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Thread: Welcome to the Brain Injury Forum

  1. #1

    Welcome to the Brain Injury Forum

    I just gave a talk at the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey. Many families were there and there were discussions of issues (such as persistent vegetative state, minimally conscious state, amnesia and other forms of memory loss, seizure activity) that we don't have a specific place on CareCure to talk about.

    About 20% of people with spinal cord injury injury, particularly those with cervical spinal cord injuries have suffered traumatic brain injury as well. Likewise, many people who have been had cardiac arrest and anoxic injuries to their spinal cord have also had anoxic injury to their brain.

    So, I have created this forum for people and families with brain injury to ask questions, share their knowledge, and discuss issues relating to brain injury. To start off the discussion, I will move some recent topics about brain injury to this forum from the other forums.

    Wise.

  2. #2

    Sheashope.org

    my grand daughter 16 yrs, was struck by a car, a hit & run on Jan 8th, sustained serious brain injuries. she is at home with her mother, and myself after spending 4 months in the hospital at Valley Medical in San Jose. I was reading about the gamma amino butyric acid (gaba) clinical trials and interested in the results. what is your experience with this if any?

    this may not be the right forum, if not could you direct me.

    thank you,
    Louise DeLucchi

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheashaw View Post
    my grand daughter 16 yrs, was struck by a car, a hit & run on Jan 8th, sustained serious brain injuries. she is at home with her mother, and myself after spending 4 months in the hospital at Valley Medical in San Jose. I was reading about the gamma amino butyric acid (gaba) clinical trials and interested in the results. what is your experience with this if any?

    this may not be the right forum, if not could you direct me.

    thank you,
    Louise DeLucchi
    Louise DeLucchi,

    Welcome to CareCure. You have asked the question in the correct forum but I am not sure that I have an answer to your question.

    Shortage of GABA during the acute phase after injury was proposed to contribute to progressive damage of the brain (Source). There have been some reports that Zolpidem (a gaba enhancing sleep drug) might be beneficial for patients who are in vegetative states.

    Assuming that your granddaughter is not currently in a vegetative state and knowing that she is 8 months after injury, I am skeptical that this treatment would be beneficial. It is possible that Zolpidem will help her sleep, if she is agitated at night, but my recommendation is to avoid use of drugs that manipulate neurotransmitters after injury.

    The reason why I say this is because the injured brain has struggled to recover function by compensating for the injury with redistributing GABA, glutamate, acetylcholone, dopamine, and glycline neurotransmitters. By imposing a drug on top of the brain's own efforts to compensate for the injury, there is a risk that it may undo the recovery that she has had to date.

    For example, one of the most debilitating and important deficits that occur after brain injury is amnesia (both retrograde and orthograde). Retrograde amnesia is the loss of memories from before the injury. Orthograde amnesia is the inability or reduced ability to form new memories and to recall newly formed memories.

    Tranquilizers such as valium and stronger ones such as haldol may wreak havoc with attempts of the brain to compensate for memory loss and make things worse, not better. This is one of the reasons why treatment of brain injury is so difficult. Most of the traditional drugs that one has for suppressing or enhancing brain activity cannot or should not be used because they affect the compensatory mechanisms.

    The one thing that is important and I believe is helpful is sensory input and exercise. In order to compensate for the damage, the remaining brain has already sprouted and reconnections many parts but many of the connections are not useful or the person does not know how to use them. Connections or synapses that are used (i.e. activated) are usually reinforced. Connections or synapses that are not used usually undergo atrophy and disappear.

    So, repetitive exercise is important for recovery of motor function after both brain and spinal cord injury. Likewise, sensory input is also essential. I have heard many recent talks indicating that music gets into the brain and can stimulate parts of the brain that are difficult to do so otherwise. Rhythmic activity (such as swimming, walking, horseback riding) helps reinforce good activity and suppress non-useful activity (spasticity, spasms).

    I don't know what state your grand daughter is in and my comments may be completely off the mark if she is still in coma.

    Wise.

  4. #4
    This is an excellent addition to this forum. When I was in rehab, low those many years ago, there were a fair number of people with spinal cord injury and brain injury.

    All the best,
    GJ

  5. #5
    Hello, I just want to introduce myself. I am a person who has suffered two TBI's both considered mild from what I understand. However, one was undiagnosed for many years until the second one occurred and the nuero realized that I had a previous one. Anyway, I saw this forum and thought I would say Hello.

  6. #6
    Dr. wise it been a while sorry,
    i have a question, i have a TBI and a spinal cord injury i wasn't paralyzed till after my back surgery. I've been told many time by doctors that its just in my head and i need to get over it but what bothers me is that i have no idea where to start looking for help for my TBI. Could it really be just my head or what?

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