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SCIENCE
June 27, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
In the wake of a traumatic brain injury, a victim may have more to worry about than lingering headaches, dizziness or inability to concentrate: A new study finds that the risk of ischemic stroke -- in which blood flow to the brain is blocked or reduced -- rises in the years that follow. That finding, published this week in the journal Neurology, may help explain the incidence of stroke in patients under 65 and in patients without some of stroke's known risk factors, such as hypertension, Type 2 diabetes or atrial fibrillation.
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SCIENCE
January 15, 2014 | By Alan Zarembo
People who suffer traumatic brain injuries face an elevated risk of death from suicide or accidents for years to come, according to a new study based on four decades of data on hundreds of thousand of patients in Sweden. Those who survived the immediate aftermath of moderate and severe traumatic brain injuries were three times more likely than people without such injuries to die prematurely, defined by the researchers as before age 56. Experts said the study was likely to spur calls for long-term monitoring of some brain injury patients.
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SPORTS
January 11, 2013 | By Houston Mitchell
Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar says treatments he got from a Florida doctor have helped reverse the effects of brain trauma he suffered during his 13-year NFL career. “When I heard some of the things he was capable of doing I was bluntly a little skeptical,” Kosar said of the doctor, Rick Sponaugle. “But after just a few weeks of treatment to not have the ringing in the ears, not have the headaches and to be able to sleep through the night without medications and all the stuff.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 10, 2013 | By Paloma Esquivel
Kelly Thomas arrived at the hospital comatose, with multi-organ failure, multiple fractures to his face and ribs and signs of having suffered respiratory and cardiac arrest, the trauma surgeon who treated him testified Tuesday. Dr. Michael Lekawa, chief of trauma surgery at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, was on duty the night of July 5, 2011, when Thomas arrived at the hospital after a confrontation with Fullerton police. He died five days later. Two former officers, Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli, are on trial for allegedly killing the mentally ill homeless man. Ramos is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, Cicinelli with involuntary manslaughter and excessive force.
NEWS
May 2, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / For Booster Shots
Former NFL star Junior Seau's death by apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound follows a pattern of suicides by other high-profile football players who suffered from long-term effects of repeated brain injury. That list of players includes Andre Waters of the Philadelphia Eagles and Terry Long of the Pittsburgh Steelers. And just last year, former Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson shot himself in the chest, but not before requesting that his brain be donated to science so that researchers could study the long-term effects caused by concussion and other repeated brain injuries.
SPORTS
October 23, 2010 | By Ben Bolch
The former star running back boards first. It's a few minutes before 7 on a Tuesday morning as Brad Ebner gives his father a hug and ambles onto a small yellow school bus that has pulled up outside his Goleta home. The bus has been modified inside with a large open space for a wheelchair on one side and three seats with room for another wheelchair on the other. As the driver navigates the Santa Barbara area, five more college-age passengers come aboard: two men using wheelcairs who have cerebral palsy; a man with autism; and a man and a woman who have mental disabilities.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 2, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
One afternoon in early January, I took a tour of the refurbished Memorial Stadium in Berkeley with a pair of architects from the firm HNTB. For me it was a visit brimming with nostalgia: I grew up about three miles north of the stadium, in the Berkeley hills, and spent dozens of Saturday afternoons in the late 1970s and '80s watching the Cal Bears play, and usually lose, to other teams in the Pacific 10 Conference. Just as the Pac-10 is now the Pac-12, with the addition two years ago of the University of Colorado and the University of Utah, the stadium, originally built in 1923, has expanded.
SPORTS
October 5, 2011 | Staff and wire reports
Flashy Rick Martin was never going to be confused with an enforcer, achieving acclaim as a vaunted goal-scorer, not a fighter, in his glory days with the Buffalo Sabres. But Martin, who died in March of a heart attack at age 59, was revealed to have had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease linked to repeated brain trauma, according to Boston University researchers in a report issued Wednesday. The other two former NHL players diagnosed with CTE, post-mortem, were known for their formidable fighting abilities, Bob Probert and Reggie Fleming . Martin was said to have stage two of the disease — stage four being the most severe.
SCIENCE
September 5, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
As the National Football League kicks off a new season, a study appearing in a leading medical journal underscores the long-term costs of the game on those who play it. A study tracking 3,439 retired players with five or more seasons in the NFL found these athletes four times as likely as other men their age to die of Alzheimer's disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Among the league's "speed players" - those who build up substantial speed before they make a tackle or are brought down by one - the odds of dying of those causes were even greater.
NEWS
December 4, 2012 | By Melissa Healy
A new study of brains donated after death details the degenerative brain disease that afflicted 68 of 85 subjects who suffered multiple concussions during stints in the military or in organized sports. Among the deceased athletes whose brains were examined for the study were NFL Hall of Famers John Mackey, a tight end, and running back Ollie Matson, both of whom died in 2011 of dementia complications. Among those diagnosed post-mortem as suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, 26% were considered suicidal at some point in their lives, and at least seven ultimately took their own lives, the study found.
