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It’s Brain Injury Awareness Month. How Aware Are You?

Every March, Brain Injury Awareness Month is observed in the hopes of preventing dangerous traumatic brain injuries. Known as the silent epidemic, brain injuries affect millions of Americans – but you’d never know it. Since many traumatic brain injuries don’t appear outwardly dangerous or serious, they can go largely unnoticed by friends, family and even by the victim themselves – hence the need for an awareness month.

Brain injuries can occur in an instant and last a lifetime. Though we most frequently hear about traumatic brain injuries in athletes, you don’t have to be a professional football player to be at risk of injury. Even minor blows to the head from slips and falls can seriously impact a person’s brain for the rest of their lives. Concussions were once dismissed as “getting your bell rung,” but scientists and doctors now know that there’s no brain damage too small.

How can you and your loved ones stay safe and prevent brain injuries? It’s easier than you might expect. When you’re driving, buckle up – many more victims are injured in car accidents than they ever are on the football or soccer fields. When roads, sidewalks or floors are icy or wet, take it slow. Everything bit of extra precaution can prevent a dangerous slip or fall. These kinds of incidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. Finally, invest in a good helmet for whatever sport you partake in. Whether you’re a cyclist or a quarterback, protecting your head is of utmost importance.

The scariest part of brain injuries is how little we actually know about treating them. Though treatment is possible, for many people with serious traumatic brain injury, there is only so much to be done […]

March 6th, 2017

Can Heading a Soccer Ball Cause Instant Damage?

Researchers have found that heading a soccer ball can cause near instantaneous damage to the brain.

The study from the United Kingdom had people head the soccer ball in a span of 10 minutes of a typical practice. After they headed the ball, they were tested on both long and short-term memory. The results? They responded incorrectly at a significantly higher rate than on their baseline test.

In fact, memory test results were lower by as much as 67 percent after heading the ball. Thankfully, the problems seem to correct themselves after 24 hours, but researchers say there is still potential for long-term damage. This test has long-reaching ramifications for the study of brain science.

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, with millions of kids playing internationally. Who knows what long-term damage heading a soccer ball can do? Science has yet to figure that out. But knowing the short-term problems it can cause, parents should reconsider how their children play the game.

As researchers continue to understand how the brain works and why it is affected by even minor hits from a soccer ball, it will be interesting to see how the game evolves. Perhaps in a few years, heading the ball will be openly discouraged or even banned from the game. Until then, be aware of the potential for damage the move could have on your kids.
Virginia Brain Injury Attorney – Richard J. Serpe
If you or a loved one are suffering from a brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence, we encourage you to speak with our Virginia brain injury attorneys. In order to succeed in a claim for brain injury, our lawyers understand the legal rights of our clients in the most effective […]

October 26th, 2016

Concussions Lead to Physical, Emotional Pain

“Just got your bell rung,” for many years, was a recommendation from coaches to shake off a hit and get back on the field. But brain science is evolving – doctors now know that there is no such thing as “just” getting your bell rung.

We most often hear about concussions in athletes – and for good reason. But most people would be surprised to learn that girls suffer concussions at a higher rate than boys. In a study of college athletes, female hockey players reported the most concussions. Researchers also found that the female softball players experienced concussions at twice the rate as male baseball players.

Sports are just one area where brain injuries occur. Falls are actually the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) nation-wide. The youngest and oldest age groups are at the highest risk. Car accidents are also a major cause of TBI, along with assault, which accounts for an additional 10 percent of TBIs annually.

Symptoms of concussions usually fall in the following four categories: thinking, physical, emotional, sleep. Some appear right away, while others may not show up for months. Other symptoms come and go. Friends, family members and even doctors can miss these warning signs.

Even after diagnosis, people living with TBI struggle with the invisibility of their struggle.  Chances are, most people don’t even know their brain injury exists. This is a lonely experience for those coping with TBI – and it can last years.

Brain injuries are still being studied, so doctors don’t always have answers or treatment for their TBI patients. The best treatment, then, is prevention. Whether you inspect your athlete’s equipment before heading into the new football season or you replace your airbags following a product recall, it’s important to protect yourself and your loved one before TBI strikes.
Virginia Brain Injury Attorney – Richard J. Serpe
If you or […]

October 18th, 2016