Domestic Violence and Traumatic Brain Injury

Injuries from domestic violence can result in brain damage to 60% of domestic abuse victims according to research published in the journal Family and Community Health.  You can read more by clicking here.

August 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Are the number of concussions growing or is there just better recognition?

The number of adolescents diagnosed with concussions is growing, according to researchers at UC San Francisco. They recommend that adolescents be prioritized for ongoing work in concussion education, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

The study found that 56 percent of concussions were diagnosed in the emergency department, 29 percent in a physician's office, and the remainder in urgent care or inpatient settings. As such, outpatient clinicians should have the same confidence and competence to manage concussion cases as emergency physicians, Zhang said.

A 60 percent increase in concussions occurred from 2007 to 2014 (3,529 to 8,217), with the largest growth in ages 10-14 at 143 percent and 15-19 at 87 percent. Based on classification, 29 percent of concussions were associated with some loss of consciousness.

The findings appear online August 16, 2016, in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. Click here to read full article.  

 

August 25, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stem Cell Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury Clinical Trial

The University of California, San Francisco has posted information about a stem cell therapy clinical trial program for eligible individuals.

A registry has been created to identify potential participants and for future clinical research studies.

You may enroll in the participant recruitment registry for TBI research if you:

  • Are age 18 or older
  • Have suffered TBI
  • Have ongoing symptoms as a result of the TBI

Note: Other inclusion and exclusion criteria apply for each study.

Further information can be obtained by clicking here.

August 23, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

TBI College Support Services for Veterans

Veterans returning to college following a traumatic brain injury may fact special challenges caused by headaches, sleep disturbances, pain, vision and hearing problems, dizziness, and mood changes. You may also feel overwhelmed or have difficulty staying focused.

Here is a link to  an article with helpful information and resources.  Click here.

Strong support systems at colleges and universities can help you through these challenges. However, it's important to be your own advocate and educate yourself about what resources are available.

August 22, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

NFL to Impose Penalties for Teams that Fail to Follow Concussion Protocols

Borrowing from what i have frequently lectured and written about, the New York Times has reported today that the NFL has finally decided that the only way to enforce their concussion protocols is to impose strict penalties upon teams that fail to follow them. 

The New York Times article, NFL Introduces New Rules to Back It's Concussion Protocols reports that the league intends to punish teams that do not follow concussion testing measures and allow players to return to play prematurely by imposing heavy monetary fines and other penalties including losing draft picks. 

The NFL has a long history of failing to provide adequate protection to players following a concussion.  Just creating protocols with no enforcement is not sufficient. 

The NFL still needs to go further and enforce its own rules pertaining to illegal hits and other conduct which promotes head trauma. Players who engage in prohibited conduct need to be ejected from the game, fined and perhaps even suspended for the remainder of the season.  Brain injuries and conduct that causes these injuries must become a league priority.  Five yard penalties are not enough. 

July 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Strucutural damnage to brain following a concussion confirmed by new studies

A new  study establishes lasting structural damage to brain long after concussion symptoms improve. You can read further information here:   Brain changes persist in student athletes six months after a concussion, study suggests

July 8, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Congressional Brain Injury Task Force to Host Briefing on Women and Traumatic Brain Injury

The Congressional Brain Injury Task Force in association with the Brain Injury Association of America have scheduled a Congressional briefing: Women and Traumatic Brain Injury: A Frontier Yet to be Explored for Tuesday, June 14, 2016 from 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm at the Rayburn House Office Building.

June 11, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

NFL: Did they get away with "murder"-- NFL Settlement Upheld by Third Circuit Court of Appeals this afternoon

Unfortunately, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals this afternoon denied the request for an En Banc hearing to re-examine the settlement reached by the NFL and the class action attorneys purportedly representing the interests of 20,000 players.  Any chance of the Supreme Court agreeing to hear this case is slim to none. What does all this mean?  It means that the truth may never be told and the NFL is getting away with "murder"?  With this decision the truth may never be discovered regarding what the NFL knew, when did they know it, and how did they hide it?  Read story on line in New York Times. Appeals Court Won’t Revisit N.F.L. Concussion Settlement

June 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Neuro-Data Bill Needs Your Support--Critical Action Alert

We have been requested to circulate the following action alert by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA)

Brain injury advocates have helped get the Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act (S. 849) further than it has ever advanced in the U.S. Senate. This bill would establish a data collection system to track the incidence and prevalence of neurological diseases including brain injury. Having passed committee unanimously in February, the next few weeks are critical in determining whether the Senate will bring the bill-along with other medical innovations bills-to the floor for a vote.