SCIENCE
November 20, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
The problem with diagnosing concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury, is that, well, you can seldom do it with any certainty. You can get witness reports that someone has had a blow to the head. You can find out whether she lost consciousness and-or experienced symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, headaches or confusion. You can even do a radiological scan to see if there's any sign of swelling or bleeding in the brain. But no single alignment of yes-or-no answers or scan results is very good at telling you whether the brain has been hurt sufficiently to cause ongoing neurological problems.
SCIENCE
October 30, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
As American children play team sports in greater numbers and with growing intensity, their risk of getting a concussion has grown but the science of preventing, diagnosing and treating this increasingly frequent brain injury remains maddeningly incomplete, a group of experts warned Wednesday. Although mounting concern over traumatic brain injury has spawned high-tech imaging techniques, helmet-mounted accelerometers and sideline concussion tests, these have yet to show they can reduce sports-related concussions, the Institute of Medicine concluded in a 286-page report.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 28, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
Family members mourning a Dodgers fan who was fatally stabbed Wednesday in San Francisco plan to make a statement Sunday in front of AT&T Park. The family of Jonathan Denver will also pass out fliers that include information about an account the family has set up for donors to help with memorial expenses and about who Denver was as a person, a friend of the family told the Los Angeles Times. The Associated Press reported Saturday that the victim's father, Robert Preece, would call for witnesses to come forward, citing Preece's sister Jill Preece Haro.
BUSINESS
September 12, 2013 | By Ken Bensinger
Deion Sanders is far from the only present-day employee of the National Football League to have filed a workers' compensation claim in California claiming head or brain injuries. At least 43 present-day assistant coaches and front office personnel who previously played in the league have filed claims against their former teams in the last half-dozen years, records show . In addition, more than six television analysts for NFL Network, which is owned by the league, have made such claims.
BUSINESS
August 31, 2013 | By Ken Bensinger, Armand Emamdjomeh and Marc Lifsher
By the thousands, professional athletes from around the country are seeking medical care or money through California's workers' compensation system for brain trauma and other injuries suffered on the playing field. Former athletes have filed more than 4,400 claims involving head and brain injuries since 2006 - seven times more than in the previous 15 years, according to a Times analysis of state records. Nearly three-quarters of all new claims made in California now include alleged brain injuries.
SCIENCE
August 29, 2013 | By Melissa Healy, This post has been corrected. See below for details.
Thursday's $765-million settlement between the National Football League and 4,500 retired NFL players underscores two key facts about traumatic brain injury: that it is difficult to prove and measure -- especially many years after the fact -- and that its link to neurocognitive problems that appear years later remains an enigma. A mediated agreement does not mean that the retired NFL players' injuries were caused by football, or even that they could have proven as much, said former U.S. District Judge Layn Phillips, the court-appointed mediator who brokered the proposed settlement.
SCIENCE
January 15, 2014 | By Alan Zarembo
People who suffer traumatic brain injuries face an elevated risk of death from suicide or accidents for years to come, according to a new study based on four decades of data on hundreds of thousand of patients in Sweden. Those who survived the immediate aftermath of moderate and severe traumatic brain injuries were three times more likely than people without such injuries to die prematurely, defined by the researchers as before age 56. Experts said the study was likely to spur calls for long-term monitoring of some brain injury patients.
OPINION
April 15, 2007
Re "Treating war's 'silent injury,' " April 11 While President Bush ponders vetoing the recently passed multibillion-dollar war funding bill, young veterans such as Marine Lance Cpl. Brian Vargas, 20, and Lance Cpl. Keene Sherburne, 20, are being treated for brain trauma because of injuries suffered in Iraq. Now, two-thirds out of 31 of their fellow Marines being treated for the same injury have been declared fit to return to active duty. I ask Bush and other members of his administration the following question: Is it in the interest of the United States to risk losing a generation to the debilitating effects of brain trauma for the sake of a misguided vision of global democracy and freedom?
SCIENCE
June 27, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
In the wake of a traumatic brain injury, a victim may have more to worry about than lingering headaches, dizziness or inability to concentrate: A new study finds that the risk of ischemic stroke -- in which blood flow to the brain is blocked or reduced -- rises in the years that follow. That finding, published this week in the journal Neurology, may help explain the incidence of stroke in patients under 65 and in patients without some of stroke's known risk factors, such as hypertension, Type 2 diabetes or atrial fibrillation.
SCIENCE
May 31, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
The words “marijuana” and “brain damage” usually go in that order in medical literature. An Israeli researcher has flipped them around, finding that THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, may arrest some forms of brain damage in mice. The loco weed already is favored by those who suffer from chronic diseases, not to mention fans of Cypress Hill, Bob Marley and the Grateful Dead. But pharmacologist Josef Sarne of Tel Aviv University found that a minuscule amount of tetrahydrocannabinol may protect the brain after injuries from seizures, toxic drug exposure or a lack of oxygen.
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