Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
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  #5Thoughts Friday
The "Tank Man" Edit ion
Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
In these unprecedented times, it is imperative that we think critically about how racism impacts the services we provide and the people we serve. Many of us have begun the work of deconstructing our own biases. However, the uprising of Black Americans in response to racist police violence is an important reminder to professionals in the field of brain injury: the work of anti-racism is never-ending.

Racism stems from the concept of race , which is a socially constructed category of identity with no biological basis that was created by white people to justify superiority over those considered to be non-white, most notably in the forms of colonization and slavery. Racism is a social determinant of health because it contributes substantially to social inequalities such as poverty, unequal job access, and living conditions. Racism impacts health behaviors, access to health care, and interactions with health-care professionals (Omar et. al, 2020). When we think of race as a social determinant of health, we are better able to situate ourselves within the healthcare system and the powerful role that we play in either uplifting or diminishing Black lives.

There are well-documented and significant disparities in brain injury mortality, service delivery, and recovery for Black Americans. Past studies indicate that Black Americans have a greater risk of experiencing a traumatic brain injury than any other minority group and non-minorities. Black Americans are more likely to sustain a violence-related traumatic brain injury and a traumatic brain injury that results in death. Black Americans have lesser rates of return to the level of lifestyle that they had in the community before injury, including a lesser rate of employment. Additionally, Sorani et. al (2009) found that TBI mortality is associated with race, age, and Injury Severity Score and Arango-Lasprilla et al. (2009) found that Black Americans rate themselves as being less satisfied with life than Caucasians and Asians one year after TBI.

Brain injury professionals – from occupational therapists, to social workers, to emergency responders – can all take part in the fight to improve brain injury service delivery and outcomes for Black Americans.

CLICK HERE for a list of actions we all can take.

CLICK HERE for the list in downloadable PDF.
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.

Group Check-In Chat
from Noon to 1pm.

Please CLICK HERE to sign up using our online registration form.

Once we receive your registration, we will send you the link.

We hope to "see" you there!

Perfect for direct care staff, facility staff, family members and friends, first responders, and others serving individuals in the community,
Photo by  Harry Cunningham  on  Unsplash
Researchers identify a major risk factor for
pernicious effects of misinformation.
Ghent University researchers Jonas De keersmaecker and Arne Roets first had over 400 subjects take a personality test. They then randomly assigned each subject to one of two conditions. In the experimental condition, the subjects read a biographical description of a young woman named Nathalie.

The bio explained that Nathalie, a nurse at a local hospital, “was arrested for stealing drugs from the hospital; she has been stealing drugs for 2 years and selling them on the street in order to buy designer clothes.” The subjects then rated Nathalie on traits such as trustworthiness and sincerity, after which they took a test of cognitive ability. Finally, the subjects saw a message on their computer screen explicitly stating that the information about Nathalie stealing drugs and getting arrested was not true, and then rated her again on the same traits. The control condition was identical, except that subjects were not given the paragraph with the false information and rated Nathalie only once.

The subjects in the experimental condition initially rated Nathalie much more negatively than did the subjects in the control condition. This was not surprising, considering that they had just learned she was a thief and a drug dealer. The interesting question was whether cognitive ability would predict attitude adjustment—that is, the degree to which the subjects in the experimental condition would rate Nathalie more favorably after being told that this information was false.

It did: subjects high in cognitive ability adjusted their ratings more than did those lower in cognitive ability. The subjects with lower cognitive ability had more trouble shaking their negative first impression of Nathalie. 

CLICK HERE for more of this article from Scientific American.
Photo by UN on Unsplash
Viral infections have detrimental impacts on neurological functions, and even to cause severe neurological damage. Very recently, coronaviruses (CoV), especially severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV 2 (SARS-CoV-2), exhibit neurotropic properties and may also cause neurological diseases.
In December 2019, Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic emerged in Wuhan, China, causing global attentions (Thompson, 2020). The virus is known as especially severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It was recently documented that, in addition to systemic and respiratory symptoms, 36.4% (78/214) of patients with COVID-19 develop neurological symptoms, including headache, disturbed consciousness, and paresthesia.

Severely affected patients are more likely to develop neurological symptoms than patients who have mild or moderate disease (Mao et al., 2020). Additionally, autopsy reports have revealed brain tissue edema and partial neuronal degeneration in deceased patients (Xu et al., 2020). Furthermore, on March 4, 2020, Beijing Ditan Hospital reported for the first time a case of viral encephalitis caused by a novel coronavirus (CoV) attacking the central nervous system (CNS). The researchers confirmed the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the cerebrospinal fluid by genome sequencing. It illustrated that COVID-19 has potential to cause nervous system damage (Xiang et al., 2020).

With the now ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is particularly necessary to make clinicians aware of the impact of various CoV infections on the CNS. This article reviews the epidemiology, possible mechanisms of neuroinvasion, and management strategies pertaining to CoV infections with potential nervous system involvement.

CLICK HERE for more on this recent study.

CLICK HERE to download a PDF copy of this journal article.
Are you a person with lived experience?

Are you a caregiver of someone with lived experience? If so, the Maryland Department of Disabilities needs your feedback!

The Maryland Department of Disabilities thanks you for helping us revise the State Disabilities Plan. In this new survey, you will have the opportunity to tell us what programs and issues you would like to see addressed in the State Disabilities Plan.

Your feedback will help guide our focus as state agencies work to deliver high-quality disability programs and services to Marylanders with disabilities.

This NEW FOCUS GROUP survey asks about some of your COVID-19 concerns as well as other issues where we need your feedback.

The survey and is completely anonymous; we will not be collecting any personal data as part of this survey.

Please note the DEADLINE for submission is MONDAY, JUNE 8th.

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

2) What We are Reading This Week and Know You Will Find Enlightening and Important
This is NOT a history book.
This is a book about the here and now.
A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.
A book about race.

The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's National Book Award-winning  Stamped from the Beginning  reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.

Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas--and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.

CLICK HERE for more on this book.

CLICK HERE to listen to a Podcast with Brene' Brown and her guest Ibram X. Kendi.

1) Quote We Are Contemplating...

  • “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

  • James Baldwin - Click HERE to hear him speak about America in the 1960's much of which, unfortunately, remains true today.
Have you ever clicked on the pictures posted at the end of every #5ThoughtsFridays? Try it. You might learn something fun!
Photo by  Markus Spiske  on  Unsplash

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  Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.