Email or call your U.S. Senators today to urge them to continue working in a bipartisan fashion to bring the medical innovations bills-including S. 849-to a vote. To find your Senators contact information including email address click here. Or call your Senators. Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Sample Email/Script Language

As a person with a brain injury or brain injury advocate or brain injury professional and constituent, I am contacting you today to ask that you help bring the Senate's medical innovations package to the floor and vote YES on the package. The policy proposals found in this legislation are bipartisan and were passed by the Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Of particular importance to people affected by brain injury and other neurological conditions and diseases is inclusion and passage of the Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act (S. 849).

Emerging therapies offer promise of cures for life-threatening diseases such as brain injury, Alzheimer's, MS, cancer, Parkinson's, and others. We are on the cusp of personalized medicine that takes into account a patient's unique genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. We must ensure research and regulatory institutions can keep pace. This pending legislation would streamline and modernize the biomedical research pipeline, and help bring new, safe and effective treatments and cures to Americans.

I am particularly grateful that the medical innovation bill includes S. 849-which would establish a data collection system to track the incidence and prevalence of neurological diseases. This system will provide a foundation for evaluating and understanding aspects of neurological diseases on which we currently do not have a good grasp such as the geography of diagnoses, variances in gender and disease burden-also helping expedite our path to cures.

I respectfully request you advocate to your colleagues to bring the Senate's medical innovations package including S.849 to the Senate floor and vote YES for this important legislation.

Sincerely,

Your Name and Signature

May 19, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Youth Sports Concussion Act Moves Out of Committee

Legislative News from the Brain Injury Association of America:

The United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, chaired by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) passed the Youth Sports Concussion Act, S. 2508 out of the committee on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. The Youth Sports Concussion Act is sponsored by Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and in the House of Representatives, Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.), co-chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. BIAA thanks Chairman Thune, Ranking Member Nelson (D-Fla.), and Senator Udall for their leadership on moving this important piece of legislation forward.

The Youth Sports Concussion Act expressed the sense of Congress that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should review the National Academies' report on sports-related concussions and future research in such area for any matter that may impact products under the CPSC's jurisdiction or inform the FTC's efforts to protect consumers.

The bill makes it unlawful to sell or offer for sale in interstate commerce, or import into the United States for such purposes, athletic sporting equipment for which the seller or importer makes any deceptive claim with respect to the safety benefits of such an item. Violations shall be treated as unfair or deceptive acts or practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act. The bill sets forth the enforcement authority of the FTC. States may bring civil actions in federal court to obtain injunctive relief on behalf of state residents unless a civil or administrative action has already been instituted by the FTC. The FTC may intervene and appeal in state actions.

The Youth Sports Concussion Act is an important piece of legislation because it will protect our nation's youth who participate in sports related activities from concussions and other injuries by discouraging false advertising claims regarding protective equipment used in competitive sports.

BIAA and NASHIA recently spearheaded a letter of support to the Senate Commerce Committee to include the Youth Sports Concussion Act in the next executive session. Thirty six organizations signed on in support of moving this important legislation through the committee process.

