Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
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"Making Your Best Move"

The 2019
Brain Injury Association of Maryland Annual Conference

Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
The prevalence of concussions in sports is well known. So, too, is the challenge clinicians and others face when they have to decide when an athlete can return to the game after a head injury. While most athletes recover from a sports-related concussion in about seven to 10 days, some need more time. This predicament makes managing the treatment of sports-related concussions very complicated.

Researchers from Florida Atlantic University's College of Engineering and Computer Science and SIVOTEC Analytics in Boca Raton, and collaborators, have come up with a novel solution. They are teaching machines how to predict recovery time from sports-related concussions based on symptoms like headache, dizziness and fatigue. Their study, published in the American College of Sports Medicine's journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, can be used as the foundation for a decision support system that would aid clinicians in developing individualized treatment for injured athletes. This research also is part of a larger ongoing effort by the team to develop machine learning models to help diagnose, track and treat a variety of brain health issues.

Using data from the National Athletic Treatment, Injury and Outcomes Network (NATION), an injury surveillance program on high school student-athletes, the researchers examined data on 2,004 concussion incidents in 22 sports, looking at where the injuries primarily occurred. They found that more than half of the concussions happened in American football.

With this information, they created a new dataset of concussive injuries in football as well as other contact sports that included wrestling, field hockey and boys' and girls' basketball, soccer, and lacrosse. 

CLICK HERE to see what they did with the dataset.
In a scathing decision, a federal judge blasted a subsidiary of the nation's largest insurance company for focusing on the "bottom line as much or more" than patients' health, saying the insurer illegally denied treatment to thousands of people. The judge also slammed the company's medical directors for being "deceptive" under oath.

US Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero issued his decision Tuesday against United Behavioral Health, a unit of UnitedHealthcare, saying the insurer created internal policies that effectively discriminated against those seeking mental health and substance abuse treatment.

"It is well-established that effective treatment of mental health and substance use disorders includes treatment aimed at preventing relapse or deterioration of the patient's condition and maintaining the patient's level of functioning. UBH Guidelines deviate from that standard," Spero said.
Legal observers called the decision one of the most important and most thorough rulings ever issued against an insurance company, at the federal level, on mental health issues.
Insurer skips doctors and sends massive checks to patients, prompting million-dollar lawsuit

Patrick Kennedy, the former US representative from Rhode Island who has long championed mental health issues, called the ruling "breathtaking" in its scope. For the mental health community, he equated it to the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision that found racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional.

"This ruling is the Brown v. Board of Education for the mental health movement," Kennedy said. "The insurance industry is hellbent on violating the federal law, and they're doing so with impunity. Now, we have a federal court specifically and forensically breaking down how they get around the federal law.

CLICK HERE to see more on what Judge Spero decided.

to benefit


Eastpoint Movies 10
7938 Eastern Ave. 
Baltimore, MD 21224

​$25.00 per Person 
$35.00 at the Door

Red Carpet Movie Screening  - Popcorn - Soda
Live Entertainment & Special Guest Speakers
Hobblejog Foundation  Grant Presentation

​All profits to support the community services of
BIAMD and The Love Your Brain Foundation. note that RSVP's do not necessarily guarantee a seat.*
You get all kinds of happiness advice on the internet from people who don't know what they're talking about. Don't trust them.

Actually, don't trust me either. Trust neuroscientists. They study that gray blob in your head all day and have learned a lot about what truly will make you happy.

UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb has some insights that can create an upward spiral of happiness in your life. Here's what you and I can learn from the people who really have answers:

1. The most important question to ask when you feel down

Sometimes it doesn't feel like your brain wants you to be happy. You may feel guilty or shameful. Why?

Believe it or not, guilt and shame activate the brain's reward center.

Via The Upward Spiral:

Despite their differences, pride, shame, and guilt all activate similar neural circuits, including the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, insula, and the nucleus accumbens. Interestingly, pride is the most powerful of these emotions at triggering activity in these regions — except in the nucleus accumbens, where guilt and shame win out. This explains why it can be so appealing to heap guilt and shame on ourselves — they're activating the brain's reward center.

And you worry a lot too. Why? In the short term, worrying makes your brain feel a little better — at least you're doing something about your problems.

Via The Upward Spiral:

In fact, worrying can help calm the limbic system by increasing activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and decreasing activity in the amygdala. That might seem counterintuitive, but it just goes to show that if you're feeling anxiety, doing something about it — even worrying — is better than doing nothing.

But guilt, shame, and worry are horrible long-term solutions. So what do neuroscientists say you should do? Ask yourself this question:

CLICK HERE to find out the question AND the Answers.
Registration is open for the FREE LoveYourBrain Yoga program at Yoga on York starting April 18th!  

LoveYourBrain Yoga is free and open to individuals who have experienced traumatic brain injury (including concussions) and caregivers . The two are welcome to attend together but are not required to.
What: This FREE 6-week program offers gentle yoga, guided meditation, and facilitated group discussion to build community and foster resilience (watch this video to learn how).
Who: our program is for people with traumatic brain injury and their caregivers who are:

- Able to move without assistance (no wheelchair, cane, walker)
- Open to participating in group discussion (includes simply listening)
- Able to follow instructions and regulate intense emotions
- Able to commit to all 6 classes (the first class is mandatory)
- Younger than 71 years of age  

When: Every  Thursday  from  12:30 - 2:00 pm  starting April 18th .
Where:  Yoga on York, 6711 York Road  , Baltimore, MD
How to sign up: Classes are limited to 13 students so sign up today! Each person must submit their own registration. If you are planning to attend with another person, please try to submit both applications close together so you both get a spot.

Questions: please refer to our  Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

2) What We Are Reading That You Might Enjoy
Mild traumatic brain injury can happen to anyone, anytime in cars, sports, or workplace accidents, falls, or through physical assault, including domestic violence and shaken-baby syndrome. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control estimates that 1.4 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year, and that at least 5.3 million Americans currently have long-term or lifelong need for help to perform activities of daily living as a result of a TBI.

Brainlash  provides the tools and facts to make the recovery process more intelligible-- and to support the wide range of people affected by MTBI. For patients, family members, physicians and other health care providers, attorneys, health insurance companies, employers and others, it covers options and services, health and vocational issues, medicolegal topics, psychological and emotional implications, and more!

CLICK HERE for more.

 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...

"No winter lasts forever; No Spring Skips its Turn."

Stay Safe. Stay Warm.

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Want to find a story from a past #5ThoughtsFriday blog posts, visit the archive by clicking HERE .

  Please let us know your requests and suggestions by emailing us at or contacting us on Twitter. 

  Which bullet above is your favorite? What do you want more or less of? Let us know! Just send a tweet to  @biamd1 and put #5ThoughtsFriday in there so we can find it.

  Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.