Our monthly newsletter....
delivered to you on the last day of each month. Enjoy the little extra!
JUNE 2019
Last Day Lagniappe
Healthy Body = Healthy Mind
What you can do today to promote good health in both your body AND your mind .

  • Maintain Your Balance- Balance is key to prevent further brain damages from falls. It can be impaired by certain prescription medications, sedatives and antidepressants. Make sure you are aware of this, do exercises to improve your balance if you are feeling shaky, and always make sure you move with caution.

  • Live a Healthy Lifestyle- Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, make an effort to eat well, exercise and drink moderately bearing in mind that alcohol can be destructive to recovery of survivors of brain and spinal cord injuries.

  • Honest Discussions With Your Doctor- Not just about physical concerns, but mentally as well. Sometimes bringing a friend or family member to visits who can offer helpful notes can be beneficial to your doctor.

  • Find a Creative Outlet- Learn a new language or pick up painting. Whatever it is, finding new hobbies has been shown to improve memory, comprehension and problem-solving abilities. 

  • Know Your Blood Pressure- BP has been called the “silent killer” because you often don’t feel ill when your blood pressure is high. Keep tabs on your BP and remember you can manage it using many of the strategies that we have mentioned above. 
  • Eat small meals every 2-3 hours. Packing healthy snacks like nuts, apples, hard boiled eggs for on the go can help you manage this schedule.
  • Balance your meals with protein, healthy oils and fats and carbs
  • Protein: Fish, lean meats, eggs
  •  Healthy Oils/Fats: avocados, nuts, seeds
  • Carbohydrates: veggies, fruits and grains

  • Set a timer to remind you to eat at the same time every day
  • Write down what you need at the grocery store on an easily accessible notepad and organize it by aisle to make going to the store a smooth process
  • Wear ear earplugs/ tinted glasses to the grocery store if you have sensory concerns and sensitivities. In the beginning of recovery, have someone go to the store with you to help support you.
  • Keep track of expiration dates diligently.

A Note on Vitamins and Supplements:
Some vitamins can help compensate for things missing in your diet that can help facilitate recovery. Make sure to contact a nutritionist or your doctor about an individualized vitamin and supplement plan that works for you and your diet .

For further information about nutritional strategies for traumatic brain injury survivors, click the link below!

  Neuroprotection- treatment aimed to prevent cell death when possible, reducing inflammation, and to stop neural overactivity.
  • Therapeutic Hypothermia- This is when body temperature is lowering the body temperatures in a controlled environment. This has been shown to reduce swelling and inflammation pressing on the cord that further aggravate injury.

  • Macrophage Manipulation- Macrophages are white blood cells that travel to injury sites to clear up debris from the injury and promote nerve cell growth but can be toxic if still present a few days following the injury. Researchers are working on a way to manipulate and signal these macrophages to continue restoring injury sites without damaging them.

Regeneration- an area of research focusing on stimulating regrowth of axons and their connections.
  • Antibodies- these are naturally occurring bodies that disable foreign proteins. A significant vector of research is manipulating antibodies to target specific proteins that inhibit spinal cord repair.

  • Bacterial Enzymes- research is being done on using bacterial enzyme- chondroitinase ABC to clear away glial tangles of inhibitory proteins and scars that affect proper regeneration after a spinal cord injury

Cell Replacement- A strategy to help spinal injury by replacing damaged nerve or glial cells with healthy ones .
While this is a controversial and complex strategy, oligodendrocyte (glial cells in the central nervous system), Schwann cells (glial cells in the peripheral nervous system) bone marrow and nasal olfactory transplants to the site of spinal cord injury all have been shown to facilitate regrowth of neurons at the injury site.

Retraining Central Nervous System Circuits to restore function
  • Epidural Stimulation- Electrodes are implanted on the spinal cord muscles and when stimulated have been shown in some studies to help with paralysis

  • Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)- a method that sends an electrical current directly to muscles to generate muscle contractions. This has been shown to help with coughing in patients with tetraplegia.

  • Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI)- Another method that has helped with tetraplegic patients. BCI bypasses damaged nerve circuits and links directly to assistive devices allowing patients to control assistive devices, compute4r cursers and virtual reality environments with their thoughts.

For more information on the research presented above or additional studies, please refer to this NINDS review, linked below!

We are excited to announce that our Ms. Wheelchair Louisiana competition will be held in Baton Rouge on November 2nd. A very special thanks to NuMotion Foundation for sponsoring this year's event. Interested in participating? Email kim@biala.org
Representatives from BIALA just returned from Washington DC where they represented Louisiana in United Spinal Association's Roll on Capitol Hill. Meetings with Louisiana lawmakers took place where they discussed specific needs for individuals with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities.
Sign up for “Ready, Relax, Eat”
A New Program for Caregivers Launching in Fall 2019

A loved one’s brain injury or spinal cord injury has a ripple effect on the entire family. While the role of caregiving can be rewarding, it can also be challenging, and sometimes caregivers simply need someone to lean on.

We have spent months meeting with caregivers in informal settings to determine some of their most pressing needs. One of the primary desires they often cite is respite – a break from caregiving duties – including relief from meal preparation.

That’s why BIALA has created “Ready, Relax, Eat” to give caregivers a respite from meal preparation periodically from month to month. We will launch this in the fall as a pilot project in the greater New Orleans area, then expand to other areas of the state as funding permits.

Request for Presenter Proposals
are now available on our website for our

MARCH 27-28, 2020

On July 10th , a CONNECTIONS CIRCLE art enrichment event will be held at Moreau Physical Therapy in Lafayette. BJ Smith, with the Brain Art Alliance, will talk about the therapeutic benefits of engaging in art and will lead attendees in creating their own masterpiece. Thank you to Moreau Physical Therapy for hosting this event.

On August 15th, Bert Burns with UroStat Healthcare will be hosting a talk on urology and sharing his inspirational story followed by a fun afternoon of bowling. Thank you to Bert for sponsoring this event.

Email: kim@biala.org for detailed information
on both events and to Register
Motivational Moment
Take pride in how far you come and have faith in how far you can go.
Did you enjoy LAST DAY LAGNIAPPE? 
If so, please forward this email to a friend! 

Have a story we need to share OR have requests or suggestions? 
Send it to info@biala.org

#lastdaylagniappe #BIALA #helphopehealing #changeyourmind #werollunited #resourcesforsci #resourcesfortbi

Disclaimer: This website and resource guide is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement of treatments, individuals, businesses or programs which appear herein. Any external links on the website are provided for the visitor’s convenience; once you click on any of these links you are leaving the BIALA website. BIALA has no control over and is not responsible for the nature, content, and availability of those sites. The inclusion of an organization or service does not imply an endorsement of the organization or service, nor does exclusion imply disapproval. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information, we make no guarantees. If information provided is inaccurate or dated, please send an email to  info@biala.org  with any corrections.