April 29, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Court of Appeals Approves NFL Class Action Settlement

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision today, affirming the settlement of the NFL class action litigation. Unfortunately, the decision is a disappointment. When the players realize that they will receive virtually no benefits under the settlement, there will be a revolution.  The next court to weigh in on these issues is the Court of Public Opinion.

read my comments in New York Times story reporting on this settlement

April 18, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Association of America Legislative Update

The following legislative update has been prepared by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), the nation's oldest and largest brain injury advocacy group:

BIAA Submits Testimony to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees This week, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) submitted testimony to the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. The appropriations request includes:

TBI Model Systems

BIAA calls on Congress to Support the TBI Model System program by increasing funding by $13 million over the next six years:

  • Increase funding for the National Data and Statistical Center by $100,000 annually to allow all participants to be followed; when re-competed, increase from $625,000 to $1 million annually;
  • Increase funding for centers by $150,000 annually from the current average of $437,500;
  • Increase the number of competitively funded centers from 16 to 18; and
  • Increase the number of multicenter TBI Model Systems Collaborative Research projects from one to five, each with an annual budget of $1.5 million (current funding is $600,000 each).

BIAA also urges that the TBI Model Systems receive "line-item" status within the broader NIDILRR budget.

TBI State Grant and Protection and Advocacy Grant Programs

On Oct. 1, 2015, the HHS Secretary transferred the TBI State Grant program to the Administration for Community Living, Administration on Disabilities' Independent Living Administration and the Protection & Advocacy (P&A) Grant Program to the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Only 20 states receive TBI State grants, and all the P&A grants are severely under-funded.

  • Appropriate $9.76 million to fund the Federal TBI State and P&A Grant Programs plus an additional $1 million for the Federal TBI State Grant Program to increase the number of State grants (4 additional states) and $2 million total for the P&A Grant Program to increase the amount of grant awards.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The TBI Act of 1996, as amended, authorizes funding for data, prevention, public education and research.

  • Support CDC in its mandate to review the scientific evidence related to brain injury management in children and identify opportunities for research;
  • Support TBI national surveillance;
  • Appropriate $10 million to fund CDC's TBI programs; and
  • Support the President's Fiscal Year 2017 budget request for $5 million for the CDC to accurately determine the incidence of sports related concussions among youth ages 5-21.

BIAA Advocates to Advance the Youth Sports Concussion Act

BIAA and the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) spearheaded a stakeholder letter to urge the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee to include the Youth Sports Concussion Act (HR 4460/S. 2508) in the next executive session. The Youth Sports Concussion Act is sponsored by Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.), co-chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. Thirty six organizations signed on in support of moving this important legislation through the committee process.

The Youth Sports Concussion Act expressed the sense of Congress that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should review the National Academies' report on sports-related concussions and future research in such area for any matter that may impact products under the CPSC's jurisdiction or inform the FTC's efforts to protect consumers.

The bill makes it unlawful to sell or offer for sale in interstate commerce, or import into the United States for such purposes, athletic sporting equipment for which the seller or importer makes any deceptive claim with respect to the safety benefits of such an item. Violations shall be treated as unfair or deceptive acts or practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act. The bill sets forth the enforcement authority of the FTC. States may bring civil actions in federal court to obtain injunctive relief on behalf of state residents unless a civil or administrative action has already been instituted by the FTC. The FTC may intervene and appeal in state actions.

The Youth Sports Concussion Act is an important piece of legislation because it will protect our nation's youth who participate in sports related activities from concussions and other injuries by discouraging false advertising claims regarding protective equipment used in competitive sports.

April 18, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Association of America--Newly Announced Webinars

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has announced the scheduling of the following webinars.  Further information can be obtained by clicking here.

April 21, 2016: 3 pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, noon PT

David Strauss Memorial Lecture: Cognitive Rehabilitation Focus on Awareness, Sheldon Herring, PhD

Dr. Herring will describe clinical implications and treatment of awareness deficits.

May 18, 2016: 3 pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, noon PT

Carolyn Rocchio Caregivers Webinar: Understanding Mood, Memory, and Behavior after Brain Injury: The Role of the Family, Sandeep Vaishnavi, MD, PhD 

Dr. Vaishnavi, Director of The Neuropsychiatric Clinic and author of the book The Traumatized Brain, will discuss ways to help families understand the long-term neuropsychiatric symptoms of brain injury, and offer strategies for how they can help. 

