Brain Trauma

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

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

A strong neuroscience program is about to get stronger—meet leaders and researchers at the forefront

Today, neuroscience at OHSU is poised for dramatic growth, driven by emerging areas of research strength in the fields of neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration and a planned investment of at least $100 million. Led by long-time campus leaders and new luminaries, the university is doubling down on its quest: contribute in a major way to understanding the mystery between our ears and, above all, improve brain health. Leadership On the faculty since 1982, Dennis Bourdette, M.D., F.A.A.N., chairs neurology in the … Read More

The role of the athletic trainer in the concussion clinic

For many years athletic trainers have been on the sidelines helping concussed athletes, starting with the initial injury through the return-to-play process, and back onto the field. We use our education and skills to assess and treat injured athletes, to make sure they don’t re-enter the game with concussion symptoms, to help them get the support they need in the school setting, and to collaborate with team physicians to make sure these athletes can safely … Read More

Headers in soccer are a leading cause of concussion

American Football may still be the leading concussion injury for all sports in the US, but soccer caused the second highest number of concussions in high school sports. Soccer is also the number one cause of concussions for girls in high school sports. Furthermore, women soccer players sustain about 1.7 times more concussions than male soccer players. The cause of this is unknown, but may be related to the aggressive style of play in women’s soccer, resulting … Read More

Get back in the game with ImPACT concussion testing

Having worked in the high school setting as an athletic trainer for eight years before coming to the OHSU Sports Medicine department, I have found that concussion management is one of the most complex tasks for a high school athletic trainer to facilitate. Between the on-the-field examination to determine if the athlete has a concussion, educating the coaching staff and parents on concussion management, following up with the school administration and staff regarding accommodations for the … Read More

Researcher seeks better ways to care for people post-concussion

The research surrounding concussions has been a heavy topic of discussion and strides are being taken to incorporate research findings into clinical and practical care of people post-concussion. This attempt to provide evidence-based care to our athletes was recently punctuated at the the Sports and Health Research Program Stakeholders Board Meeting, organized by the Foundation for the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Washington DC. In attendance were several NIH funded investigators, NIH program officers and representatives … Read More

Five ways to explore Brain Awareness Season

On behalf of the OHSU Brain Institute, I am proud to present our 16th Brain Awareness Season! This year’s theme is The Infinite Brain. The universe is full of unlimited connections and possibilities, but the world inside our heads is as equally fascinating and infinite. Our brains not only affect how we think, feel and act, but also how society develops and evolves. The Season includes events for all types of audiences. Here are just a … Read More

The connection between the brain, sleep and dementia

Last week, I talked about ongoing research on how sleep “deep cleans” your brain, as well as my participation in the National Geographic Channel’s documentary Sleepless in America. Meanwhile, our team of OHSU researchers, along with colleagues at the University of Rochester in New York, are plunging ahead with the story of the brain, sleep and dementia. We recently published an article in the journal Annals of Neurology that showed that the “brain cleaning system” is impaired in the aging … Read More

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