Showing posts with label head trauma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label head trauma. Show all posts

Friday, October 1, 2021

TBI shouldn't be invisible anymore in any of us

Concussion Linked to Depression, Anxiety and PTSD, Studies Show

Story by Claudia Sanchez-Bustamante
Military Health System
September 28, 2021

Recent research shows mounting evidence of a link between mild traumatic brain injury and mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

For the first time, a study [] of post-mortem brains of service members who were diagnosed with blast-related concussions found visible evidence of damage to the brain.

Researchers believe the unique scarring that the study found could account for the mental health conditions that are diagnosed more frequently among service members who have suffered mild TBIs or been exposed to blast concussions.

In other words, the "invisible wounds" - as TBI is frequently called - might not be invisible anymore.

"The more we look, the more we're finding other subtleties and other kinds of changes in the brains of individuals who've been exposed to blast," said Dr. Daniel Perl, one of the study's researchers and a neuropathologist specializing in TBI and neurodegeneration at the Uniformed Services University (USU) of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.

As a result, "we think there is a biology to this, that the exposure to blast can, in some people, produce damage to the brain, which leads to dysfunction and underlies some aspects of [mental health issues]," Perl said.
A 2019 study of a Department of Veterans Affairs health care database found that "a history of TBI increased the risk for suicide and other psychiatric conditions by more than two-fold."

Veterans with a history of TBI also had a two-to-four times higher prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses compared with those who did not suffer a TBI, with PTSD being the most common, according to the TBICoE team.

The prevalence of depression in the mTBI group was 68.1 percent, the TBICoE team said.

David Riggs, a clinical psychologist and chair of the Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology at USU, explained how the exact reason for the neuropsychiatric symptoms service members experience following a blast-related concussion is not clear.

"We don't know exactly, particularly in the case of mild TBIs or concussions, what might be leading to these problems because it's very hard to identify the specific change in the way that the brain functions after a concussion," he said.
read more here
I had TBI from one incident when I was 5 and almost died twice the same night. Back then they didn't call it TBI (traumatic brain injury) but had a fractured skull and a concussion, which also caused changes in how my brain worked. (Yes, try the joke but I've heard them all before) I changed how I remember things, including spelling, but it also caused a lot of speech problems.

I find it fascinating that researchers seem to avoid the fact that a bomb blast is traumatic and thus, one person could have both from the same event!

Also keep in mind that they have also been studying football players too.

Degenerative Brain Disease Found In 87% of Former Football Players: Study TIME
Among players with severe CTE, 85% had signs of dementia, and 89% had behavioral or mood symptoms, or both. They were also likely to have issues in brain regions associated with depressive symptoms, impulsivity and anxiety. 95% had cognitive symptoms, like issues with memory, executive function and attention.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

#TakeBackYourLife from trauma. I did!

Crossposted from PTSD Patrol
Special post for PTSD Awareness Day I cannot think of a better day to explain why I do what I do. I am a survivor! Not once, twice or even five times, but this will give you an idea of why I work as hard as I do, devoted so much research and get so pissed off!

It is the reason for this site, Combat PTSD Wounded Times, all the books, videos and articles, training, research and yes, my marriage that has lasted over 3 decades!

If you have PTSD, no matter what caused it, you need to hear this. If nothing else, this is the one message you need to get today of all days, because all the bullshit out there has been blocking what could change your next day.

Yep! #TakeBackYourLife from trauma. I did!
This may shock some of my friends but, if you read the book, FOR THE LOVE OF JACK, HIS WAR MY BATTLE, then you already know all of this. (PS original book was in 2003 before this became a billion dollar industry for people making a lot of money off our suffering.)

Saturday, November 25, 2017

PTSD and TBI, Not Broken, Just Dented

I didn't break my head, it was just dented
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 25, 2017

Reminder: Combat PTSD is about fighting to take your life back!

Yesterday I was at the Oviedo Hospital Emergency room. I have to tell you, great people work there!!! 

Orlando Business Journal
(They had no clue who I was, so no special treatment. In other words, I was just like everyone else they help every single day.) I have a history of head injuries.(Yes, I know, heard it all before. Now you know what's wrong with me.)

Tuesday I had the shots into my spine and didn't sleep well. Went to work, stopped at the supermarket and when I went to take the bags out of the car, I dropped the apple pie as I was shutting the hatch and hit myself in the head. Came close to passing out, but I was more upset about breaking the pie instead of my head.