July 13, 2016: 3 pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, noon PT

Robert Sbordone Memorial Lecture: Gender and Sex Differences in Concussion, Katherine Price Snedaker, LCSW

Ms. Snedaker will discuss the latest gender-based research on concussion/mTBI and how those findings might inform clinical practice.

July 21, 2016: 3 pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, noon PT

Carolyn Rocchio Caregivers Webinar: How to Select the Right App and Use Strategies Consistently, Michelle Wild, MA

Ms. Wild will will pose four questions to ask when deciding which apps to download, go through each question to evaluate several apps to illustrate the process, and cover ways to improve the consistent use of compensatory strategies on a daily basis.

July 26, 2016: 3 pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, noon PT

David Strauss Memorial Lecture: Cognitive Rehabilitation Focus on Attention, John Whyte, MD, PhD

Dr. Whyte will discuss the organization of attention processes in the healthy brain, the occurrence and clinical implications of attention deficits following TBI, and cognitive rehabilitation strategies to improve outcomes.

September 14, 2016: 3 pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, noon PT

Mitchell Rosenthal Memorial Lecture: Use of Internal Strategies as a Memory Compensation Technique after Brain Injury, Mary R.T. Kennedy, PhD, CCC-SLP, McKay Moore Sohlberg, PhD, CCC-SLP, and Therese O'Neil Pirozzi, ScD, CCC-SLP

What are internal strategy options for post-TBI memory impairment? In this webinar, Drs. Kennedy, Sohlberg, and Pirozzi will discuss the evidence supporting various internal memory strategies and demonstrate the key systematic instructional principles for teaching internal memory strategies.

September 22, 2016: 3

pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, noon PT

BIAA Webinar: Post-TBI Headache, Nathan Zasler, MD, FAAPM&R, FAADEP, DAAPM, CBIST

Dr. Zasler will provide insights into the myriad causes of headache following brain, head, and/or neck injuries; review headache classification, etiology and pathophysiology; and describe treatment options for the various subtypes of PTHA.  

October 19, 2016: 3 pm ET, 2pm CT, 1pm MT, noon PT

Carolyn Rocchio Caregivers Webinar: Strategies for Families Managing Personality Changes after Brain Injury, Allan Grill, CRC, MFT

Mr. Grill will discuss how families deal with the personality changes a person with a brain injury might present after an injury; offer some insights into strategies families can use and useful resources for professionals to share with families; and include case scenarios, followed by a discussion about issues and concepts that families need to understand to effectively manage behavioral and personality challenges.

November 9, 2016: 3 pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, noon PT

Business of Brain Injury Webinar: A Review of Medicaid Waivers for TBI, Janet Williams, PhD

Dr. Williams will address the philosophy behind Medicaid Waivers, how they differ from state to state, how rehabilitation providers may provide services under the waivers, and how people with brain injury may access services through waivers.

 

April 17, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Documentary examines NCAA Commercial Exploitation of Athletes

Commercial exploitation of athletes, exposing college athletes to brain damage, using and abusing college students in the name of sports.  These are some of the topics explored in the first documentary examining the conduct of the NCAA.  The film, The Business of Athletes will be previewed on April 28th at 7:30 PM in  the Bronx at  the Showcase Cinema, Concourse Plaza, 214 E 161st St, Bronx, NY.  But only, if enough people purchase tickets in advance.  You can get more information by clicking here. Here is a link to the trailer and a review by the Mike O'Keefe of the Daily News, click here   The film maker, Bob DeMars has graciously selected The Brain Injury Association of America for donation's.

April 15, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A safety award for NFL Commissioner? Are they out of their minds?

Later this week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be given the Jacksonville Sports Medicine Program Leadership in Sports Health, Safety & Research Award.  GIVE ME A BREAK!  Read more by clicking here.

