Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
The "No More Twinkies" Edition
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Call for Presentations for the 31st
Brain Injury Association of Maryland
Annual Conference.

The BIAMD ANNUAL CONFERENCE is a multi-track neuro-conference focusing on issues related to: individuals with brain injury and family members, children and adolescents in the school system and transitioning, advocacy and community rehab services, and professional and clinical training.

Submit your Presentation today by CLICKING HERE .
Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
Looking to the Future Has Always Defined Humanity. Will A.I. Become the Best Crystal Ball of All?
RANDY BUCKNER WAS a graduate student at Washington University in st. Louis in 1991 when he stumbled across one of the most important discoveries of modern brain science. For Buckner — as for many of his peers during the early ’90s — the discovery was so counterintuitive that it took years to recognize its significance.

Buckner’s lab, run by the neuroscientists Marcus Raichle and Steven Petersen, was exploring what the new technology of PET scanning could show about the connection between language and memory in the human brain. The promise of the PET machine lay in how it measured blood flow to different parts of the brain, allowing researchers for the first time to see detailed neural activity, not just anatomy. In Buckner’s study, the subjects were asked to recall words from a memorized list; by tracking where the brain was consuming the most energy during the task, Buckner and his colleagues hoped to understand which parts of the brain were engaged in that kind of memory.

But there was a catch. Different regions of the brain vary widely in how much energy they consume no matter what the brain is doing; if you ask someone to do mental math while scanning her brain in a PET machine, you won’t learn anything from that scan on its own, because the subtle changes that reflect the mental math task will be drowned out by the broader patterns of blood flow throughout the brain. To see the specific regions activated by a specific task, researchers needed a baseline comparison, a control.

At first, this seemed simple enough: Put the subjects in the PET scanner, ask them to sit there and do nothing — what the researchers sometimes called a resting state — and then ask them to perform the task under study. The assumption was that by comparing the two images, the resting brain and the active brain, the researchers could discern which regions were consuming more energy while performing the task.

But something went strangely wrong when Buckner scanned the resting states of their subjects.

CLICK HERE to see the rest of this intriguing story.
Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times Image
Sleep deprivation is the invisible ceiling to how good life can be.
Imagine this: Someone walks up to you and pitches you on a brand-new, magical pill.

This pill can measurably improve your memory, overall cognitive performance, ability to learn new information, receptivity to facial cues, mood, ability to handle problems, metabolism, risk for heart disease and immune system.

Would you buy it?

Yeah, yeah, you saw this coming: That pill exists, but not in pill form. You can have all of those benefits cost-free, and all it takes is going to bed a little bit earlier. That’s it.

And yet! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called sleep deprivation a public health crisis, saying that one-third of adults don’t get enough sleep. Some 80 percent of people report sleep problems at least once per week, and according to a 2016 study, sleep deprivation “causes more than $400 billion in economic losses annually in the United States and results in 1.23 million lost days of work each year.”

If that’s not enough, here is a non-comprehensive list of the ways your sleep deprivation is personally harming you:

CLICK HERE to see the list.
"Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Jillian Copeland of Rockville likes to quote this proverb, often attributed to Plato. But she adds her own twist, “Those inventions are created by a mom of special needs.”
​Main Street is an inclusive, community-centered residential development – the first of its kind in the Washington Metropolitan Area – where 25% of the apartments are designed and designated for adults with disabilities. On course to be completed by 2020 in the heart of Rockville, MD, Main Street seeks to be a model and a mindset: an affordable and inclusive community that offers social engagement, unparalleled accessibility and dynamic educational, vocational and therapeutic programming. Non-residents may join our membership and participate in community activities along with residents. In this way, the project will have an even broader impact beyond providing critically needed housing.

Main Street’s mission is to meet the urgent need for disability housing and programming with affordable, community-centered spaces and opportunities that promote inclusion, independence and quality of life.