By the time I got into the house, I already had a bump. Anyway, I felt ok Thursday, just a bad headache. Yesterday morning I was having an "aura stage" migraine. Not worrying, I popped a couple of Tylenol, chugged down some coffee and waited for it to stop. It faded, like it always does but then hit came back a lot stronger than ever.

I got frightened about something really being damaged in my head this time, so I called my doctor and was told to go to get it checked out. At the Ovideo ER, they kept asking me what was going on and I kept saying, "I broke my head." Considering I actually did break my head when I was 5 and had TBI before they were calling it that, head injuries are something I worry about.

A CT scan was taken and the nurse came in to tell me that I didn't break my head, it was just dented. (Yes, we were kidding around! She also told my husband no housework for me until Christmas because I needed the rest. He didn't get the joke.)

When I hear someone say that "veterans are either considered heroes or broken" I get angry. To me, they are all heroic simply because when someone actually puts their life at risk for someone else, that is the definition of hero. As for broken, I never met one of them who was broken. The third of Vietnam veterans with PTSD are dented and there is nothing "broken" about them.

With a diagnosis of PTSD, they can start to recover with the right kind of help. The trouble is, getting them to figure out when they need to worry about not simply getting over "IT" and then go an get it.

For all the "awareness" BS, why aren't they getting the message that PTSD is nothing to be ashamed of? Why don't they know that it is a wound and the term TRAUMA IS GREEK FOR WOUND? I am a klutz. I always have been. I never felt ashamed of getting wounded. I know what it is like to face death, far too many times, just from regular living and I know what it is like to suffer from what the wound did physically, as well as mentally.

PTSD didn't hit me for one simple reason. The way my family dealt with everything traumatic was to talk it to death as soon as it happened. Bingo! That is what Crisis Intervention does. It gets the survivor to bring the trauma into the "safety time" and they begin to take control back over what just happened.

I was not in control over what happened to me but I was in total control the second I went from "victim" to "survivor" and there was no way in hell I was going to let "IT" rob one more second of my life. Several times Doctors said I was lucky to be alive, but twice they said I should have been dead according to their understanding of humans. There was no logical way to explain why I was still here. The thing is, I didn't need one. I just ended up coming to the conclusion that for whatever extra time I had, it was going to be spent doing stuff for other people and it changed the way I look at a lot of things.

Like the aura migraine, all the bad stuff faded away and "I" was still left as "me" as klutzy as before. If you have TBI, know this. It isn't something WRONG with you. It is what happened after you survived something. Get help to heal what can be healed and what can't, you can manage it. I had spelling and memory problems. (I still do. If you read Combat PTSD Wounded Times, that is something you are well aware of.) I just don't let it stop me from doing anything, including speech problems, which stopped me from talking when I was young. Now, I embrace it, especially living in Florida with a think Bostonian accent. It is all part of me and I am happy to have some fun with it. Joy is surviving but bliss is thriving.

If you have PTSD, again, I get it because I know what trauma can do to a person. I know how it can eat away at you and make you question everything, including your faith in everything. Do not think of yourself as a "victim" but know yourself as a survivor. You defeated the sucker when you stood up after it happened. Don't let it win now. 

Just because you didn't get help to start recovering right after it happened, doesn't mean you can't get it now. It is never too late to take back control of your next moment.

I have the memories of all the stuff I survived in this dented head of mine. It is all a part of me, but so is everything else about me. 

The same for you! Your ability to care about others to the point where you were willing to die for them is beyond what "normal" people are willing to do. Embrace that!

Your history as a survivor is something few others know, stand tall with it!

Your endurance level is beyond human understanding considering all you had to do, to do your job! Flex your muscles!

If you are still ashamed of having PTSD, then one last thing to consider. If you have PTSD because of your job, there is nothing weak within you. It was the strength of your emotional core that made you care enough to risk your life in the first place. It is that same strength that makes you grieve now.

So take some advice from an older lady with a dented head. Stop living with a dented head and open your eyes to what you are having trouble seeing!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fort Bragg Soldier Found Dead At Campground

Fort Bragg soldier found dead at beach campground
July 21, 2015

CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. — Police say a Fort Bragg soldier has been found dead in a Carolina Beach campground.