March 29, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Concussion Research--NFL's conduct is disgraceful

I am gratified that The NY Daily News extensively covered my criticism of the NFL and its conduct. It is appalling that they could alter scientific research and should be a lesson for us all when we review these medical articles from the best doctors that money can buy.  Lawyer says $765M NFL settlement should be invalidated

March 25, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

NFL Alters Scientitif Research--A Disgrace

The New York Times reports this morning that the NLF and its Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee deliberately altered scientific research submitted to the Journal Neurosurgery. The lies were used to support their assertions that concussions did not pose a risk to NFL Players.  It's time that the full truth is told.  The NFL cannot be permitted to hide the truth from the public.  In N.F.L., Deeply Flawed Concussion Research and Ties to Big Tobacco

March 24, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

NFL Finally Admits What Everyone Else Has Known For Years.

The NFL has known about the link between CTE and repetitive head trauma for years. Just shocking how long it has taken them to admit it. Read my comments in today’s NY Daily News. NFL Accepting CTE Link

March 16, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

New York State Brain Injury Advocacy Day

The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) has scheduled its first Brain Injury Advocacy Day for Wednesday, March 23 in Albany, New York.

Advocates will be traveling to Albany from all around the state to help legislators understand that many New Yorkers with brain injury need comprehensive, coordinated long-term care, and that changes proposed by the state Department of Health could lead to harmful service cuts for these individuals.

Your voice and participation in this event is important to alert your legislators to the importance of protecting the rights of victims of brain injury.

To join the Brain Injury Association of New York in Albany on March 23rd, please click here to for further information and to register.

March 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Future Potential Liability for Concussion Injuries

Interesting article in today's San Diego Reader on long term potential liability of NFL for concussion related injuries.  Read my comments contained in article on potential liability of municipalities that providing funding for stadium construction.  Will the NFL be as powerful in three decades? The long term viability of professional football.

 

March 10, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Book review-Patients Rights and Ethical Dilemas a review of Rights Come to Mind: Brain Injury, Ethics and the Struggle for Consciousness

Nationally recognized brain injury attorney, Shana De Caro’s review of Rights Come to Mind: Brain Injury, Ethics, and the Struggle for Consciousness by Joseph J. Fins was published in this month’s Trial Magazine, the official publication of the American Association for Justice.  The book according to Shana, “is a fascinating discussion of the serious issues confronting people with impaired consciousness.”  The text analyzes the issues of consciousness from medical, familial, and societal perspectives focusing on the myriad issues confronting families.    Shana is a member of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of America and immediate past chair of the Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice.

The review can be found at Trial, American Association for Justice: “Patient Rights and Ethical Dilemmas” Book Review, March 2016, Vol. 52. No.3.

March 8, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Brain injury is reached epidemic levels in the United States.  The Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year in the United States there are:

52,000 deaths attributable to TBI

275,000 hospitalizations attributable to TBI

1,365,000 emergency department visits attributable to TBI

If individuals who sustained a concussion and did not seek any emergency treatment were included in these statistics or were treated for injuries in a hospital where TBI was not the primary diagnosis, the CDC estimates over 3.5 million Americans each year were victims of brain damage.

The CDC estimates the direct medical costs and indirect costs of TBI, such as lost wages and productivity totals $60 billion dollars when last measured in 2000.

Although brain injury is receiving increased attention because of the media focus on professional athletes sustaining traumatic brain injury and returning service members who have sustained blast related brain damage, the vast majority of individuals with brain injury are part of a silent epidemic who do not receive the attention, treatment and social services they deserve.

The Brain Injury Association of America and its state affiliates sponsors many activities and programs during Brain Injury Awareness Month to raise public awareness of this injury that may last a life time.

For further information, go to the Brain Injury Association of America web site.

If you or a loved one is a victim of traumatic brain injury, the brain injury law firm of De Caro & Kaplen, LLP may be able to provide legal assistance. 

 

March 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Waiver Services Jeopardized in New York State

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) is attempting to cut services for individuals on the Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver Program by transferring them to managed care programs.  The insurance carriers who will then provide waiver services will eliminate necessary services.  A devious move by DOH who is no longer a friend of the brain injury community. 

DOH is not concerned with the brain injury community, but only concerned with saving money. 

