatic Growth. This remarkable book harnesses the power of all their experience, and the incredible true stories of combat veterans and military and veteran family members who have transformed loss into gain and pain into purpose.

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

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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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 Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.