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More Evidence Links Football to Brain Injuries

99 perfect of football players who donated their bodies to science after their deaths show evidence of devastating brain trauma. That’s the news out of the Boston University School of Medicine’s CTE center. CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is a condition that appears in those who experience repetitive brain trauma.

The study revealed that 110 out of the 111 deceased National Football League players had signs of CTE when examined. The brain disease was found in 91 percent of deceased college football players and 88 percent of Canadian Football League players. 21 percent of high school football players showed signs of the disease.

People with CTE often experience memory problems, mood disorders and lack of impulse control. They’re often aggressive, suffer from paranoia and progressive dementia can occur.

The severity of the CTE depends largely upon how long the football player was active, but even high school players should mild signs of the disease. This research shows a clear connection between CTE and repetitive hits to the head in sports like football.

Of course, football isn’t the only way people develop this disease. The number one cause of head injuries in the United States come from slips and falls. Such accidents can happen at any time. Very few people see a slip or fall coming, so the damage done can be shocking. CTE can have long-reaching ramifications no matter how a person developed the disease.

Because CTE can only be diagnosed after death, it’s hard to understand the full extent of the symptoms. As science gets closer to detecting CTE in living people, we’re learning just how badly the disease can impact people.
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By |July 26th, 2017|Brain Injury Blog|Comments Off on More Evidence Links Football to Brain Injuries

Slips and Falls Send Millions to ER with Brain Injuries

When you hear the term traumatic brain injury, where does your mind go?

For many, the phrase brings to mind burly NFL players smacking their helmets against their opponents. For others, they picture soccer players heading the ball towards a teammate or goal. But new data is causing many people to rethink what they thought they knew about traumatic brain injuries and their causes.

The Centers for Disease Control has published their findings on brain injury related emergency room visits for the years 2007 through 2013. In 2013 alone, there were more than 2 million ER visits for head injuries. More than 50,000 people succumbed to head injuries that year.

Most revealing are the common causes of the injuries. Slips, trips and falls were the number one reason why victims suffered brain injuries. Car accidents and being struck by an object were two other common causes.

One of the most revealing portions of the data showed a disturbing growing trend: the increased rate of older adults experiencing brain injuries after slipping and falling. The report called the need for older Americans to receive help in avoiding such accidents “critical.” Protecting their health and independence is crucial.

Since March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, we’re especially tuned into this need. Too often, sports stars – not grandparents – are the face of such campaigns. But in our own daily lives, there’s a far greater chance that an older loved one will experience a serious brain injury in their own home than our kids will on the field. Spread the word about the dangers of brain injuries to the loved ones in your life – young and old.

Virginia Brain Injury Lawyers

Richard Serpe, a Virginia brain injury lawyer, represents victims that have […]

By |March 22nd, 2017|Brain Injury Blog|Comments Off on Slips and Falls Send Millions to ER with Brain Injuries

Life With a TBI: The Silent Epidemic

A slip. A fall. A car accident. A hit on the football field. In one moment, lives are forever changed. These are the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries, or TBI. Called the “invisible” injury, TBI can impact people long after other injuries have been treated. Broken bones mend and scrapes heal, but for many victims, TBI is for life.

Too often, though,TBI victims go unnoticed and untreated because of the invisible nature of their condition. Many find they cannot hold down day jobs or socialize in the ways they did before their injury. That’s where organizations like Beacon House come in.

TBI Survivors Find Hope at Beacon House

More than 36,000 people in Hampton Roads live with disabilities caused by a traumatic brain injury. For 40 of those individuals, Beacon House in Virginia Beach is a safe haven.

There are no patients at Beacon House. Since 2008, the clubhouse-style organization has provided services to adults living with disabilities caused by a brain injury. Members there work together to support each other in the pursuit of personal goals. In the process, people develop the skills and self-esteem needed to regain control of meaningful and productive lives.

While at Beacon House, members work side by side with staff to keep their clubhouse running successfully. Some choose to work in the garden, while others update the monthly calendar or work on the organization’s newsletter.

Through participation in Beacon House, people have the opportunity to rejoin the worlds of friendships, family, important work, employment, education, and to access the services and support they may need. A restorative environment, Beacon House offers structure for those who have had their lives drastically disrupted. The organization also provides support to the families of the brain injury […]

By |March 7th, 2017|Brain Injury Blog|Comments Off on Life With a TBI: The Silent Epidemic

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 […]

By |March 6th, 2017|Brain Injury Blog|Comments Off on It’s Brain Injury Awareness Month. How Aware Are You?

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 […]

By |October 26th, 2016|Brain Injury Blog|Comments Off on Can Heading a Soccer Ball Cause Instant Damage?

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
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By |October 18th, 2016|Brain Injury Blog|Comments Off on Concussions Lead to Physical, Emotional Pain

Brain Injury Awareness Month – March 2016

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month
It’s March – Brain Injury Awareness Month. It’s the time of year when many of us are hitting the highway for a spring break road trip or to visit grandparents for Easter. Which is why the timing is so perfect for Brain Injury Awareness Month. You may not know it, but car accidents are among the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries, or TBI. Much has been made of sports related concussions in the press recently, particularly since the release of the new Will Smith movie on that exact topic. However, accidents off the field that occur during our everyday lives can also cause mild to traumatic brain injuries.

