Archive for 2017

Brain donation at OHSU

If a patient has a brain disease, usually the family will donate the brain for study after death for a couple of reasons. The first is to find out the final diagnosis. The second is to understand what this means for other family members, usually children or siblings. They want to know what are the chances that others in the family will get this or a similar brain disease? Contrary to common belief, Alzheimer’s and … Read More

Concussion clinic improves care through integration of specialties

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury, with transient brain impairment that naturally resolves, but can have prolonged symptoms for some individuals. The Concussion Treatment Clinic within our sports medicine department is constantly assessing how to best diagnose, treat and help people recover from concussions. Our aim is to treat the whole person by approaching the problem from multiple angles with early and action-oriented intervention, but with enough flexibility to help individuals at any … Read More

Caregiver Corner: Holiday travel tips

As the holidays approach, many of us look forward to traveling to visit friends and family. Many families ask me about traveling with family members with dementia. Here are my top tips. Plan your trip carefully. If flying, give yourself extra time at the airport to avoid stress. The airports can be busy and overwhelming over the holidays, so pace yourselves. Give yourself a cushion of time for extra bathroom and meal breaks. Consider asking … Read More

Caregiver Corner: 8 ways to reduce the stress of holiday meals

Holiday meals can be very stressful for caregivers for persons with dementia. Here are some tips to keep the meals pleasant. 1. Tell your guests about the dementia diagnosis ahead of time. It can be very confusing for all if the diagnosis is kept as a secret. 2. Consider the timing of the main meal. If your family member with dementia typically is anxious or agitated in the afternoon or evening, consider having a brunch … Read More

Discovering the latest in TBI research, evaluation and treatment

For many graduate students, myself included, conferences and symposiums are little more than an opportunity to stuff your face with free food, nervously defend your most bewildering preliminary data, and awkwardly attempt what socially adept people call “networking”. However, last week’s TBI symposium was different. It offered attendees a crash course on what scientists and clinicians from around the country were learning about TBI. Being brand new to the research world of traumatic brain injury, … Read More

Innovative technologies used for the assessment of concussion and TBI

Neuropsychologists measure the relationship between how the brain is functioning and how people think and act as a result. Although they have incorporated advances in brain imaging to improve our understanding of brain-behavior relationships, the field has been slow to embrace technology to improve our assessments of a patient’s ability to perform everyday activities like the ability to drive or predict performance in the classroom. Many of our paper-and-pencil tests have been computerized, but this … Read More

OHSU research targets chronic balance dysfunction in mTBI patients

Abnormal balance control during standing and walking has been documented in patients who have sustained a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or concussion. These problems may improve over the weeks following injury for many people, however, balance related impairments remain a common complaint in those suffering from the chronic effects of mTBI. Under the lead of Dr. Laurie King (PI), postdoctoral scholars Dr. Lucy Parrington and Dr. Peter Fino are seeking ways to better measure … Read More

How to talk about a tough topic: Tips for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Dr. Alan Teo shares the right way (and the wrong way) to talk  about suicide. In less than a month since its debut on August 17, a music video whose title is a phone number has garnered 41 million views on YouTube (and counting quickly). The song is called “1-800-273-8255” by hip hop artist Logic. The video tells the story of a young black man who struggles with family … Read More

A look back at SAIL, the Summer Academy to Inspire Learning

As students end their summer break and head back to school this month, we take a look back at July’s  Summer Academy to Inspire Learning (SAIL), a week-long summer camp for high school students organized in collaboration between faculty at Portland State University (PSU) and the Youth Engaged in Science (YES!) program in the Fair Neuroimaging Lab (FNL) at OHSU. SAIL at PSU was launched in summer 2011 and is modeled after the SAIL program … Read More

Five common myths about the brain―and the truth behind them

Here are five common myths about the brain – and the truth behind them. 1. You only use 10 percent of your brain False! Techniques that allow scientists to see brain activity like positron emission tomography (PET) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) show that we use every part of our brains throughout the day. 2. People can be right-brained or left-brained While certain specific tasks, like understanding syllables in words, do involve one side … Read More

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