Ryan’s Near Death Experience

Ryan gets in a life threatening motor vehicle accident, gets to visit heaven and meets Jesus.

Important Facts about a Traumatic Brain Injury

-Most people, after suffering a TBI do make a good recovery.

-Using a seatbelt and wearing a helmet is one of the best ways to help prevent a TBI from occurring.

-One of the most commonly injured areas of the brain is the Frontal lobe, which controls thinking and emotion regulation.

-Males are twice as likely to incur a TBI than females are, according to statistics.

This post’s intention was not to present unfortunate facts about TBIs, below are some of the best ways to further your healing from a TBI.

-There Are Groups with Resources to Help TBI Survivors and Caregivers.

Practice going to occupational, speech, and physical therapy regularly. This helps improve how your mind functions. Since it has been proven that the brain has Nuroplasticity, therapy only helps accelerate your healing.

Beware of overstimulation. Overstimulation to the brain and or body could leave a detrimental effect to you. It is important to someone who has a TBI to regulate their energy as best as they can. A sufficient amount of sleep is paramount in one’s recovery.


Living with an Invisible Disability – TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)

Hello, I am David A. Grant, writing for TBITalk.com .

While there are many people who have lived with lifelong disabilities, I am a relative newcomer to being disabled. For the first forty-nine years of my life, I was fully-abled. Everything changed in late 2010. I was cycling in southern New Hampshire when a sixteen-year-old driver t-boned me. In two ticks of a clock, I went from being fully abled to living the life I live today.

This was not the plan I had for myself.

Unlike many who are visibly disabled, I live with what is commonly called an “invisible disability.” Millions of us that live in today’s society face challenges that are not visible to the naked eye. The list of invisible disabilities is long: autism, fibromyalgia, PTSD, depression, multiple sclerosis, and many mental illnesses are all part of this family of unseen disabilities.

Though the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recognize most hidden disabilities, most of us with invisible challenges fly just under the radar screen of society.

When you see someone in a wheelchair, or perhaps walking with a companion animal, it’s pretty clear that that person may be disabled. But not so with people like me. I can drive without assistance. I work on a part-time basis, spend time with my granddaughter, and go about my day as many others do.

However, looks are deceiving

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My cycling accident left me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While a common misconception exists that PTSD is exclusive to the military community, many who experience different kinds of trauma also live with the daily challenges that come with PTSD.

My life today feels like an acronym soup, often defined by short bursts of letters that have indescribable effects on my life. In addition to PTSD, I live with PCS (Post Concussive Syndrome) as well as the lasting effects of a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).

Like many who have experienced trauma, my life is now split between “before and after.” My life before my accident was average. In fact, some might call it downright dull. I went to work as a self-employed, self-sufficient individual. I’d suit up and show up, pay my bills, spend time raising my children, and move forward toward a future that did not include trauma. In fact, I’d planned to remain busy, happily married, work for another fifteen years, and then retire, doing things that retirees do.

Years ago, I heard a saying that still makes me smile. “If you want to make God laugh, make plans.” If there is an element of truth to this, he must have enjoyed a belly laugh at my plans.

Accepting that I am a disabled adult has been a long and painful process. I have fought the disabled moniker since it was first presented to me in early 2012 when a well-respected doctor let me know that I was “permanently disabled” because of my injury.

How dare he call me disabled? For years, I hated him for that. I am not a big fan of the “H” word, but hate him I did. I fought his diagnosis for many years.

I had completed neuropsychological testing about a year after my injuries in a fact-finding effort to see where my deficiencies remained, and what I could do to speed my recovery. The test results were quite grim. In a couple of key categories, I scored in the bottom 5%.

I, once prideful about my perceived life successes, now sat at the bottom of my cognitive class.

Sure, my tests showed that I was in the lower 5% for complex problem solving and verbal recall. A speeding car had hit me a year earlier. Your scores would have crashed too if you met a teenage driver at 35 MPH with nothing but a plastic helmet to save your life. But disabled? No way. You have got me confused with someone else, someone who might actually be disabled.

I did all I could to prove him wrong. I moved on with my life, wrote a couple of books, started a new career and continued to stumble forward in this new second life.

I’ve since learned that it is easier to realize perspectives in the rearview mirror. With the passage of time comes a new clarity. Here is where it gets hard.

