Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
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The 2019
Brain Injury Association of Maryland Annual Conference

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Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
Brad Baylis doesn’t remember anything about the day last summer when he hit a moose while driving in northern B.C.

Indeed, everything the Prince George man knows about his close brush with death — not to mention the entire month afterward — he’s pieced together from friends, family and medical professionals who saved his life after the moose crashed through his windshield, sending Baylis careening into a ditch and trapped in his vehicle.

Baylis, 39, and the moose would be extricated from the vehicle and he would be airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital on life support. While he was in the intensive-care unit for a month, plastic surgeons would spend 10 hours perfectly reconstructing his shattered face and intensive-care specialists would make Baylis the first patient to get a new procedure called brain microdialysis.

With Baylis on the verge of dying from his traumatic brain injury, Dr. Mypinder Sekhon and colleagues deployed newly acquired tools that allowed them to frequently monitor Baylis’s brain-tissue chemistry so they could tailor the amount of glucose and other metabolic supplements he needed intravenously. They were also able to do real-time monitoring of oxygen and blood-pressure levels in his brain to deliver medications with doses tailored to his condition rather than giving standardized doses.

“The impact with the moose caused major hemorrhaging in his brain and he was suffocating from a lack of oxygen while emergency crews were extricating him from the vehicle,” said Sekhon. “It was a horrible, horrible injury with diffuse swelling throughout his brain. Often with this kind of swelling, brain death will ensue. We had no option other than to try the bolt.”

CLICK HERE to see what happened next.
Members of the Sackler family, which owns the company that makes OxyContin, directed years of efforts to mislead doctors and patients about the dangers of the powerful opioid painkiller, a court filing citing previously undisclosed documents contends.

When evidence of growing abuse of the drug became clear in the early 2000s, one of them, Richard Sackler, advised pushing blame onto people who had become addicted.

“We have to hammer on abusers in every way possible,” Mr. Sackler wrote in an email in 2001, when he was president of the company, Purdue Pharma. “They are the culprits and the problem. They are reckless criminals.”

That email and other internal Purdue communications are cited by the attorney general of Massachusetts in a new court filing against the company, released on Tuesday. They represent the first evidence that appears to tie the Sacklers to specific decisions made by the company about the marketing of OxyContin. The aggressive promotion of the drug helped ignite the opioid epidemic.

CLICK HERE to read about this new angle on the opioid epidemic.
In a study on mice, a team of researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine and Yale University School of Medicine has discovered a molecular mechanism that is essential for maturation of brain function and may be used to restore cortical plasticity in mature brains.
The human brain is very plastic during childhood, and all young mammals have a ‘critical period’ when different areas of their brains can remodel neural connections in response to external stimuli.
Disruption of this precise developmental sequence results in serious damage; conditions such as autism potentially involve disrupted critical periods.

“It’s been known for a while that maturation of inhibitory nerve cells in the brain controls the onset of critical period plasticity, but how this plasticity wanes as the brain matures is not understood,” said first author  Dr. Adema Ribic , a researcher at Tufts University School of Medicine.

“We’ve had some evidence that a set of molecules called SynCAMs (synaptic cell adhesion molecules) may be involved in this process, so we decided to dig deeper into those specific molecules.”
Dr. Ribic and her colleagues focused on the visual cortex, the part of the brain responsible for processing visual scenes, in which plasticity has been examined in many species.

Using advanced viral tools and electrophysiological techniques, the researchers were able to measure activity of neurons in awake mice freely responding to visual stimuli.

They found that removal of the SynCAM 1 molecule from the brain increased plasticity in the visual cortex of both young and adult mice.

CLICK HERE to read more about the study.

CLICK HERE to read the study itself.
2) What We Are Reading That You Might Enjoy
Through five editions, The 36-Hour Day has been an essential resource for families who love and care for people with Alzheimer disease. Whether a person has Alzheimer disease or another form of dementia, he or she will face a host of problems. The 36-Hour Day will help family members and caregivers address these challenges and simultaneously cope with their own emotions and needs.

Featuring useful takeaway messages and informed by recent research into the causes of and the search for therapies to prevent or cure dementia, this edition includes new information on

  • devices to make life simpler and safer for people who have dementia
  • strategies for delaying behavioral and neuropsychiatric symptoms
  • changes in Medicare and other health care insurance laws
  • palliative care, hospice care, durable power of attorney, and guardianship
  • dementia due to traumatic brain injury
  • choosing a residential care facility
  • support groups for caregivers, friends, and family members

The central idea underlying the book―that much can be done to improve the lives of people with dementia and of those caring for them―remains the same. The 36-Hour Day is the definitive dementia care guide.


 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...

 “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”


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  Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.