Car Accidents Among the Leading Causes of TBI
Car crashes are responsible for 17 percent of all the TBI recorded in the United States – second only to falls. The Centers for Disease Control estimate there are nearly 300,000 instances of TBI caused by car wrecks each year. Some of these injuries are caused by direct blows to the head – hitting your head on the steering wheel in an accident, for instance – but others occur without contact to a surface at all. The simple act of whiplash can be enough to cause your brain to rapidly accelerate and then decelerate, causing shakes and rotations inside the skull. Such injuries are harder to diagnose, but can pose many of the same problems as your average concussion might.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Be Fatal
TBI can be fatal. Survivors may initially experience seizures, double vision, headache and fatigue. Long term affects can be felt years after the injury occurred. Survivors may have trouble with their memories and experience anxiety, depression and mood swings. TBI is often […]

By |March 18th, 2016|Brain Injury Blog|Comments Off on Brain Injury Awareness Month – March 2016

Concussions Lead to Increased Suicide Risk

A new study has determined a link between concussions and an increased chance of suicide. Researchers have discovered that people who have suffered concussions are three times more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the population. The findings from the study were recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and on
The study highlights a problem that many doctors had seen in both professional athletes and in military service men and women. Not restricted to just those demographics, the risks of suicide increase for people of all walks of life after they experience a brain injury. Risks increased regardless of previous psychiatric condition, too.
It sounds strange, but researchers determined that people who sustained concussions on weekends were more likely to commit suicide than those who were injured on week days. One theory suggests that people injured on weekends are likely to be participating in sports or other hobbies and might be more inclined to shrug off head injuries, while injuries sustained on week days are more likely to occur in the work place where protocols require employees to get checked out by a doctor.
What can we learn from this study? Everyone – parents, athletes, coaches and anyone with head injuries – need to take TBI more seriously. For decades, head injuries were dismissed as “getting your bell rung” and athletes were often instructed by coaches to “shake it off.” Now, every bump must be taken seriously: it could be a matter of life or death.
Why a person chooses to commit suicide is never clear, but understanding the connection between brain injuries and thoughts of suicide could help us prevent more tragedies from occurring. If you or a loved one have sustained a concussion in the […]

By |February 18th, 2016|Brain Injury Blog|Comments Off on Concussions Lead to Increased Suicide Risk

Concussion Effects Underestimated by Many

For years, concussions have been dismissed by coaches, parents and athletes alike. “Getting your bell rung” was all a part of the nature of sports, and if you didn’t simply shake off the unsteady feeling of a concussion, you were often perceived to be overreacting. The reality is that every concussion is, in fact, a traumatic brain injury. Doctors and scientists are only just learning of the long-term damage that can be done to the brain when it is struck hard.
It’s the subject of a new movie starring Will Smith – a movie that some say shines a spotlight on the dangers NFL players face for the sake of their careers. The film, “Concussion,” certainly has everyone talking.
It’s not just athletes who need to worry: In an article for the Huffington Post, a woman recalls a scary incident outside her apartment building. She slipped on ice, hit her head on the pavement, and suffered a severe concussion, not to mention whiplash, spinal damage and a dislocated sternum. These injuries would mean several years of recovery for her as she tried to cope with symptoms like memory loss and confusion. The scariest part? There’s no telling how these injuries could effect her in the long term.
As more research is done in the field of traumatic brain injuries, scientists, doctors and parents can make more informed decisions about treatment and prevention. In the meantime, use what we know to help protect your kids and loved ones. Make sure they’re always wearing the proper safety gear on the field, especially if they play a contact sport like football. Take injuries seriously, and if you have any doubts about your child’s safety, discuss your worries with the coach.

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By |January 19th, 2016|Brain Injury Blog|Comments Off on Concussion Effects Underestimated by Many

Brain Scarring Found in Majority of Combat Vets

More than half of veterans return from combat with scars on their brain, a new study has found. Brain scarring, or white matter, was found in 52 percent of combat vets, Healthline reports. The Radiological Society of America performed MRI scans on the brains of more than 800 service men and women to find these results.

Brain injuries like scarring often cause sleep issues, headaches, fatigue, memory loss and irritability. Some symptoms show up right away, while others may not surface until long after the damage has been done. The research being conducted at Walter Reed Medical Center for this study will help doctors understand key differences between TBI and PTSD. The two are extremely common in veterans and are often mistaken for each other. Given how prevalent brain injuries are in combat veterans, some suggest compulsory scans for every returning service member.

Our military servicemen and women work hard to protect our country and should be given the best care possible for brain injuries. Much of the brain is still a mystery to doctors, but with the health of our veterans on the line, we owe it to them to work towards treatments and cures.

We represent brain injury victims who have suffered due to the negligence of others. Such injuries are all too common – they can happen in car accidents, by slipping and falling on an icy driveway or being struck by a vehicle while out walking or biking. Brain injuries have long-reaching ramifications that doctors are really only beginning to understand. Having our team represent you and your best interests can mean a world of difference in a life post brain injury.
Virginia Brain Injury Lawyer
Virginia brain injury attorney Richard Serpe has protected the rights of innocent victims […]

By |January 12th, 2016|Brain Injury Blog|Comments Off on Brain Scarring Found in Majority of Combat Vets