Humbled, I eventually had to admit that the doctor was right. I am disabled. This is perhaps the biggest single mea culpa of my life. I needed to come to terms with my disability in my own terms and in my own time.

For several years, I tried to live my life as I did before my accident, but there were challenges at every turn. Vertigo created the occasional appearance of drunkenness, though I’ve not had a drink for decades. Slow cognitive processing speeds meant that I lived in a perpetual state of time delay. Sure, you can ask me a question, but don’t hold your breath waiting for me to answer. It may take some time for me to understand what you just asked me. Memory issues mean that I might ask you a question, then ask it again, and perhaps a third time for good measure.

None of these challenges is blatant to the naked eye, but spend a bit of time with me, and you’ll learn soon enough that I’m not as normal as I look. Such is the nature of being invisibly disabled.

I fought my fate for close to seven years until I could not fight it any longer.

It has only been over the last few months that I have accepted what I had been most afraid of. By accepting that I am a disabled adult, something unexpected happened—I have gained freedom. I no longer need to struggle to be who I was before my accident.

I am more at peace with my life than I have been in years. I am slowly learning that even though I am disabled, there is still much that I can do. And quite unexpectedly, I feel relief. I no longer have to prove myself. The internal conflict about who I am and how I fit into today’s world has finally gone quiet.

It is in that newfound calm that I will continue to rebuild my new life.

All About Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Ways of Healing, Methods

Traumatic Brain Injury – What You Must Know

Traumatic Brain Injury is a serious medical condition that can extremely affect the life of a human being. It is also known as a traumatic head injury, closed head injury or head injury. It can be a confusing injury since it often produces a variety of symptoms that vary greatly from person to person. Symptoms can also vary in adults and children. The best way to learn about this injury is to look at the different symptoms for each type of traumatic head injury.

Causes of Brain Injury

An injury to the brain can be caused by any type of blow to the head. In many cases, it is obvious when a brain injury has occurred. A car accident, for example, may cause a traumatic head injury that is very apparent. However, some injuries are not as apparent. Someone who falls and then gets back up may not even realize they have injured their brain. It is not until later when symptoms present that a person realizes something is wrong.

When a person suffers from a traumatic injury to the head there may be visible swelling or bruising. In some cases, this swelling and bruising may only be inside the skull. When the brain starts to swell it presses against the skull and cause serious effects, even death.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injury and Symptoms

A mild traumatic head injury is one type of brain injury. The symptoms of this type of injury include unconsciousness, amnesia where the person forgets the events that led up to the injury and those following the injury, headache, confusion, dizziness, blurred vision and mood changes.

Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries can produce persistent headaches, vomiting, seizures, and problems waking up from sleep, dilated pupils, and problems with speech, weakness in the body, and problems with coordination, confusion, and changes in temperament.

Mild, moderate and severe traumatic injuries to the head are the type of brain injuries specific to adults. These injuries in children are much different. Children may not be able to tell you how they feel and they may not have the skills developed yet to recognize when something is wrong.

Symptoms of an injury to the head in children include problems eating, cranky moods, problems sleeping, problems in school and loss of interest in favorite activities.

Seeking Treatment

After an injury to the head or the surrounding area or other traumatic injury or fall, a person should be checked out by medical personnel. Any situation where the body is bumped roughly or otherwise injured could lead to a brain injury. The brain can easily bump against the skull and swelling can begin. It is better to be safe with any type of head injury and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. In most cases, the doctor will simply observe the patient for a short period of time to see if symptoms of an injury to the head are present.

An injury to the head should always be taken seriously. The brain is a complex organ that can easily be injured. It is important to always seek medical care if a traumatic head injury is suspected so that treatment can take place and further problems can be avoided.

Healing of a TBI – 4 Ways to Accelerate Healing from a TBI

Healing:

When you get a traumatic brain injury (TBI), your life will probably never be the same. Although the time of healing depends on the area of your brain that was most affected, it can take up to several months to re-learn some of the most common things that you usually took for-granted; this tends to put TBI patients under a lot of stress. 

Although it is normal to have stress, too much stress can cause other serious health problems, including heart problems. Stress can affect your ability to be focused, think clearly or be organized, as well as it can have a negative impact on relationships with your closest family members and/or friends. Learning how to manage your stress should be one of your paramount concerns. When you are under stress, you will likely start to feel anxious and frustrated.

