Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
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Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
Most patients who overdose on opioids can be safely discharged from the emergency department (ED) as early as an hour after prehospital administration of the opioid antagonist naloxone, a study has found.

Opioid-related ED visits nearly doubled in the United States from 2005 to 2014. Management of these patients varies among EDs, the authors note.

"Recommendations for patient observation after naloxone administration are inconsistent. Patients can be observed for 6 or more hours, or they can be immediately discharged with no further evaluation," Brian M. Clemency, DO, the Department of Emergency Medicine and the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Science, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, and the Erie County Medical Center, New York, said in a news release.

"The question is, which of these patients needs to be watched longer?" he asked. "Right now, there isn't a really good rule. This has wide-ranging negative implications for emergency care and opioid use disorder treatment."

CLICK HERE for more from this important study.
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Ever since the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl started showing up in the U.S. illicit drug supply eight years ago, experts have surmised that drug traffickers were using the inexpensive white powder to boost the potency of heroin, sometimes adding too much and inadvertently killing their customers.

In a series of interviews with heroin users in Rhode Island in 2017, Brown University researchers  reported  that users “described fentanyl as unpleasant, potentially deadly, and to be avoided.” They concluded that demand for the deadly contaminant was low and that its presence in the drug supply was “generating user interest in effective risk mitigation strategies, including treatment.”

But here in San Francisco’s gritty Tenderloin district, where fentanyl was only rarely seen until last year, drug users tell a starkly different story. For many of them, fentanyl is a high-value drug that, if used carefully, can prevent dope sickness and deliver a strong high for a fraction of the price of heroin.

More than half of drug users here purposely seek fentanyl, despite its dangers, according to harm reduction workers who talk to hundreds of drug users every day. Fifty times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, the synthetic opioid was rarely detected in U.S. illicit drug markets or in the bodies of fatal overdose victims just a decade ago. Now it has become the biggest killer in the nation’s raging drug overdose epidemic.

To be sure, many other drug-using San Franciscans say they try to avoid the deadly white powder, and some reported overdosing after unwittingly consuming a wide variety of fentanyl-laced drugs, including methamphetamines, cocaine and counterfeit Xanax and Vicodin pills.

Still, an increasing number of drug users here say they are opting for fentanyl when it’s available, a trend not reported elsewhere in the United States. And despite its powerful potency, fentanyl isn’t killing nearly as many people here as it is on the East Coast and in Appalachia.

CLICK HERE to read about this twist on the opioid story.

The Brain Injury Association of Maryland seeks to represent everyone within Maryland's brain injury community. To better serve the needs of the individuals, families, and caregivers, and professionals living and working within our community, we are looking for guidance on where to put our energy and focus our attention during the new year. 

This brief survey is the start of what we hope to be an ongoing conversation about the issues individuals with brain injuries face in all aspects of their lives, and how best BIAMD can assist them and address these issues. 

Please click the button below to complete the survey and help start this discussion. 

Thank you in advance for your time, attention, and support in helping us become an even better servant leader for all of Maryland's families.
A Researchers have discovered a novel and unexpected function of nestin, the best known marker of neural stem cells.
Specialists said the symptoms, described by those afflicted as “buzzing, grinding metal, piercing squeals and humming,” were similar to the brain dysfunction caused by concussions.
Beginning in late 2016, a mysterious illness befell U.S. diplomatic personnel and family members in Havana.

Specialists said the symptoms, described by those afflicted as “buzzing, grinding metal, piercing squeals and humming,” were similar to the brain dysfunction caused by concussions.
The U.S. government personnel in Cuba reported hearing these weird, loud sounds along with feelings of changes in air pressure in homes owned and maintained by the Cuban government and hotel rooms. Although there had been no history of head trauma, the symptoms reported were consistent with brain injury.

Some U.S. officials suspected the “health attacks” were intentional, perhaps perpetrated by the Cuban or Russian governments. But  new research has implicated another culprit  in the noise: Very loud crickets.

Scientists analyzed a recording of the sound reportedly related to the incidents  released by The Associated Press in 2017  and found it matched the chirp of the Indies short-tailed cricket Anurogryllus celerinictus “in duration, pulse repetition rate, power spectrum, pulse rate stability, and oscillations per pulse.”

CLICK HERE to read about this diplomatic incident.
New Support Group for
Care Providers of the Severely Brain Injured  

The effects of severe Brain Injury can be long lasting or even permanent. Persons providing care for the severely impaired (those with reduced level of consciousness, those on ventilators, those whose Glascow Coma Scale is in the 3 to 10 range, etc.) face burdens that are different than Care Providers for Mild and Moderately injured patients. 

This new Severe TBI Support Group (STS) will meet through Zoom Video Conference Software and will not have to take the time to travel to a distant meeting location. 

The inaugural meeting will be
Sunday, January 20, 2019
from 7:30 to 8:30pm.

For more information and login instructions,
please email Tom Gallup at .

2) What We Are Reading That You Might Enjoy
Research evidence clearly shows that meditation is beneficial for a range of mental health concerns and can significantly change the structure and function of the brain. In this book, you will learn the science behind meditation and come to understand that all meditations are not created equal. Different styles of meditation involve different types of attention, intention, and brain activation patterns. 

Based on this understanding, we have identified 4 styles of meditation (Focus, Mindfulness, Open Heart, and Quiet Mind) that can be matched with specific goals and mental health concerns. In this book, we will explore these styles in depth, with an emphasis on individualizing meditation interventions to the goals and needs of each person. 

While written for professionals, Dr. Tarrant's book is accessible for anyone interested in starting or expanding their meditation practice. Over 50 worksheets, handouts, tips, scripts, and exercises.


 If you decide to buy this book, please don't forget to use  Amazon Smile  and select the Brain Injury Association of Maryland as your donation beneficiary.
5) Quote We Are Contemplating...

“If a man knows not to which port he sails,
no wind is favorable.” 


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  Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.