As published in BIAOR’s Headliner newsletter: Andrew’s Story

September 13, 2017

 

Andrew’s therapy team shares his inspirational story of TBI recovery, and learning to walk again.

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9 Lifestyle changes to prevent Alzheimer’s & Dementia

August 23, 2017

If you are a high risk for dementia or if you have a family history of the disease, there are a few things you can do regularly to lower your risk of developing dementia.

1. Quit Smoking: Researchers in Finland say smoking more than two packs of cigarettes daily from age 50 to 60 increases risk of dementia later in life.

2. Be Physically Active: A research study showed that a group who did not exercise underwent significant atrophy of their hippocampus in as little as 18 months. In fact, the cerebral structure had shrunk by 3% on average. To benefit your brain, exercise moderately at least 3 times weekly and move around at least 30 minutes a day.

3. Vitamin B

4. Vitamin D

5. Train your brain: Learning something new creates new neuropathways to connect new and existing information.

6. Prevent head injuries: Some head injuries can actually increase your risk of developing dementia later in life, especially if it causes 30 minutes to 24 hours of unconsciousness after initial injury

7. Control alcohol intake: Alcohol related brain injury can be reversed if you gradually decline alcohol intake.

8. Track your numbers

9. Increase social interaction

 

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It’s time to recognize mental health as essential to physical health

August 9, 2017

By John Campo

“The human brain is a wonder. Through folds of tissue and pulses of electricity, it lets us perceive, attempt to understand, and shape the world around us. As science rapidly charts the brain’s complex structures, new discoveries are revealing the biology of how the mind functions and fails. Given the centrality of the brain to human health, its malfunctions should be a priority, separated from stigma and treated on par with the diseases of the body. We aren’t there yet, but the transformation is underway.

“Mental disorders affect nearly 20 percent1 of American adults; nearly 4 percent are severely impaired and classified as having serious mental illness. These disorders are often associated with chronic physical illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. They also increase the risk of physical injury and death through accidents, violence, and suicide.”

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Single best exercise for your brain: Get Moving

August 6, 2017

“Want an all-natural way to lift your mood, improve your memory, and protect your brain against age-related cognitive decline? Get moving.

“A wealth of recent research, including two new studies published this spring, suggests that any type of exercise that raises your heart rate and gets you moving and sweating for a sustained period of time – known as aerobic exercise – has a significant, overwhelmingly beneficial impact on the brain, both in terms of mood regulation and cognitive/memory functioning.”

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IV Drip Drug used during MRI leaves behind Toxic Metal Residue in Patient Brains

August 2, 2017

Commonly, a type of intravenous drug known as a contrast agent is used to improve the visibility of internal structures during an MRI. A new research article verifies past claims that some of these contrast agents pass the blood brain barrier and leave behind a potentially toxic metal.

Gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) have been used over the past 25 years in more than 100 million patients around the world. Their safety profile was believed to be exceptional, since just 0.03 percent of all administrations resulted in negative side effects for patients. These commonly used compounds are based on, as their name suggest, gadolinium; this metal ion moves differently within a magnetic field and that’s the reason it is used during an MRI.

Unfortunately, gadolinium is known to be toxic. In its most recent warning, the FDA decided all GBCA labels must emphasize the need to screen patients for kidney dysfunction before administration of these drugs. In particular, FDA selected three GBCAs — Magnevist, Omniscan, and Optimark — as requiring labels with additional emphasis on the inappropriateness of their use among patients with acute kidney injury or chronic severe kidney disease.

Source: Kanal E, Tweedle MF. Residual or Retained Gadolinium: Practical Implications for Radiologists and Our Patients. Radiology. 2015.

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“Shocking” new research confirms friendships are key to good health

July 30, 2017

University of Virginia researchers have for the first time revealed brain imaging evidence that supports what experts have long hypothesized: that people with strong relationships report better general health than those who do not.

Researchers in professor James Coan’s clinical psychology lab zeroed in on the hypothalamus, which regulates stress hormones, to reveal how the brain responds differently to the threat of electrical shock when a trusted loved one is near. “What we found was that the less active your hypothalamus was when you are under threat of electric shock in the brain scanner while you are holding the hand of a relational partner, the better general health you report,” Coan said.

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FDA drug could limit damage caused by strokes and repair brain

July 26, 2017

Old Drug, New Treatment

  • Using a drug already approved for clinical trials, researchers from the University of Manchester were able to reduce brain damage and boost the growth of new brain cells in mice suffering from strokes.
  • The researchers’ study is published in Brain, Behavior and Immunityand it recounts how they developed their treatment using mice bred to develop ischemic strokes, the most prevalent type of stroke and one that occurs when an artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain is blocked.
  • Soon after the mice experienced a stroke, the researchers treated them with interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), an anti-inflammatory drug that is already licensed for use in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The research offers new hope to those dealing with the aftermath of strokes, which are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.

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