4 ways to speed up your traumatic brain injury healing:

#1: Learn To Relax:

Learning to relax is never easy, and it may be more complicated in your situation. However, there are certain things you can easily do to train your mind and body to relax. You might want to try out breathing deeply while focusing on your breathing, do some visual imagery, or thinking positive. Although it may take you some time to be able to relax, it will help a lot.

#2: Learn To Reward Yourself:

Rewards can be good and rewards can be bad; it all depends on how you manage them. Say, something like therapy, occasionally going to something like therapy is the last thing we want to go and do.  However, sometimes, we just need a push. Whenever you achieve one of your goals, reward yourself. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or expensive. Just think about the things that give you more pleasure. It can be as simple as having that amazing cup of coffee you love, read a great book, or watch some specific TV show. Whatever works best for you.

#3: Keep A Regular Schedule:

One of the things that your brain is going to appreciate and that is going to speed up your TBI healing are routines. Just think about children, especially babies. They understand very little,  if you manage to set them to eat and sleep at the same time, everyday, their bodies and mind will quickly adapt. No matter how old you are, your brain keeps working the same way and reacts a lot better when you have routines. Make sure that you have specific times for eating and sleeping.

#4: Regular Exercise:

Getting regular exercise is good for everyone, as you already know. When you’re looking to speed up your TBI healing process, make sure regular exercise is a part of your daily routine. You do not need to workout like a bodybuilder or anything like that. Simply take a walk,  for about 30 minutes every day.

Although you don’t have complete control over your TBI healing, there are things that you can do that can make it quicker.

Check out: How Exercice Can Help Heal The Brain After a TBI

How to Prevent Neurons from Dying after Brain Injury

Electrical stimulation of the brain by applying current to the eye may help retinal nerve cells to survive injury. While these neurons may not be restored to full function, they are prevented from dying. But to achieve survival, their interconnections, the dendritic tree, needs to disconnect rapidly for the protective action to unfold. In a study published in Scientific Reports, researchers from Magdeburg University (Germany) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong report that for rats and mice, repetitive transorbital alternating current stimulation (rtACS) may help preserve visual neurons from cell death after injury.

Because the tissue at the back of the eye, the retina, is part of the brain, researchers can directly observe how brain cells react in the living animal. The researchers repeatedly monitored neurons in both rat and mouse retinas after an optic nerve injury and measured neuronal death after this lesion. Surprisingly, a neuroprotective treatment with electrical alternating current stimulation increased cellular survival in the eye´s retina, but it also induced a fast and complete stripping-off of the neuron’s dendritic tree. The dendrites are like a tree receiving many thousands of signals from other neurons. This enables them to process visual information and then transmit the signals along the optic nerve towards the brain. By retracting its dendrites, the cell withdraws itself from this intercellular communication network and becomes silent — which helps its survival.

The test animals were divided into groups and subjected to both real and sham treatments. For the rats, optic nerve crush (ONC) was used to induce an injury in some of the animals to mimic glaucoma. Some animals and not others (sham) were treated with rtACS, resulting in three test groups: ONC/rtACS, ONC/Sham, and Sham/Sham. Using in vivo confocal neuroimaging (ICON) and measurements of Visual Evoked Potentials (VEP), the researchers could determine whether a neuron had survived and whether it was still functioning. The ONC and the first rtACS stimulation were done on day zero. ICON was performed on day 4, followed by rtACS or sham stimulation. On day 7 post ONC another ICON was performed.

For the mice, a confocal laser ophthalmoscope was used to image the dendritic structures of the retina for three groups of subjects, ONC/rtACS, ONC/Sham and Sham/rtACS. The mice received rtACS on days 0, 3, 6, 9 and 12 after ONC and images were taken on days 3, 7 and 14.

According to lead author Petra Henrich-Noack, PhD, Institute of Medical Psychology, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany, “With our experiments, we have detected so far unknown ‘silent survivor cells’ in the brain and it will be exciting to find out whether they later die or can be reactivated.” Surprisingly, neurons in the retina of animals that survived better when treated with rtACS lost their dendritic tree completely within the first 3 days after the lesion. The authors suggest that this early structural isolation might protect the neurons from the “toxic” excitation that is known to appear soon after brain damage.

