Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
"Don't Put Away Your Snowshovels Yet"
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Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
Scar tissue found in the brains of combat veterans who suffered from PTSD could mean that many cases of the disorder are caused by physical trauma.
A new medical discovery has profound implications for wounded warriors.  It's a previously unknown type of brain injury uncovered in veterans who are exposed to the invisible wave of energy that erupts from high explosives. The evidence was found in the brains of veterans who died. And tonight, we have a rare opportunity to introduce you to one of the vets who made the discovery possible.

Retired Army Sergeant First Class Brian Mancini killed himself in 2017 after descending into psychosis. But we met Mancini years before, in 2011, after he made a nearly miraculous recovery from the impact of a roadside bomb in Iraq. There's no one better to begin this story, than the late Brian Mancini himself.

To check out the full 60 Minutes Story: CLICK HERE
UCLA researchers have developed the first map of gene regulation in human neurogenesis, the process by which neural stem cells turn into brain cells and the cerebral cortex expands in size. The scientists identified factors that govern the growth of our brains and, in some cases, set the stage for several brain disorders that appear later in life.

The human  brain  differs from that of mice and monkeys because of its large cerebral cortex. The organ's most highly developed part, the cerebral cortex is responsible for thinking, perceiving and sophisticated communication. Scientists are just beginning to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that drive the growth of the  human brain  and the major role they play in human cognition.

Brain development is guided by the expression of genes in certain brain regions or cell types, as well as during specific time frames. Gene expression, the process by which the instructions in our DNA are converted into a functional product, such as a protein, is regulated at many levels by segments of DNA acting as on-off switches at key moments. But until now, there was no map that described the activity and location of these switches on a chromosome during  neurogenesis .

More on exploration of our evolving brain? CLICK HERE
Credit: Imperial College London
Traumatic  brain  injuries are frequently caused by blunt force trauma, but there has been an increase in TBIs caused by blasts (bTBIs). Blast TBI is one on the most common injuries experienced by soldiers in recent conflicts, and is dubbed a 'signature  injury ' of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Civilians exposed to industrial accidents or terrorist attacks are also at risk.
Unlike blunt force trauma, where damage/injury is usually localised to one area of the brain, blasts create a shockwave that affects the whole brain - causing widespread damage. This can cause anxiety, depression, and problems with cognition, memory and sleep.

Previously, Dr Robert Dickinson and colleagues from Imperial College London showed that  xenon  gas helped limit brain damage and improve long term neurological outcomes in mice which had suffered blunt force brain injury.

Now, the same research group has found for the first time that xenon can also limit  blast -induced brain injury from developing in mouse brain tissue exposed to a blast shockwave, in a study published in the  Journal of Neurotrauma .

In this study, the researchers from Imperial's Department of Surgery and Cancer and the Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies, applied xenon to slices of mouse brain tissue after exposing them to blast shockwaves that emulated those produced by improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

For more on this story, CLICK HERE.

Would you like to help others while helping yourself?
Have you had a brain injury (TBI) /concussion?
Cared for someone with TBI/concussion?

CALL Principal Investigator,
Vani Rao, MD at (410) 550-2288

Johns Hopkins researchers
in collaboration with
are seeking people interested in participating in
TBI mental health research.

Participants can either be:
  • people with TBI / concussions who have experienced emotional problems or
  • caregivers,
  • program coordinators or
  • clinicians involved in the care of people with TBI/concussions and emotional problems.

The Johns Hopkins Institutional Review Board (IRB) has approved the study. 

Qualified Participants who complete the study are eligible for up to $400 in compensation.

  • Screening to determine eligibility
  • Participation in four research education courses
  • Participation in a 2-hour focus group
  • Completing a non-identifiable demographic form at the start of the study

If you are interested in joining this study or have any questions, please,

CALL Principal Investigator,
Vani Rao, MD at (410) 550-2288

2) What We're Reading We Think You Might Enjoy
Joy comes of its own accord when we are in our naturally healthy state. Every one of us has the capacity for joy, but many forces in our lives keep us from enjoying this contented and healthy state of being.

When our resilience is depleted, we find it difficult to adapt to change, face challenges, and deal with the ups and downs life brings. If your natural resilience has been consumed by stress or depression, you can reclaim it with the resilience-building program in The Chemistry of Joy Workbook . Through the questionnaires, exercises, and practices in this guide, you’ll explore the nine pathways to restoring mood, regaining balance, and rediscovering your capacity for joy.

This book will help you reclaim your joy by teaching you to balance your body with proper nutrition and principles from ayurvedic medicine, how to settle your mind with mindfulness practices, and how to skillfully managing those "emotional tsunamis". In addition, you will learn to find the right medications and supplements, tap into the wisdom, generosity, and openness that lie within, and build your self-acceptance and connection with others.
If you are ready to reclaim your life from stress, depression, or anxiety and find deep, profound happiness, this book will be your guide.

 To Check it out, 

  (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...

“The measure of who we are
is what we do with what we have.”
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  Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.