mild traumatic brain injury

Concussions and Alzheimer’s Linked in Upland California

New Research Links Concussions and Alzheimer’s Disease
Brain Abnormalities Similar in Both Conditions
Science Codex is reporting that a new study published in the Journal Radiology is showing similar brain abnormalities between mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), also known as concussions and those found in early Alzheimer’s dementia.

“Findings of MTBI bear a striking resemblance to those seen in early Alzheimer’s dementia,” said the study’s lead author, Saeed Fakhran, M.D., assistant professor of radiology in the Division of Neuroradiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

“Sleep-wake disturbances are among the earliest findings of Alzheimer’s patients, and are also seen in a subset of MTBI patients,” Dr. Fakhran said. “Furthermore, after concussion, many patients have difficulty filtering out white noise and concentrating on the important sounds, making it hard for them to understand the world around them. Hearing problems are not only an independent risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease, but the same type of hearing problem seen in MTBI patients has been found to predict which patients with memory problems will go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease.”

Sleep-wake disturbances are among the most disabling post-concussive symptoms, directly decreasing quality of life and productivity and magnifying post-concussion memory and social dysfunction.

According to Dr. Fakhran, the results suggest that the true problem facing concussion patients may not be the injury itself, but rather the brain’s response to that injury.

“Traditionally, it has been believed that patients with MTBI have symptoms because of abnormalities secondary to direct injury,” he said. “Simply put, they hit their head, damaged their brain at the point of trauma and thus have symptoms from that direct damage. Our preliminary findings suggest that the initial traumatic event that caused the concussion acts as a trigger for a […]

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Are Soccer Headers Dangerous for Children?

No Soccer Headers until the Age of 14, Experts Say
A recent USA Today story discusses the concerns parents, coaches and doctors have when it comes to youth sports and concussions.

The closer look has come as a backlash to shocking stories from the world of professional athletics. With reports of increased risk of suicides and an Alzheimer’s-like condition pegged to repeated concussions.

No one knows how many blows to the head it takes to cause these problems, but doctors say they’re generally more concerned about the second and third concussions than the first.

Studies have shown that it takes longer to recover from a second concussion if it follows soon after a first, and that once someone has one concussion they’re more likely to get more. But scientists aren’t yet certain that the second concussion is always worse; it’s possible that people who’ve had one are simply more likely to recognize and seek medical treatment when it happens again.

Avoiding concussions isn’t easy. Accidents will always happen.

But there are ways to minimize risk. Experts say that coaches need to teach kids how to minimize head-injury risks whenever possible — such as tackling in football — and then enforce the safety rules that are already on the books, says Dennis Cardone, a sports medicine specialist at NYU’s Comprehensive Concussion Center.

Neurosurgery professor Robert Cantu, of Boston University, says some sports need to change their practices to reduce concussion risk. He thinks children should not be allowed to head a soccer ball until at least age 14; ditto for playing tackle football.

Helmets are great at protecting against skull fractures and catastrophic head injuries, but no one has yet designed a helmet to prevent concussions, Cardone says.

What if your child has sustained […]

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    Repetitive Soccer Ball Heading May Be Leading to Brain Injury

Repetitive Soccer Ball Heading May Be Leading to Brain Injury

Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries and Soccer
Fox and CBS news are reporting that repetitive heading of a soccer ball may be leading to brain injury. In the past decade, concern has been raised surrounding concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries sustained by football players and military personnel, as more and more studies have indicated that these injuries may have a lasting impact on cognition and memory. And now, another kind of athlete could potentially be at risk for similar types of brain abnormalities: Soccer players.

Utilizing advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City found that numerous repetitions of the soccer move known as ‘heading,’ are associated with adverse brain changes comparable to those found in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

According to Lipton, the lead researcher in the study active soccer players will head the ball an average of five to six times during a competitive match.  But the real bulk of soccer heading happens during practice sessions, in which a player could repeatedly head the ball up to 30 times or more.

“Specifically soccer heading entails numerous repetitions of mild impact to the head,” said Lipton, who is also the medical director of MRI at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. “My area is mild traumatic brain injury, so I look at how much does it take (to have a lasting effect).  Soccer players are repeatedly hitting their head, and we know that multiple head injuries tend to be worse than just one.”

“The more heading people did, the more likely they were to have abnormalities of brain microstructure and worse cognitive performance,” Lipton said.

The research is published online in the journal Radiology.

Some of the […]

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Post Concussion Syndrome, Contact Sports and the Upper Neck

Post Concussion Syndrome
According to the Mayo Clinic, a Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury, usually occurring after a blow to the head. Loss of consciousness isn’t required for a diagnosis of concussion or post-concussion syndrome. In fact, the risk of post-concussion syndrome doesn’t appear to be associated with the severity of the initial injury.

In most people, post-concussion syndrome symptoms occur within the first seven to 10 days and go away within three months, though they can persist for a year or more.  Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is a complex disorder in which a variable combination of post-concussion symptoms — such as headaches and dizziness — last for weeks, months or sometimes even years after the injury that caused the concussion.
Contact Sports
Kids who are playing football, soccer, hockey, basketball, lacrosse, martial arts, and more are regularly suffering head and neck trauma and concussions.

Contact sports athletes and kids with a history of auto accidents, falls, and skateboarding injuries, etc. involving head and neck trauma may not only be struggling with physical symptoms as a result of post-concussion syndrome, but also emotional and behavioral symptoms. These types of injuries do not only affect the brain, but also the brain stem and the spinal cord. A misalignment in the upper neck can lead to a tractioning of the brainstem and spinal cord resulting in ongoing physical and emotional problems.
NUCCA
Since the 1930’s upper cervical chiropractors have been researching the connection between head and neck injuries and a variety of different problems.  When the head and neck suffers trauma the upper neck is frequently the most injured.  When the upper neck is injured there is a tearing loose of the connective tissue that holds the spine in place.  This allows the […]