Local media outlets report that 40-year-old warrant officer Tania Dunbar was found dead by neighboring campers at Freeman Park on Sunday night. read more here

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

We 'pick up the pieces' after brain injuries to football player husbands

Well thought of article and points out how it is the wives that have to step up and do it all. The trouble is, this is about NFL players even though military/veterans wives have to fight the same battles but no one is suing on their behalf.
NFL wives: We 'pick up the pieces' after brain injuries to football player husbands
By Stephanie Gosk and Monica Alba
NBC News

The wife of an ex-football player who is suing the NFL for allegedly concealing the danger of concussions said that during games, even way up in the stands, she could hear the sound of helmet-clad heads slamming into each other.

“You would hear the clapping of the helmets,” said Garland Radloff, whose husband Wayne played five seasons at center for the Atlanta Falcons. “But then you’d hear cheering. … You know, you didn’t think about any head injury.” She says she wasn’t thinking about long-term effects even after the time her husband was knocked out cold for five minutes.

More than 20 years later, Wayne Radloff, at age 52, has been diagnosed with a form of early onset dementia brought on by repeated concussions. He is unable to work and the bank has started foreclosure proceedings on his South Carolina home. And Garland Radloff has become one of the football wives who are left to carry the ball -- to earn a living, take care of the kids, and fight for what they believe the NFL owes their families.
The wives have had to handle much of the paperwork, the discussions with doctors and lawyers, and the fight for benefits, while also holding their households together, because their husbands have been left with short term memory loss, depression, and other ills that make it difficult to hold a job or pay mounting medical bills.
read more here

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mild traumatic brain injuries linked to troop PTSD, suicide

Mild traumatic brain injuries linked to troop PTSD, suicide
Feb 6, 2013
Written by
Gregg Zoroya

Concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries inflicted on thousands of U.S. troops who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan may be linked to post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide, according to new research.

Mild TBI, often caused by exposure to makeshift bomb explosions, can be difficult to identify and have lasting effects, according to two studies published in the latest issue of The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.

“What these papers say to me is that there is something to TBI, and particularly military TBI, producing specific abnormalities in the brain that lead to more vulnerability to PTSD and to suicide,” says Dan Perl, a neuropathologist and lead investigator at the Pentagon’s brain repository research center.

Suicides in the military increased to record levels last year: There were 349 potential cases in 2012, a 13percent increase over the previous record of 310 suicides in 2009, according to Pentagon data.
read more here

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Football player suffered head trauma before suicide

Aside from the link we can connect this to military service head trauma, this shows what Junior Seau's family went through afterwards.
Junior Seau suffered from CTE brain disease, study shows
PUBLISHED Thursday, Jan 10, 2013
Associated Press

Junior Seau, one of the NFL's best and fiercest players for nearly two decades, had a degenerative brain disease when he committed suicide last May, the National Institutes of Health told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Results of an NIH study of Seau's brain revealed abnormalities consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

"The brain was independently evaluated by multiple experts, in a blind fashion," said Dr. Russell Lonser, who oversaw the study. "We had the opportunity to get multiple experts involved in a way they wouldn't be able to directly identify his tissue even if they knew he was one of the individuals studied."

The NIH, based in Bethesda, Md., conducted a study of three unidentified brains, one of which was Seau's. It said the findings on Seau were similar to autopsies of people "with exposure to repetitive head injuries."
"I was not surprised after learning a little about CTE that he had it," Seau's 23-year-old son Tyler said. "He did play so many years at that level. I was more just kind of angry I didn't do something more and have the awareness to help him more, and now it is too late.

"I don't think any of us were aware of the side effects that could be going on with head trauma until he passed away. We didn't know his behavior was from head trauma."
read more here

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Final Thoughts from the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army

Final Thoughts from the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army

This week I invited the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, General Peter Chiarelli to provide a guest entry addressing an issue of great importance to both he and I and the Army’s other senior leaders. As General Chiarelli prepares to retire on January 31st after three and a half years spent as VCSA and nearly forty years of service to our Army, I want to take this opportunity to thank him for the remarkable job he has done and the immeasurable impact he and his wife, Beth have had on the lives of Soldiers, Army Civilians and Family members around the world. He is a true Patriot, a great American and undoubtedly one of our Army’s very best.

Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the vice chief of staff of the Army (Photo Credit: Daniel Cernero, III Corps and Fort Hood Public Affairs)

“It is truly remarkable all that our Soldiers have accomplished in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the past decade they have done an absolutely magnificent job fighting two wars in difficult and demanding environments.

That said, they are undoubtedly tired and stressed, and many are dealing with challenges including physical and psychological wounds, injuries and illnesses incurred as a result of their service. Among the most difficult are the non-visible wounds of post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. I frequently refer to them as the ‘signature wounds’ of this war.
read more here

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's devotion to son helps him wake from coma

Mother's devotion to son helps him wake from coma

May 08, 2011 3:33 PM
Ramona Walters has dedicated many years to improving the lives of helping injured patients through her career in physical therapy.

“I just let them do what they can do, because I’m just letting them inspire themselves — I love what I do,” she said.

She had become passionate about improving the quality of lives of others several years ago after studying physical fitness and eventually working as a physical therapy assistant at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune for 11 years. However, a tragic accident in her own family last year would test her own faith in the power of healing.

Her 26-year-old son Enrique Vargas had been an avid motorcycle fan since he was 16 and graduated from Motorcycle Mechanics University in 2009. The proud father of a 2-year-old son had just joined the United States Air Force Reserves and was awaiting orders to leave for boot camp on May 15.

“We all ride motorcycles and we’ve always taught him about safety,” Joe said. “There’s time when he and I rode together just to make sure that he was safe.”

Enrique was riding his motorcycle on the afternoon of Sept. 18, 2010 with a group of fellow bikers. While traveling on N.C. 24 towards Jacksonville he collided with car after the driver pulled out in front of him, throwing him from his bike onto the highway. Dr. Darryl Williams, an emergency room doctor at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune was on his way to Swansboro with his wife when he noticed the accident. He stayed with Enrique until an ambulance arrived to take him to Onslow Memorial Hospital. Ramona and her husband Joe were traveling to Wilmington when they received the news of Enrique’s accident.
read more here
Mother's devotion to son helps him wake from coma

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Head trauma from sports and war may be linked to ALS

Perhaps even Lou Gehrig had the related syndrome, but that will never be known because he was cremated. (AP File July 1939)

Multiple head injuries may spur ALS-type illness

“We believe that these three cases are the tip of the iceberg,’’ said neurosurgeon Robert Cantu, who is a codirector of the BU Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. “We don’t know whether this is linked to the increased incidence of ALS in the military, who are subject to blasts and other head injuries, but we are concerned that it may be."

By Kay Lazar
Globe Staff

New research suggests that athletes who have had multiple head injuries, and possibly others such as military veterans exposed to repetitive brain traumas, may be prone to developing a disabling neurological disease similar to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

A team of researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Bedford said yesterday they have pinpointed evidence of a new disease that mimics ALS in the brains of two former National Football League players previously thought to have died of ALS. They also found the new disease in the brain of a deceased professional boxer who was a military veteran.
go here for more
Multiple head injuries may spur ALS type illness

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Man Found Dying in Road

Man Found Dying in Road; Police Release New Information
HENNING, MINN. - Authorities in Otter Tail county released new information Thursday, after a man was found lying in the road near Henning and dies from his injuries.

Dajun Honer's cause of death was trauma to the head, according to the Henning Police Department.

Honer, 31 was found Sunday lying in the traffic lane of State Highway 210 on the south east edge of Henning. He was taken to an area hospital where he later died of his injuries. No vehicle was found near Honer's body.

According to information released Thursday, Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office is conducting a forensic search of a 2005 Chevrolet Impala that Honer had been traveling in before being found, lying on an overpass on Highway 210.
read more here
Man Found Dying in Road

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

TBI, when brain doesn't work right, troops given Tylenol

With Brain Injuries, Soldiers Face Battle For Care
T. Christian Miller and Daniel Zwerdling

June 9, 2010
At the rapidly expanding base in Fort Bliss, Texas, along the U.S.-Mexico border, the military is racing to build new homes for 10,000 additional soldiers. Cranes stack prefabricated containers like children's blocks to erect barracks overnight. Bulldozers grind sagebrush desert into roads and runways.

Just down the street from the construction boom squats a tan, featureless building about the size of a convenience store. Completed nearly a year ago, it remains unopened, the doors locked.

