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

The "President's Day is Monday" Edition
#5ThoughtsFriday is Powered By :
Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
The first blood test to help doctors diagnose traumatic brain injuries has won U.S. government approval.

The move means Banyan Biomarkers can commercialize its test, giving the company an early lead in the biotech industry's race to find a way to diagnose concussions.

The test doesn't detect concussions and the approval won't immediately change how patients with suspected concussions or other brain trauma are treated. But Wednesday's green light by the Food and Drug Administration "is a big deal because then it opens the door and accelerates technology," said Michael McCrea, a brain injury expert at Medical College of Wisconsin.

The test detects two proteins present in brain cells that can leak into the bloodstream following a blow to the head. Banyan's research shows the test can detect them within 12 hours of injury. It's designed to help doctors quickly determine which patients with suspected concussions may have brain bleeding or other brain injury.

Patients with a positive test would need a CT scan to confirm the results and determine if surgery or other treatment is needed. The test will first be used in emergency rooms, possibly as soon as later this year, but Banyan's hope is that it will eventually be used on battlefields and football fields.

For more on this awesome development, CLICK HERE.
He chose the sport, but he did not
choose brain damage.

My husband, Rob Kelly, is  a retired N.F.L. player . After five seasons as a safety beginning in the late 1990s, four with the New Orleans Saints and one with the New England Patriots, he sustained an injury to a nerve between his neck and shoulder during training camp that ended his career. By the time he retired in 2002 at 28, he had been playing tackle football for about two decades.

Rob had no idea, however, that all those years of playing would have such serious consequences. Safeties are the last line of defense and among the hardest hitters in the game. One tackle he attempted while playing for the Saints was so damaging, he doesn’t remember the rest of the game. He got up, ran off the field and tried to go back in — as an offensive player. He knows this only because people told him the next day.

Professional football is a brutal sport, he knew that. But he loved it anyway. And he accepted the risks of bruises and broken bones. What he didn’t know was that along with a battered body can come a battered mind.

More on Emily's and Rob's story, CLICK HERE.
3 ) Maryland's Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Board Has Recommended Brain Injury Screening Questions be Added to Student Health Questionnaires

Has Introduced Legislation to do just that
Recommendation - Requiring local education agencies to add screening questions, to existing annual school health forms and special education screenings, designed to capture incidents of head injury or loss of consciousness suffered at any time by the student. A protocol for responding to positive responses to that question should be developed as part of the screening process for Special Education services
In 2014 alone there were 620 TBI related hospitalizations and 17,932 Emergency Department visits for youth ages <1 to 24 (unpublished data retrieved by the Maryland Violence and Injury Prevention Program from the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) data sets, October 2016).

This total does not capture the full extent of brain injury among this age population, as it does not include those seen by private practitioners or in urgent care facilities. Yet, in spite of the large number of severe brain injuries among school-aged children in Maryland, there are currently only 234 Maryland students receiving special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) classification code of TBI.

Under-identification of brain injury may occur because TBI symptoms can be misinterpreted as other disabilities, such as emotional disability and learning disability. The inappropriate diagnosis of TBI leads to incorrectly identifying students as having an emotional or learning disability, while failing to recognize the underlying TBI, leads to inappropriate individualized education plans (IEPs) with goals and objectives that do not address the student’s actual needs.

Other states, such as Pennsylvania and Colorado, have already begun implementing programs that specifically address the needs of students with brain injuries and their families. TBI can have a significant impact on classroom performance and behavior in children and youth. It is critical that TBI be fully understood by all involved in developing programs for students with disabilities so that appropriate assessments, especially neuropsychological assessments, are obtained. Without proper identification and assessment, students with a diagnosis of TBI cannot be identified or served appropriately and their ability to be successful in school and transition to adulthood is compromised, and the likelihood of consuming limited State resources in the future increases.

HB 1530 - Education - Student Health Screenings - Brain Injury

For Language of the Bill:

HB 1533 - Students With a Disability - Brain Injury Screening - Evaluation for Individualized Education Program

For Language of the Bill:

Please contact your elected officials in Annapolis and ask that they support these two bills.

Don't know how to contact them?
Social Worker -
RETURN! Brain Injury
Community Re-entry Program
This unique position in brain injury rehabilitation provides clinical and case management services for the RETURN! Community Reentry Program at Sinai Rehabilitation Center. Facilitates appropriate admissions into the program, provides psychosocial support to clients and families and links program clients to vital and timely resources. Assists with departmental operations and improvement projects. This position presents an exciting chance to be part of an established, well-regarded rehabilitation program.
 2) What We Are Reading That You Might Enjoy...
A newly revised and updated edition of the internationally bestselling spiritual classic, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, written by Sogyal Rinpoche, is the ultimate introduction to Tibetan Buddhist wisdom.

An enlightening, inspiring, and comforting manual for life and death that the New York Times calls, “The Tibetan equivalent of [Dante’s] The Divine Comedy,” this is the essential work that moved Huston Smith, author of The World’s Religions, to proclaim, “I have encountered no book on the interplay of life and death that is more comprehensive, practical, and wise.” 

For The Book, 

  (If you decide to buy anything mentioned in #5ThoughtsFriday, don't forget to use  Amazon Smile  and select the Brain Injury Association of Maryland as your donation beneficiary.) 
1) Quote We Are Contemplating...

“I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.”

Thank you for your support.
Did you enjoy #5ThoughtsFriday? If so, please forward this email to a friend! 

Got a story we need to follow or share? Send it to .  

Want to find a story from a past #5ThoughtsFriday blog posts, visit the archive by clicking HERE .

  Please let us know your requests and suggestions by emailing us at or contacting us on Twitter. 

  Which bullet above is your favorite? What do you want more or less of? Let us know! Just send a tweet to  @biamd1 and put #5ThoughtsFriday in there so we can find it.

  Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.
Name | Company | Phone | Fax | Email | Website