Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
The "Spruce Goose" Edition
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Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
For debilitated and often-broke former football players and their families, the National Football League's agreement to pay more than $1 billion in a settlement for victims of chronic brain trauma appeared to be the end of the battle that had consumed them for years.

The money was supposed to provide a measure of peace and stability for the wives, widows and children of tormented players who had died young or are fading away in nursing homes. Not disclosed, however, is the significant portion of the fund that is being withheld from those it was promised.

As the award notifications begin to trickle out, some of the recipients have been stunned to find they may receive just pennies on the dollar of what they’re owed, likely setting off another spate of frustrating court battles.

Some have even received notices that show pending payments in the negative.  

 CLICK HERE to read about this evolving tragedy.
The law takes positive steps, but experts say it’s not enough.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a package of bills to confront the nation’s  opioid epidemic , following bipartisan approval for the measures in the House and Senate.
If you hear lawmakers describe it, the legislation, dubbed the Support for Patients and Communities Act, is a big breakthrough that will boost access to addiction treatment and many other interventions to mitigate the opioid epidemic, from law enforcement efforts against illicit drugs to combating the overprescription of opioids.

“This bill is a major victory for Ohio and for the country because it will strengthen the federal government’s response to the opioid crisis,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who actively worked on the legislation, said in a statement after the Senate vote. “Importantly, this bill will increase access to long-term treatment and recovery while also helping stop the flow of deadly synthetic drugs like fentanyl from being shipped into the United States through our own Postal Service.”

Experts and activists are more tepid. It’s not that the legislation does anything outwardly bad. In fact, the changes are mostly positive, according to the experts and activists I spoke with. But Dr. Leana Wen, the former health commissioner of Baltimore (and  soon-to-be president of Planned Parenthood ), said that the legislation “is simply tinkering around the edges,” and that a far more comprehensive, ambitious response is needed to really deal with the crisis.

CLICK HERE to see more.
Approximately 1 in 4 mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBIs) in adults occur at work[1,2]. Across the spectrum of severity, workplace brain injuries are associated with substantial productivity loss, economic burden[3–5], persistent symptoms and occupational disability[1,6]. Considering traumatic injuries of all kinds, patients who are injured at their workplace are at greater risk of delayed return to work (RTW) and other poor health outcomes than those who were injured outside of work[7]. It is not known whether this difference holds for MTBI and which factors account for worse outcomes from workplace injuries. There are several reasons to expect differences between workplace and non-workplace MTBIs. For example, whereas many falls and recreational accidents are non-compensable, patients who are injured at work are legally entitled to compensation[8]. Compensation access is highly predictive of delayed RTW[9,10]. Worker’s Compensation claimants in Canada have substantial rates of suspected symptom exaggeration after MTBI[11,12]. However, compensation access cannot fully account for differences in RTW rates. For example, in New Zealand’s universal entitlement system, where workplace and non-workplace injures afford the same access to compensation, workplace injuries are associated with a greater risk of delayed RTW, as well as long-term physical and emotional health problems[7].

Differences in patient demographics might contribute to differences between workplace and non-workplace injuries. MTBI is more common in men[13], and this gender gap is wider for workplace injuries (including MTBI)[2,4,14,15], but women are at greater risk for chronic symptoms following MTBI[16–18]. Women more often access health services than men in some settings, but not for a workplace MTBI[19]. Gender and workplace factors may also interact. Traditionally masculine work environments may be less supportive for returning injured workers[20]. MTBI occurs disproportionately in manufacturing, construction, and transportation[2,4,6,15]. These occupations are associated with lower education attainment and decision-making latitude at work, factors that have been previously linked to worse outcomes from MTBI[21–24].

Another factor that may contribute to poor prognosis and delayed RTW after work injury is blame attribution[8,25,26]: who or what the patient perceives is at fault for their injury. Those who are injured at work are most likely to blame equipment or others in the workplace rather than themselves, whereas self-blame is most common in non-workplace injuries[8]. Blame perception regarding work injury is predictive of disability at 6-months post injury[25].

CLICK HERE to find out more on this return to work study.
CONGRATULATIONS TO MARTIN KERRIGAN! His name was selected for our “Read What We are Reading” giveaway in last week's #5ThoughtsFriday. Martin won a copy of "League of Denial" by Mark Fainaru-Wada, and Steve Fainaru. 
2) What We Are Reading We Think You Might Enjoy
Hey! You Can Win The Book Below!

Send an email to with the
Subject Line: I Like To Read! and your name and mailing address in the email . We will enter your name into a drawing to receive a free copy of the book mailed to you for your reading pleasure!
Forget spending 10,000 hours in the pursuit of perfecting just one thing. The true path to success and achievement lies in the pursuit of perfecting lots and lots of small things--for a big payoff.

Combining positive psychology, neuroscience, self-help and more, this delightfully illuminating book encourages us to circumvent all the reasons we "can't" learn and grow (we're too busy, it's too complicated, we're not experts, we didn't start when we were young) -- by tackling small, satisfying skills. 

Wish you were a seasoned chef? Learn to make a perfect omelette. Dream of being a racecar driver? Perfect a handbrake turn. Wish you could draw? Make Zen circles your first challenge. These small, doable tasks offer a big payoff -- and motivate us to keep learning and growing, with payoffs that include a boost in optimism, confidence, memory, cognitive skills, and more

Micromasteries presented in the book (with illustrations) include: Learn How to Climb a Rope, Surf Standing Up, Talk for Fifteen Minutes about Any Subject, Bake Artisan Bread, Juggle Four Balls, Learn to Read Japanese in Three Hours, and more.
  (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...

"There is nothing either good or bad
but thinking makes it so.


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  Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.