Cranial therapy can compliment vision therapy (7/25/19 newsletter)

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We are pleased to have students from Carleton College interning with Concussion Alliance. Intern contributors this week:

Editor: Galen Moller
Contributors: Eloïse Cowan and Hannah Kennicott.


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Education

Dr. Kapoor will teach a course on managing vision deficits after TBI

A day-long course on managing vision deficits after mild and moderate TBI will be presented by one of the leading researchers and clinicians in the field, Neera Kapoor, OD, MS, FAAO, FCOVD-A. Read more about the course on our blog post.

Sports

Correlation Between Sports Experience and Less Severe Concussion Effects in Youth

The European Journal of Sports Science recently published a paper by Dr. Marc Dalecki et al., which found a correlation between sports experience and less severe effects of concussions in youth, as measured by their ability to return to the skill level of peers who have not had a concussion. It was found that for children with concussion history, regardless of age, sex, or number of concussions, those with greater amounts of sports experience were able to recover their athletic skills more quickly.

Efforts to Curb Concussion Rates on College Campuses

An online article by Michael Popke published by Athletic Business reveals that campus recreation professionals are concerned by concussions in the college setting. In 2016, a major Canadian reinsurance company warned that they might pull concussions from their liability coverage for higher-level institutions as the result of soaring numbers of TBI-related lawsuits. Though this took place in Canada, there were fears that similar threats could soon extend to the United States. The NIRSA Concussion Advisory Council has responded by leading efforts to develop safety protocols, examine case studies, and encourage others to get involved in concussion-management efforts.


Cannabis

Canadian company develops nose-to-brain technology for fast-acting cannabinoid treatments.

Canadian company PreveCeutical Medical has developed a sustained-release CBD formulation of their Sol-gel pain-relief technology which delivers CBD through nasal mucosal tissue. Read more on our blog post.

Diagnostics

Secondary Injuries such as cerebral vasoreactivity may continue to impair athletes after symptom recovery

A recent study found that cerebral vasoreactivity, a measure of the change of cerebral blood flow velocity in response to physiological triggers, could be an important symptom to consider in concussion recovery. The study evaluated changes in middle cerebral artery blood flow in concussed athletes over the course of 90 days. They noted that even if immediate concussion symptoms are resolved, impairment of cerebral vasoreactivity may persist. These results could provide an explanation for athletes’ higher rates of secondary injuries when they return to play after concussion symptoms are resolved. This research by S. Purkayastha was published in the Journal of Neurotrauma.

Therapies

Cranial therapy can compliment vision therapy after a concussion

An article, “How cranial therapy can complement vision care after a concussion”, was recently published in the Helio Medblog associated with the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association International (NORA). The author, Kyla Demers, BSc, CAT(C), DO, suggests that patients receiving vision rehabilitation for oculomotor dysfunctions caused by a concussion might benefit from cranial therapy. One of several goals of this therapy would be to relieve “potential inhibition of the cranial nerves supplying the eye muscles,” as well as improving circulation to the brain “by freeing up the region through which the carotid and vertebral arteries pass.”

Concussion Alliance community members have found craniosacral therapy effective in reducing persistent post-concussion symptoms. Read more on our website page, Craniosacral Therapy.


Veterans

New Cognitive Rehabilitation Guidelines for Veterans with TBI

Stars and Stripes Korea reports that the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center has released information and recommendations for veterans undergoing cognitive recovery following TBI. Nearly 40 experts worked on the “Cognitive Rehabilitation for Service Members and Veterans Following Mild to Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury Clinical Recommendations,” which focuses on improving patient’s problem-solving, memory, and planning skills, among others, during concussion recovery.


Mental Health

Athletes with ADHD have a higher risk for mental health symptoms following a concussion.

The American Academy of Neurology drew attention to a recent preliminary study showing that athletes with ADHD may suffer from more mental health symptoms than those without the disorder. The results, based on mental health screening tests, found that athletes with ADHD would be more vulnerable to anxiety and depression following an mTBI and that these symptoms may persist over several months. While the study is cross-sectional and lead author, Robert Davis Moore, MS, PhD, agreed that further research was needed, this could be an important step in providing proper care and support for athletes with ADHD.

Statistics

A year after a concussion, as many as 1 in 3 children have post-concussion symptoms

One year after their concussion, 25% to 31% of children still had postconcussion symptoms (PCS) according to a study by Linda Ewing-Cobbs, et al. The study found that the “odds of chronic PCS were almost twice as high in girls as in boys.” Additional vulnerability factors include adolescence, preinjury mood problems, family discord, and low income. Interestingly, “social capital” was found to be a protective factor. The researchers compared children with mTBI, complicated mTBI, and orthopedic injury patients recruited from emergency departments; the study was published in Pediatrics.

Women's Health

Victims of domestic violence have a high rate of undiagnosed brain injury

A recent Ohio State News article highlighted the prevalence of undiagnosed brain injury in victims of domestic violence. Research by the Ohio State University and the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, led by Julianna M. Nemeth, found that most cases of domestic violence involve incidents that can cause brain injury; over 81% of survivors reported that they were hit in the head, and over 83% reported that they were strangled. This research was published in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma.


Head trauma and oxygen deprivation are often repeated offenses in cases of partner violence, which can leave survivors with a combination of unidentified injuries and lasting symptoms such as memory loss, anxiety, trouble with vision, etc. Domestic violence programs have developed new materials to combat the presence of these invisible injuries, but advocates highlight a still greater need for accessibility and ways to ensure diagnosis.


Culture

Veteran Featured on Queer Eye Discusses TBI and How He’s Helping Other Veterans

In an interview with Shannon Carlin of Refinery 29, veteran and Queer Eye "hero" Brandonn Mixon opens up about how it felt to be medically discharged for a TBI. He explains that even though vulnerability is discouraged in the military, he wanted his experience to reach other veterans who are struggling like he did. He says, "I’m really hoping that they see from my episode that I’m going through this and that I asked for help...If I can stop them from thinking they’re alone, it has been worth it 110 percent.”


Mixon sustained a TBI while serving, and after an emotionally and physically difficult recovery, he co-founded the Veterans Community Project, which builds tiny houses for homeless veterans.


Head Injury on Carnival Ride Calls Safety Regulations Into Question

A recent article written by Cheryl Fiandaca and published by CBS Boston covers a carnival accident in Westford that left a young girl with a debilitating head injury and her family demanding new safety regulations for the ride. The ride known as “The Zipper” passed its safety inspections just two days before the accident, when eleven-year-old Ava Janko lost consciousness on the ride and woke up without feeling in her legs.


When Janko lost consciousness, she was unable to hold on or prevent her head from snapping back and forth as the ride moved around, resulting in an mTBI that affected her ability to feel the lower half of her body. While she was able to make a full recovery, Westford State Representative James Arciero is proposing new safety requirements that would require carnival ride passengers to be restrained and secured into seats to prevent injuries like the one Ava suffered.


Executive Editor


Concussion Alliance co-founder Malayka Gormally