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Brain Injuries

November 14, 2012 | By Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times
Soccer players who repeatedly strike the ball with their heads may be causing measurable damage to their brains, even if they never suffer a concussion, according to a study published Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Assn. By examining brain scans of a dozen professional soccer players from Germany, researchers found a pattern of damage that strongly resembled that of patients with mild traumatic brain injury, said Dr. Inga Katharina Koerte, a neuroradiologist at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, who led the study.
October 8, 2012 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON -- A Dallas mother who admitted super-gluing her toddler's hands to a wall also beat the girl so severely she ended up in a coma, according to experts who testified at a sentencing hearing. Elizabeth Escalona, 23, pleaded guilty to injury to a child on July 12, according to a spokeswoman for the Dallas County District Attorney's Office. She faces a potential life sentence, although prosecutors are seeking a 45-year sentence. Escalona apparently became so frustrated with 2-year-old daughter Jocelyn Cedillo's “potty training issue” on Sept.
September 14, 2012 | By Jon Bardin, Los Angeles Times
A group of scientists created a novel brain implant that improves cognitive performance and decision-making in a monkey. The device, developed in part by researchers at USC, manipulates ongoing brain activity to guide the animal away from mistakes and toward a correct decision. The study, published this week in the Journal of Neural Engineering, marks an important step toward implantable devices that could one day help people with brain injuries better perform basic tasks. The field of "brain prosthetics" has been dominated by efforts to restore physical abilities, like devices that use brain activity to move a robotic arm or a cursor across a screen.
August 30, 2012 | By Shannon P. Meehan
July saw a record number of suicides in the Army and among recent veterans. I was nearly one of them. I suffer from both traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, the two most common conditions of suicidal veterans. Sometimes life becomes overwhelming. This summer, as has happened often before, I experienced severe depression, which leads to isolation. Then, when I was feeling most hopeless, I also started feeling tremendously reckless. I found myself feeling aggressive and impulsive, feelings that fuel erratic behavior.
June 19, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
The Florida teen whose brain was impaled by a fishing spear survived because the spear, which entered his skull above the right eye and exited the back of his skull, missed the main blood vessels in his brain, news reports said Tuesday . Though one might not imagine the brain could take such abuse and survive - and the extent of recovery of 16-year-old Yasser Lopez is still to be determined - there are remarkable stories of those who...
June 10, 2012 | By Mike DiGiovanna
DENVER - Bobby Wilson has had some down time to investigate the injury that sent him to the seven-day concussion disabled list Tuesday, and the Angels catcher did not like what he found. Whether it was the suicide of former NFL linebacker Junior Seau , which some think may have been caused by repetitive brain injuries; several concussion-related lawsuits in the NFL; or head injuries suffered by fellow catchers, Wilson was disturbed by the information. "This concussion thing is big - especially in football - it's a serious thing," Wilson said.
June 7, 2012 | By Sam Farmer
Lawyers representing more than 2,000 former NFL players will file a master complaint in federal court Thursday morning, consolidating the 85 concussion-related lawsuits filed against the NFL and therefore streamlining the case. The complaint, which will be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania before Judge Anita Brody, alleges the NFL “deliberately and fraudulently concealed from its players the link between football-related head impacts and long-term neurological injuries.” According to the 88-page complaint, a copy of which was obtained in advance by the Los Angeles Times, the NFL “was aware of the evidence and the risks associated with repetitive traumatic brain injuries virtually at its inception, but deliberately ignored and actively concealed the information from the Plaintiffs and all others who participated in organized football at all levels.” Plaintiff lawyers say scientific evidence dating to the 1920s has linked repetitive concussive and sub-concussive impacts to long-term neurological problems.
May 22, 2012 | Staff and wire reports
The top-seeded USC men's tennis team defeated rival UCLA, 4-1, in a wild NCAA semifinal at Athens, Ga., and earned a chance to win its fourth consecutive national championship Tuesday. The Trojans (32-1) will meet third-seeded Virginia at 2 p.m. PDT in Athens. USC beat the Cavaliers in last year's final. Virginia defeated seventh-seeded Pepperdine to reach the championship match. Lightning and thunder interrupted action midway through the first sets of both semifinal matches, forcing them to move indoors to be played out on two courts apiece.
May 3, 2012 | By Sam Farmer
OCEANSIDE -- The family of deceased NFL star Junior Seau has decided to allow researchers to study his brain for evidence of damage as the result of concussions, San Diego Chargers chaplain Shawn Mitchell said. "The family was considering this almost from the beginning, but they didn't want to make any emotional decisions," Mitchell told The Times on Thursday night. "And when they came to a joint decision that absolutely this was the best thing, it was a natural occurrence for the Seau family to go forward.
April 25, 2012 | By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Matt Pizzo has a law degree, can-do attitude, proven leadership skills, and expertise in communications and satellite technology from his four years in the Air Force. Yet the 29-year-old has been told that he's overqualified, too old, too "non-traditional," and that he's fallen behind his civilian contemporaries. "It was disheartening, to say the least," he said of his latest job rejection. "But it's typical, I'm afraid. " For unemployed veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, rejection is a special ordeal.
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