The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) has just issued an action alert:

Dear Friend and Supporters of the Brain Injury Association of NYS,

As you know, the TBI and Nursing Home Transition and Diversion (NHTD) Medicaid Waiver Programs are slated to move into the Managed Care system by next year. According to the Department of Health’s timeline, the transition plan will be finalized by April 1, 2016. Time is very limited to ensure that New Yorkers with brain injury keep receiving the services they need to stay in their communities.

BIANYS and other stakeholders are advocating for continued access to Waiver services for current and future participants. The Department’s proposed transition plan does not address the needs of this population and current outcomes show the use of the UAS assessment tool may result in 30% of all program participants losing services.

To ensure access to care, the Assembly and Senate have introduced requiring that a transition to Managed Care include the specialized services created for this specialized population, including Service Coordination. Click here for legislative proposals.

This proposed legislation details these services, reinstates the neurobehavioral resource project, includes a rate cell to protect people who need higher levels of care, and addresses repatriation for people with brain injury institutionalized out-of-state.

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO ENSURE THE PASSAGE OF A.9288

Contact your Assembly member asking for support of A.9288 and contact your Senator asking for a similar bill in the Senate. We have posted resources, including a suggested letter to download.  BIANYS web site information

Please share this information widely and encourage others to get involved and to join us in Albany on March 23 for Brain Injury Advocacy Day

Thank you, 

February 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Reported concussions up by 58% in NFL during 2015

Reported concussions increased by 58% in statistics reported by the NFL yesterday.  But's that's just part of the problem.  What about sub-concussive blows and repeated head trauma and the long term brain damage that these injuries cause?  Not surprisingly, the NfL doesn't want to discuss this.  See my comments in today's NY Daily News.

January 30, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Awareness Day, March 16, 2016

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has announced that Reps. Pascrell (D-N.J.) and Rooney (R-Fla.), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, will host Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, March 16, 2016.

Included is a brain injury awareness fair with over 50 exhibitors, a Congressional briefing, and a reception to celebrate the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force and Brain Injury Awareness Month.

Schedule of Events for Brain Injury Awareness Day 2016

9:00am - 2:00pm Brain Injury Awareness Fair, Cannon Caucus Room, Cannon House Office Building 
2:30pm Congressional Briefing, Capitol Visitors Center
5:00pm - 7:00pm Reception Celebrating Brain Injury Awareness Month, B338 Rayburn House Office Building

January 8, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shana De Caro reelected to Brain Injury Association of America Bd of Directors

De Caro & Kaplen, LLP is pleased to announce that Shana De Caro has been reelected to a three year term to the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of America.

Founded in 1980, the Brain Injury Association of America is the oldest, largest, non-profit nationwide brain injury advocacy group.   Serving as a member of their Board of Directors is an honor recognizing the years Shana has devoted as a dedicated advocate seeking to improve the lives of persons with a brain injury. 

Shana’s practice focuses on representing victims of catastrophic injuries, traumatic brain damage, and medical malpractice in federal and state courts across the country. 

Shana is a featured speaker throughout the United States in areas of traumatic brain injury, personal injury, and medical malpractice.  In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association, she also serves as member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, as Secretary and member of the Board of Trustees of the Civil Justice Foundation, and an elected Fellow of the Melvin Belli Society.  Shana is the immediate past chair of the American Association for Justice, Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group.

Shana’s legal work in the field of traumatic brain injury includes publication of a chapter of Psychiatric Clinics of North America special edition on brain injury and the New York Law Journal expert column on traumatic brain injury law.

Contact Shana

Her full CV can be viewed here

More information can be obtained about De Caro & Kaplen by visiting their web site brainlaw

January 4, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

NY Daily News Interview on Concussion Movie

Gratified to be interviewed for special Daily News feature article on “Concussion” movie appearing in Sunday editions of paper.  We all need to be diligent and speak out for the 5.2 million Americans suffering from the permanent consequences of traumatic brain injury.  All brain injuries are serious and must be treated as such by the NFL, insurance carriers and health providers. Opening Eyes and Minds: Former NFL QB Ray Lucas, CTE activists weigh in on Will Smith’s ‘Concussion’

 

December 20, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Concussion a Good Opening Gambit

Shana and I attended an advance screening of the movie Concussion, with a group of sports writers and newscasters.  Will Smith gave a compelling performance as Bennet Omalu, and his quest to determine and understand the cause of a specific type of brain damage, later named CTE, first discovered in the brain of former Pittsburgh Steeler, Mike Webster.  This was Omalu’s movie and his story, based on the 2009 GQ exposé, Game Brain by Jeanne Marie Laskas. This was not a documentary.

