Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
The "Crossword Puzzle" Edition
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Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
A A generation of African American heroin users
is dying in the opioid epidemic nobody talks about.
The nation’s capital is ground zero.
Spoon, whose product could be trusted, wasn’t answering his phone. So just after 9 a.m. on a fetid August morning, Sam Rogers had trekked to a corner two miles east of the U.S. Capitol on Pennsylvania Avenue, hoping to find heroin that wouldn’t kill him.

Now Rogers, 53, was back in his bedroom at the hot, dark house on R Street SE. Sitting in a worn swivel chair, he cued a Rob Thomas song on his cellphone and bent over his cooker and syringe. The heroin — a tan powder sold for $10 a bag — simmered into a cloudy liquid with the amber hue of ginger ale.

Palliative or poison: He would know soon enough.

America’s drug epidemic is commonly associated with rural towns and suburbs. But more people died from opioid overdoses than homicideslast year in the District of Columbia as local government officials looked the other way. Read about  D.C. officials’ faltering response.

“Come on,” Rogers murmured, sliding a needle into his outer forearm between knots of scar tissue. A pink plume of blood rose in the barrel of the syringe. “There you go.”

In the halls of Congress, a short bus ride away, medical professionals and bereaved families have warned for years of the damage caused by opioids to America’s predominantly white small towns and suburbs. 

Almost entirely omitted from their message has been one of the drug epidemic’s deadliest subplots: The experience of older African Americans like Rogers, for whom habits honed over decades of addiction are no longer safe.Heroin laced with the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl has killed thousands of such drug users in the past several years, driving a largely overlooked urban public-health crisis.

CLICK HERE for more from this important Washington Post story.

Many of us might wish our stomachs came with a gauge to alarm us when our tank is full or nearing empty. Wouldn’t it be great if our body told us how many more calories we needed to consume to gain, lose and maintain our weight? It’s a bummer Mother Nature didn’t think that one through and give us this helpful visual reminder. But here’s the good news: There is a tool that can help you tune in to your hunger and fullness meter so you don’t overfill your belly or wait too long to eat between meals.


The ability to feel hunger and fullness is a quality that we were each born with. Babies and little kids don’t need to be told how much milk or food they need to consume to stay healthy; instead, when they are satisfied, they become disinterested in food and simply stop eating. As we mature, this ability becomes blunted—we learn to ignore it, confuse it with thirst or forget it altogether.

Luckily, we can train ourselves to tune in to our ability to feel hunger and fullness by visualizing a Hunger Scale. Imagine a meter ranging from 0–10, with zero being empty and 10 being slammed full. While everyone has their own definitions, physical experiences and symptoms of what hunger and fullness ranges look like, for a reference point and further explanation, the ranges are described here for you.

CLICK HERE to check out each level of the Hunger Scale.
Scientists have solved a 125-year-old mystery of the brain, and, in the process, uncovered a potential treatment for acquired epilepsy. Perineuronal nets modulate electrical impulses in the brain, and, should the nets dissolve, brain seizures can occur.
Since 1893, scientists have known about enigmatic structures called perineuronal nets wrapped around neurons, but the function of the nets remained elusive.

Now, a research team led by Harald Sontheimer, the director of the VTCRI Center for Glial Biology in Health, Disease, and Cancer and the executive director of the School of Neuroscience, part of the Virginia Tech College of Science, has determined the nets modulate electrical impulses in the brain. What's more, brain seizures can occur if the nets are dissolved.

The discovery, published today (Friday, Nov. 9) in Nature Communications, has implications in various forms of acquired epilepsy, a type of seizure disorder that results from brain lesions caused by trauma, infection, or tumors in the brain.

"We started by investigating tumor-associated epilepsy, and we accidentally learned something else important about how the brain works in disease and in health," Sontheimer said.

CLICK HERE  to find out more about this solved mystery(?).
Congratulations to #5Thoughts Fanatic
Becky Shields
the winner of this week's
Kindle Reader Giveaway.

You can win one, too.
(See Below)
2) What We Are Using To Read That You Might Enjoy

In the spirit of the season, we will be giving away a Kindle Reader to one lucky
#5Thoughts Fanatic
one more week.

All you have to do to enter is send us an email to
with the
Subject Line:"I Like to Read on a Kindle".
Please include your
Name, Address, and telephone number.

We will randomly select the winner
from all eligible entries.
One entry per person.
All rights reserved.
Void where prohibited.
Past performance is no indication of future returns.
No shoes, no shirt, no problem.
Who put the "bop" in the the "bop-she-bop-she-bop"
  If you decide to buy anything on your Holiday Shopping List, 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...

“Christmas; Be the Light
for those who stand in the Dark.” 


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  Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.