 

 

Story Source:

Materials provided by Institute for Medical Psychology, Otto-v.-Guericke University Magdeburg. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

Petra Henrich-Noack, Elena G. Sergeeva, Torben Eber, Qing You, Nadine Voigt, Jürgen Köhler, Sebastian Wagner, Stefanie Lazik, Christian Mawrin, Guihua Xu, Sayantan Biswas, Bernhard A. Sabel, Christopher Kai-Shun Leung. Electrical brain stimulation induces dendritic stripping but improves survival of silent neurons after optic nerve damage. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-00487-z


 

 

Sleep is Important in the Healing of TBI

There is a link between the amount of sleep the patient gets and the rate at which their brain heals.

A study of 30 people that were hospitalized for moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries found that sleep quality and brain function improved in tandem, researchers reported in the journal Neurology.

“Patients who still had low levels of consciousness and cognitive functioning would “sleep for a couple of minutes and then wake up for a couple of minutes,” both day and night, says Nadia Gosselin.

The results increase the possibility that patients with brain injuries possibly recover even quicker if hospitals would take measures  to restore normal sleep patterns, Gosselin says. Drugs are one option, she says. Another is making sure patients are exposed to sunlight or its equivalent during the day and at night rest in a dark, quiet environment.

“I think bad sleep can have bad consequences for brain recovery,” she concludes.

New Test to Quickly Identify Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

A new test using peripheral vision reaction time could lead to earlier diagnosis and more effective treatment of mild traumatic brain injury, often referred to as a concussion. Identify Brain Injury

A new test using peripheral vision reaction time could lead to earlier diagnosis and more effective treatment of mild traumatic brain injury, often referred to as a concussion, according to Peter J. Bergold, PhD, professor of physiology and pharmacology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and corresponding author of a study newly published online by the Journal of Neurotrauma.

While most patients with mild traumatic brain injury or concussion fully recover, a significant number do not, and earlier diagnosis could lead to better management of patients at risk for developing persistent symptoms, according to Dr. Bergold and his co-authors.

Lingering symptoms may include loss of concentration and/or memory, confusion, anxiety, headaches, irritability, noise and light sensitivity, dizziness, and fatigue.

“Mild traumatic brain injury is currently diagnosed with subjective clinical assessments,” says Dr. Bergold. “The potential utility of the peripheral vision reaction test is clear because it is an objective, inexpensive, and rapid test that identifies mild traumatic brain injury patients who have a more severe underlying injury.”

Dr. Bergold’s co-authors include colleagues from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; The University of Texas at Dallas; Washington University; the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; and SUNY Downstate.

The article published by the Journal of Neurotrauma is titled “Measurement of Peripheral Vision Reaction Time Identifies White Matter Disruption in Patients with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.”

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKZnMC5vzhU[/embedyt]


Story Source:

Materials provided by SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kyle B. Womack, Christopher Paliotta, Jeremy F. Strain, Johnson S. Ho, Yosef Skolnick, William W. Lytton, L. Christine Turtzo, Roderick McColl, Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, Peter J. Bergold. Measurement of Peripheral Vision Reaction Time Identifies White Matter Disruption in Patients with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of Neurotrauma, 2017; DOI:10.1089/neu.2016.4670

SUNY Downstate Medical Center. “New test may quickly identify mild traumatic brain injury with underlying brain damage.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 February 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170216120538.htm>.

 

What is a Diffuse Axonal Injury? (DAI)

As tissue slides over tissue, a shearing injury occurs. This causes the lesions that are responsible for unconsciousness, as well as the vegetative state that occurs after a severe head injury. A diffuse axonal injury also causes brain cells to die, which cause swelling in the brain.”
DAI is characterized by axonal separation, in which the axon is torn at the site of stretch and the part distal to the tear degrades. While it was once thought that the main cause of axonal separation was tearing due to mechanical forces during the trauma, it is now understood that axons are not typically torn upon impact; rather, secondary biochemical cascades, which occur in response to the primary injury (which occurs as the result of mechanical forces at the moment of trauma) and take place hours to days after the initial injury, are largely responsible for the damage to axons.
Though the processes involved in secondary brain injury are still poorly understood, it is now accepted that stretching of axons during injury causes physical disruption to and proteolytic degradation of the cytoskeleton.[1] It also opens sodium channels in the axolemma, which causes voltage-gated calcium channels to open and Ca2+ to flow into the cell. The intracellular presence of Ca2+ unleashes several different pathways, including activating phospholipases and proteolytic enzymes, damaging mitochondria and the cytoskeleton, and activating secondary messengers, which can lead to separation of the axon and death of the cell.