The title for the film, “Concussion” is misleading.  The film is not about concussions and the failure on the part of the league to inform players about the signs and symptoms of concussions, the need to refrain from returning to play before a player is healed, or the potential life-long consequences of a concussion.  It is a film about the work of Bennet Omalu and his efforts to understand Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Importantly the film is based upon a true story, but is not a complete story.  It is an excellent presentation of the path Omalu took and the painstaking investigation into the cause Mike Webster’s death.  Omalu’s dogged pursuit of answers led to the discovery of the connection between football and brain damage and opened the door to further research.  The movie indicated his conflict with the NFL in accepting this information, which the NFL still disputes.

This movie opens the door to a more important conversation, about trauma and brain damage that must continue.  The cinematic decisions about the portrayals of different characters and the complete omission of any reference to the Concussion Legacy Foundation in Boston, the past and current role of Commissioner Goodell and the NFL marketing department in deflecting criticism were interesting choices made by the film’s writer and director.

It was a compelling introduction for the public to the health issues generated by trauma in football.  This theme must be expanded. If this movie provokes a national conversation about the larger issues associated with all types of brain damage, from football, other sports and everyday accidents, then it has been a great public service.  It would be misleading, if however, it leaves the impression that the problems have been remedied or that the only public health concern is CTE.  This is the tip of the iceberg of the full-range of chronic life-altering effects of concussions. 

Brain injury is a chronic condition with life-long consequences.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each year there are over 200,000 visits to emergency departments by children under the age of 19 suffering concussion related problems from organized sports.  Omitted from these statistics are visits to urgent care facilities, physicians’ offices, and cases where concussion is not the principal diagnosis. The CDC estimates that the accurate number is between 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports related concussions documented each year!  This is a true public health crisis.  Labeling a condition does not address treatment issues and how we, as a society, address the impact of a chronic condition that has consequences for families and society.

We applaud the efforts of all those involved in making this important film, and hope it engenders continued investigation and research into not only prevention, but improved identification and treatment options that will assist this vulnerable population.

SHANA DE CARO, ESQ. is a member of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of America and immediate past chair of the American Association for Justice  Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group.

MICHAEL V. KAPLEN, ESQ. is a Professorial Lecturer in Law teaching the only course in traumatic brain injury law at The George Washington University Law School, a member and immediate past chair of the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Coordinating Council, three term president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State and a past chair of the American Association for Justice Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group.

DE CARO & KAPLEN, LLP is a New York based law firm with a focus on representing victims of traumatic brain injury throughout the nation.  Shana and Michael are frequently invited to lecture attorneys and public advocacy groups nationwide on the legal issues pertaining to brain injury, public health concerns and the impact of brain injury on the lives of its victims.

Shana and Michael authored the New York Law Journal expert column on brain injury law and the chapter on brain injury law in the special issue of Psychiatric Clinics of North America.    

December 17, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Concussion Movie

Shana and I are honored to have been invited by Sony Pictures to an advance screening of the movie Concussion next week, which brings to light the NFL’s attempt to conceal the truth about concussion danger from NFL participation. Although this film is based upon revelations concerning CTE, the movie focuses the spotlight on this public health epidemic of brain injuries by revealing just the tip of the iceberg of the devastating injuries sustained by NFL players.

The movie is scheduled to open on Christmas day.

We look forward to sharing our thoughts about the film following the screening.

December 11, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Roger Goodell Jokes About Concussions

A concussion is a brain injury.  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should know better.

Concussions are no laughing matter.  Read my sentiments in this New York Daily News Article.

 

December 10, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)