Mainstreet's Core Values

Main Street will offer 70 affordable 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments, with 25% of the units serving adults with needs.

Partnerships with local universities and organizations will provide the foundation for social, educational, and therapeutic programming. A full working kitchen, rooftop garden, computer lab and meeting space will host professional skills workshops and classes for residents to learn a new skill, volunteer or engage in a hobby.

An on-site movie room, wellness center including fitness and meditation space to provide places to lounge, socialize and unwind. An array of dynamic activities and events will be offered directly on-site, positioning Main Street as a destination and a community asset. In addition, Main Street’s close proximity to downtown Rockville and the Rockville Metro station offers a variety of restaurants, shops and activities within walking-distance.

Housed within Main Street’s ground floor are flexible, affordable spaces for non-profits and resource-oriented organizations to access Main Street residents and the growing Rockville community. Vocational supports—from job coaching to ride shares—provide residents the tools they need for meaningful employment. An attached neighborhood coffee shop will offer employment opportunities while supporting the caffeine habits of Rockville’s public and private sectors.

Every person deserves the opportunity to make their life their own. Main Street strives to provide a safe, engaging home for special needs adults, with the residential supports they need to find friendship, joy and purpose.

CLICK HERE to find out more about this amazing project.
The Brain Injury Association of Maryland made a very special presentation at this month's TBI Advisory Board Meeting on November 14th. BIAMD was able to finally present, in person, its "Partnership for Independence Award - Advocate" to State Delegate Bob Flanagan of District 9B Howard County.

Delegate Flanagan was instrumental in securing a Memorandum of Understanding between the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Department of Health to provide a funding source for the Maryland Brain Injury Trust Fund. Very soon, customers renewing their Maryland license plates will be given an option to donate $1 dollar towards the Brain Injury Trust Fund upon checkout. The funds will be used to purchase services and medical assistance for individuals with brain injuries with no where else to turn. Delegate Flanagan also assisted BIAMD and the TBI Advisory Board in drafting a bill to determine public school students' potential brain injuries in order to better provide much needed support services.

For his efforts, and his ongoing dedication to improving the lives of Marylanders with brain injuries, BIAMD was proud to award Delegate Flanagan with its highest honor for a public advocate and public servant. Thank you Bob from BIAMD and from every Maryland family wrestling with this devastating injury.
2) What We Are Listening To That You Might Enjoy
Thanks to Michael Gerlach for telling us about this amazing podcast. Listen to Michael's radio show, Insight on DisAbility every Sunday night at 7 on TalkRadio 680 WCBM - AM or web HERE . This week, Bryan Pugh, Executive Director of the Brain Injury Association of Maryland will be on his show.
The story of Aaron Hernandez unspooled rapidly in Boston and beyond, with developments almost impossible to digest in real time. The Patriots star tight end dazzled crowds with his spectacular athleticism, only to be implicated in one murder, then two others. There were trials, and verdicts, and a maximum security prison. He took his own life at age 27.
What is the legacy of Aaron Hernandez?

Through documents and audio recordings, some never before made public, and interviews with key people who have never before spoken, the Globe’s Spotlight Team has compiled the story of a profoundly troubled young man and the ugly underside of America’s most popular sport. Its reporters produced not only this six-part series, but also its first-ever multi-episode podcast where you can hear the voices – including that of Aaron Hernandez – that will bring the story alive.

CLICK HERE to hear it.
  (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.) 
Interested in shaping the future for Maryland's Brain Injury Community? Paying it Back or Paying it Forward? No better way than joining the Maryland Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Board. The Board is currently seeking new members who are healthcare providers, professionals with an interest in brain injury, family members with a connection to brain injury, and individuals with brain injuries.

To Find out more about the TBI Advisory Board CLICK HERE.

To apply for an appointment to the board CLICK HERE.
1) Quote We Are Contemplating...

“There’s no such thing as bad weather,
only bad clothes”


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