Building 805 was supposed to house a clinic for traumatic brain injury, often called the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, it has become a symbol for soldiers here of what they call commanders' indifference to their problems.

"The system here has no mercy," said Sgt. Victor Medina, a decorated combat veteran who fought to receive treatment at Fort Bliss after suffering a brain injury during a roadside blast in Iraq last June. Since the explosion, Medina has had trouble reading, comprehending and doing simple tasks. "It's struggle after struggle."

Previously, NPR and ProPublica reported that the military has failed to diagnose brain injuries in troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mild traumatic brain injuries, which doctors also call concussions, do not leave visible scars but can cause lasting mental and physical problems.
read more here

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pasco school bus crash victim testifies about his shattered life

Pasco school bus crash victim testifies about his shattered life
By Molly Moorhead, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Thursday, July 23, 2009

DADE CITY — When Marcus Button awoke from his medically induced coma and was able to speak again, it was with a deep Southern accent even his parents didn't recognize.

He expressed a newfound hatred for white people even though he is white. He thought he had been in outer space and to Thailand. He saw spiders.

"My son who woke up, he was not the same son I gave birth to," his mother, Robin Button, testified.

"He wasn't the same boy," said his father, Mark.

In court Wednesday, they were recalling the weeks after a 2006 car crash that left their son with head injuries. Button, then 16, was riding in a friend's car when a school bus struck them on State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel. The friend escaped with minor injuries. The bus driver was determined to be at fault.
read more here

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Chaplain Vakoc fell at care center before death

Chaplain fell at care center before death

The Associated Press
Posted : Wednesday Jul 1, 2009 9:17:30 EDT

MINNEAPOLIS — A medical examiner's report says the military chaplain gravely wounded in Iraq five years ago suffered head injuries in a fall at his nursing home just before his death.

The Hennepin County medical examiner's report lists the cause of Rev. Tim Vakoc's death as blunt-force head injuries related to a fall.
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Head trauma is nothing to be taken lightly

March 19, 2009

Head trauma is nothing to be taken lightly
Posted: 05:39 PM ET
By Val Willingham
CNN Medical Producer

The death of actress Natasha Richardson is tragic. A beautiful, vital 45-year-old goes for a ski lesson and falls. She gets up, declines medical care and goes back to her hotel. From there, the story takes a terrible turn. She becomes ill, and is transported to one hospital, then another and then finally to a third hospital near her home, where she dies two days later from brain injuries caused by an epidural hematoma. Her family, friends and fans are shocked. How can something so innocent kill you? Because, neurologists say, the brain, although complex, is a delicate organ. It’s very vulnerable and it needs to be taken seriously. And even a bump on the head can take its toll. Unfortunately, I know this all too well.

Thirteen years ago, my husband, daughter and I were in a terrible car accident on the Florida Turnpike. On our way to Orlando, our vehicle was hit by a driver who had fallen asleep at the wheel. Although we all had our seat belts on, our car swerved and hit a bridge embankment. My husband’s head went out the side window, hitting the windshield and the concrete. When EMS workers got to us, it looked as if a battle had taken place: burning cars, debris. And because my husband had a major slice to his head, blood was everywhere. I was not hurt, and my daughter had a minor cut from flying glass. They loaded us into ambulances and took us to two different hospitals, my husband headed for the local trauma unit. He stayed two days in the hospital. They stitched up his forehead and sent him home, mentioning that he may want to see his doctor once he got back to Washington, D.C. And although the whole thing was terribly traumatic, we left Florida three days later, with my husband behind the wheel of a rental car.

Because he felt fine and there seemed to be no urgency to his injuries, my husband went back to work and made an appointment with his doctor to have a CT scan two months later. When he got off the table, the radiologist asked him to sit down and immediately called a neurologist. As the doctor viewed the images, his face turned pale and he asked my husband how long had it been since he was in the accident. My hubby shrugged and said, “A couple of months.” The physician then told him not to move — he was going to schedule surgery immediately. It seemed my husband had developed a subdural hematoma that covered his entire brain. According to it’s usually formed from head trauma that causes the brain to be shaken severely. Many children who suffer from shaken baby syndrome have these type of injuries. And unlike epidural hematomas, which bleed in the brain fairly quickly, my husband’s injury developed slowly, causing a massive bruise to form. One false move could have given him a stroke, or caused permanent brain damage.
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