Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
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JUNE 23, 2018
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Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
ATLANTA — The emptiness is inevitable, inescapable and, sometimes, fatal. Once pro football is through with you, count on it spitting you back out into society a concussed and confused man, searching for purpose.

Jamal Lewis remembers the feeling well. 
Leaning against the back wall at the top of the bleachers, he takes in his 14-year-old son's AAU basketball practice, while his eight-year-old son (Jazz) and nine-year-old daughter (Ivana) wander off. Both sneak…and sneak…and sneak…down to the court, googly-eyeing Dad with an up-to-no-good smirk. Initially, Lewis shouts for them to stay put, but even he cannot help but laugh as the two inch along the baseline like night crawlers.

Then, with all kids out of earshot, Lewis' words knife through the sound of squeaking sneakers synchronizing with bouncing basketballs. When the NFL ejected him—when one final undiagnosed concussion sent Lewis spiraling into the abyss—he considered killing himself.

"You think about death," the former Ravens star says. "I've thought about suicide. I've thought about ending it all."

He felt his self-worth disappear because, he says, the "cheerleaders" in his life—the 70,000 screaming fans each Sunday—disappeared. His trucking company collapsed. He filed for bankruptcy. His assets were seized. He felt a distance between himself and his family. He felt lost in the emptiness and couldn't tell a soul about these demons. Didn't know how to, really. Where he's from, Atlanta's hardscrabble Adamsville neighborhood, expressing feelings was a sign of weakness.

"You just kept it to yourself," he says, "and you dealt with it. You let it out on the field."

Without that outlet—without a linebacker to smash into—suicidal thoughts creeped into his mind and spread like a virus.

CLICK HERE for more about this NCAA and Super Bowl winning Champion and former Baltimore Raven .
This review of the literature on traumatic brain injury (TBI) in older adults focuses on incident TBI sustained in older adulthood (‘‘geriatric TBI’’) rather than on the separate, but related, topic of older adults with a history of earlier-life TBI. We describe the epidemiology of geriatric TBI, the impact of comorbidities and pre-injury function on TBI risk and outcomes, diagnostic testing, management issues, outcomes, and critical directions for future research. The highest incidence of TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths occur in older adults. Higher morbidity and mortality rates among older versus younger individuals with TBI may contribute to an assumption of futility about aggressive management of geriatric TBI. However, many older adults with TBI respond well to aggressive management and rehabilitation, suggesting that chronological age and TBI severity alone are inadequate prognostic markers.

Yet there are few geriatric-specific TBI guidelines to assist with complex management decisions, and TBI prognostic models do not perform optimally in this population. Major barriers in management of geriatric TBI include under-representation of older adults in TBI research, lack of systematic measurement of pre-injury health that may be a better predictor of outcome and response to treatment than age and TBI severity alone, and lack of geriatric-specific TBI common data elements (CDEs). This review highlights the urgent need to develop more age-inclusive TBI research protocols, geriatric TBI CDEs, geriatric TBI prognostic models, and evidence-based geriatric TBI consensus management guidelines aimed at improving short- and long-term outcomes for the large and growing geriatric TBI population.

CLICK HERE to see the future of Geriatric TBI
CINCINNATI — Right fielder Jason Heyward didn’t expect to be sidelined for almost two weeks when he got to the clubhouse feeling sore May 7. The night before, Heyward banged his head against the wall trying to catch Dexter Fowler’s walk-off home run in St. Louis.

“I felt it was supposed to be normal to be that sore,” Heyward said. “And then I just kind of noticed I wasn’t feeling right.”
But by the time he was cleared to be activated from the concussion disabled list Friday, he knew it could have been much longer.

“I wasn’t going to say anything, and then eventually I was glad I did,” said Heyward, speaking publicly about the injury for the first time because no access is allowed to a player in Major League Baseball’s concussion protocol.

Heyward didn’t start against the Reds, but he’s expected to in one of the games Saturday and then again Sunday.
“I’ve never had a concussion. I guess it just kind of makes a believer out of me,” he said. “Not that I didn’t believe before, but just to go through it, you feel for anybody that goes through it. This stuff’s scary. Because you don’t feel like yourself, and then you don’t see anything wrong with you physically but there’s something that’s not right.”

The first symptom was extra upper-body soreness the next day. Then he just felt strange, at which point he entered the protocol. It wasn’t until a few days ago that normal levels of energy returned.
For more on Jason''s recovery: CLICK HERE
2) What We Are Reading We Think You Might Enjoy
Winner of Last Week's "What We Are Reading" Book Giveaway!

I Had Brain Surgery, What's Your Excuse? by Suzy Becker
Hey! You Can Win a Book, Too!

Send an email to with the
Subject Line: I Like To Read! and we will enter your name into a drawing to receive a free copy of the book below.
Carolyn Rocchio is a nationally recognized advocate, author, and speaker in the field of brain injury. Her expertise in brain injury developed as a result of a 1982 auto crash in which her son sustained a severe traumatic brain injury.

She is the author of Ketchup on the Baseboard: Rebuilding Life After Brain Injury and is the founder of the Brain Injury Association of Florida.

For more on this great book:
To View Carolyn on's webcast "Caregiving and TBI: What You Need to Know"
  (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...

Adventure may hurt you,
but monotony will certainly kill you

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