Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
  #5Thoughts Friday
The "Samhain" Edit ion
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As part of our exclusive weekly membership content, we will be releasing the “Community Organization Spotlight” series highlighting professionals in the brain injury field who will discuss their work and the programs they are a part of. 

This week, Arin highlights a veteran in the field of pediatric brain injury – Dr. Joan Carney, Director of the Fairmount Rehabilitation Programs within Kennedy Krieger’s Pediatric Rehabilitation System. Dr. Carney also directs the Inpatient Educational Services Unit and a training grant working with parents and professionals in the community, the Specialized Health Needs Interagency Collaboration project. She also currently serves on BIAMD’s board of directors and the Governor’s Advisory Board for TBI. 

After starting her career as a special education teacher, Kennedy Krieger brought Dr. Carney on in 1986 as an Educational Specialist to coach families through navigating the special education process after their child left the hospital. Dr. Carney explains that this process, which was built to accommodate children with developmental disabilities, is cumbersome for families and not always TBI-friendly. “Children with TBI who had been developing normally suddenly had this change in their performance and are returning to school very different,” Dr. Carney explains. “Families are left to navigate a process that isn’t good at accommodating these changes.”

Medical care is only the beginning of the continuum of services needed to support a child’s long-term needs after a brain injury. When children are deemed medically stable, insurance limitations often force children to be sent home long before they are ready to return to school. Many of these children are still in need of outpatient therapy, with a schedule and a routine that can help them transition back to a full day of school. In response to this, in 1995 Kennedy Krieger developed their intensive day rehabilitation programs. These programs include the Specialized Transition Program, the Constraint-induced and Bimanual Movement Therapy Program, and the Community Rehabilitation Program.

CLICK HERE to read more about Joan and Kennedy Krieger.
From our Friends at
 The National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA)
Action  Alert
Contact Your Senators to Support 
H.R. 4334, includes TBI Screening Among Older Adults

The U.S. House of Representative has passed legislation reauthorizing the Older Americans Act (OAA) programs, and included TBI in the bill for the first time. Read further to learn more and how you can help.
ON October 28th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4334, the Dignity in Aging Act, sponsored by Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA), which reauthorizes the Older Americans Act (OAA) for five years and increases funding for vital programs that help seniors live independently and with dignity. The bill includes an amendment offered by Rep. Fred Keller (R-PA) in the Committee on Education and Labor in Sept., which was adopted, adding fall-related traumatic brain injuries (TBI) to the list of conditions covered under the Older Americans Act. The amendment allows funding for screening for fall-related TBI and to promote public awareness in order to help detect these injuries early and ensure that seniors receive the care they need.
The bill will now go to the Senate, which will hopefully agree to the OAA reauthorization proposal. OAA program authority expired Sept. 30.

What Can You Do?

Call or email your Senators to tell him/her to support H.R. 4334, reauthorizing funding for the Older Americans Act programs, including provisions relating to traumatic brain injury resulting from falls.

You may access your Senators contact information HERE. At the top of the page is "Find Your Senators" with a drop down box to click on your State.


  • In 2014, falls were the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries and accounted for almost half of all traumatic brain injury-related emergency department visits.

  • Four in five traumatic brain injury-related emergency department visits in older adults aged 65 years and older were caused by falls, and rates were even higher for individuals 75 and older.

  • Rep. Keller's amendment, which was adopted, added fall-related traumatic brain injury services to the Older Americans Act's definition of "disease prevention and health promotion services." The amendment also allows existing grant programs to cover traumatic brain injury screening and efforts to raise public awareness.

Photo by  LuAnn Hunt  on  Unsplash
Patients who survive a cerebral hemorrhage may suffer delayed severe brain damage caused by free hemoglobin, which comes from red blood cells and damages neurons. Researchers at the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich have now discovered a protective protein in the body called haptoglobin, which prevents this effect.
Bleeding in the narrow space between the inner and middle meninges is life threatening. This type of cerebral hemorrhage is normally caused by small protrusions in the major arteries at the base of the brain (Aneurysms) that can burst without warning. A third of patients suffering such a hemorrhage, who are often still young, die as a result of the massive increase of pressure inside the skull. "Even if we manage to stop the bleeding and to stabilize the patients, in the first two weeks after bleeding there can be delayed brain damage. This often leads to severe impairments or can even be fatal," explains Luca Regli, director of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University Hospital Zurich (USZ).

Despite great research efforts, until now it has not been possible to prevent these serious consequences of bleeding in the subarachnoid space. An interdisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Zurich (UZH), USZ and the Veterinary Teaching Hospital Zurich have now discovered a promising strategy: Haptoglobin, a protective protein found in the blood, binds the hemoglobin that has been released in the cerebrospinal fluid before it can cause damage.

CLICK HERE t o see more on this exciting study.
Photo by  Anthony Tran  on  Unsplash
I had lived thirty good years before enduring my first food poisoning — odds quite fortunate in the grand scheme of things, but miserably unfortunate in the immediate experience of it. I found myself completely incapacitated to erect the pillars of my daily life — too cognitively foggy to read and write, too physically weak to work out or even meditate. The temporary disability soon elevated the assault on my mind and body to a new height of anguish: an intense experience of stress. Even as I consoled myself with Nabokov’s exceptionally florid account of food poisoning, I couldn’t shake the overwhelming malaise that had engulfed me — somehow, a physical illness had completely colored my psychoemotional reality.

This experience, of course, is far from uncommon. Long before scientists began shedding light on how our minds and bodies actually affect one another, an intuitive understanding of this dialogue between the body and the emotions, or feelings, emerged and permeated our very language: We use “ sick” as a grab-bag term for both the sensory symptoms — fever, fatigue, nausea — and the psychological malaise, woven of emotions like sadness and apathy.

Pre-modern medicine, in fact, has recognized this link between disease and emotion for millennia. Ancient Greek, Roman, and Indian Ayurvedic physicians all enlisted the theory of the four humors — blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm — in their healing practices, believing that imbalances in these four visible secretions of the body caused disease and were themselves often caused by the emotions. These beliefs are fossilized in our present language — melancholy comes from the Latin words for “black” (melan) and “bitter bile” (choler), and we think of a melancholic person as gloomy or embittered; a phlegmatic person is languid and impassive, for phlegm makes one lethargic.

And then French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes came along...

CLICK HERE to find out how emotions can impact health
What We are Reading We Think
You Might FInd Interesting
In an emotional, heartfelt,
and honest book, former NFL wife Cyndy Feasel tells the tragic story of what life was like living with Grant Feasel, a center with the Seattle Seahawks who suffered repeated concussions and head trauma.

​  In After the Cheering Stops, Cyndy describes how Grant’s attempts at self-medicating his pain destroyed their marriage, devastated her relationship with their three children, and left her destitute—but also gave her a mission: 

  • to raise awareness about CTE and head trauma injuries in sports 

  • educate current athletes and parents of athletes at all levels about the potential damage that head injuries can cause.

CLICK HERE to learn about Cyndy's ongoing story.
5) Quote We Are Contemplating...

"Some people are born for Halloween, and some are just counting the days until Christmas."

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CLICK HERE for more info.
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