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From CBC: Brutal Attack in Hockey in B.C.

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   June 17, 2013 18:33

Here is an article about an incident in BC - it again showcases the need to install respect for not only your own brain and health, but you need to respect other players, as well. Much of the behaviour mentioned in the article is unnecessary and shouldn't be taken lightly.

Click for the CBC Article

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Connections: June 2013

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   June 4, 2013 14:53

Check out our June 2013 e-newsletter!

Click here

 

 

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Concussions: Life or Death

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   May 27, 2013 11:05

Head Injury Game-Changer for Star Football Player

Story by: Joelle Tomlinson

 

Katie Miyazaki is all too familiar with what being hit in the head feels like. It’s not pleasant, it’s a danger in sports and it can have lasting consequences.

“Diagnosed concussions? I’ve had five that put me out for a few weeks each time,” said Miyazaki, all-star alumni of the University of Saskatchewan women’s basketball team and a former Valkyries football player. “The first one I got was when I was 12 and playing hockey. I ran into a girl. I got up, saw stars and had no idea what was happening, so I just kept playing. The next was one was about two years later in net, the third one was playing dodge ball in physical education.  I got blindsided by a ball . . . and the list goes on.”

Miyazaki almost always kept playing after the constant hits to the head. She has experienced headaches, dizziness and nausea, and only stopped playing tackle football last year after her worst concussion ever.

“This last one was in our Prairie Conference final against Regina, and I knew exactly where the hit was, and that I most likely had a concussion, but I just didn’t want to come out of the game. So I kept playing and I got hit again later in the same game,” said Miyazaki. “I was pretty sure I was concussed, but then the next day I woke up and was like, ‘Oh, I feel good!’ Then, the following day I woke up and I had never felt that sick before. I couldn’t leave my room, everything felt like it was spinning, I was nauseous, but yet part of me still wanted to play that week. If my trainers hadn’t said no, and if my coach hadn’t said no, I would have played, which is a pretty bad idea in retrospect.”

Dropping out of the game wasn’t an easy decision for Miyazaki. A star athlete, Miyazaki led the Huskies to a second-place finish in the CIS championships in 2011 and a sixth-place finish in 2012. After that, she transitioned into football, where she shone as a defensive back with the Valkyries, helping them during undefeated runs to the 2011 and 2012 Western Women’s Canadian Football League championships. Miyazaki also was picked as one of 92 players to attend the training camp for Team Canada. Those selected at the camp will represent Canada at the 2013 women’s world tackle football championships in New Brunswick.

“That’s definitely what hurt the most, and what I cried over the most. I had debated not playing football last summer, but then there was the whole Team Canada thing,” said Miyazaki. “When I found out about Team Canada, that’s what my whole summer was geared toward. I wanted to make it to that camp and make that team for this summer. It bummed me out when I knew I couldn’t play at the first camp, and I thought that dream was over. Then, I was invited to the second camp, and I was still wasn’t quite better by then. It sucks because it feels like you’re giving up on a dream, but at the same time you’re like ‘This is real life. I have a lot of other things.’ As cool as it would be, it’s life or death.”

Sometimes it is death. Last week, 17-year-old Rowan Stringer, a female rugby player in Ottawa, died after receiving a severe head injury in a game. Miyazaki says that lack of awareness is one of the biggest issues for young athletes, parents and coaches in cases like this.

“Athletes, they just want to play. The kids I coach, they always want to play and unless you tell them no, they’re going to keep going,” said Miyazaki. “Now, looking back at it, I think about how dumb it is, but in the heat of the moment you don’t think about it.

“There’s something called second impact syndrome. So if you get hit and you get a concussion— and this is very rare—but if you receive another blow and your head hasn’t fully healed, especially if you’re an adolescent, then you can die because there’s still so much swelling. That’s what happened in Ottawa. They’re saying she didn’t report any of her headaches or symptoms to her parents, but she had told some of her friends. There’s nothing they could really do in that case. It’s very sad.”

Now Miyazaki works to raise this awareness through working with the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association (SBIA). She is part of Take Brain Injury out of Play, a campaign within the association that strives to educate young athletes about the dangers of head injuries.

“We emphasize that if you’re going to respect your own brain, you’ve got to respect the brain of your opponents, too. Part of that is playing by the rules,” said Miyazaki. “My job is to try and promote that program and go out and make people aware of concussions, because I think a lot of people don’t realize how big of an issue it is. They don’t take it as seriously as it needs to be taken because you can’t see it, right?

“You look at someone and they look fine to you. If someone had a broken arm, you would never tell them to get back in the game, but if you look at someone and they just have a headache, people pressure them to get back in the game. This is something we need to stop as peers, coaches and parents.”

Miyazaki knows her football days are likely over. It’s not a guarantee, but neither is life.

“I decided not to play this year because it wasn’t worth it. Some days I still occasionally feel dizzy, which could be the concussions or my neck injury. It’s a hard thing; I know my parents don’t want me to play, and the thing is, they say once you’ve had one you’re so much more susceptible. That’s not good news for me.

“There are so many other things that I want to do in my life that to risk that and have to sit out for months again, just for one sport, isn’t really worth it to me.”

June is National Brain Injury Awareness month and Miyazaki hopes that, with the added education and conversation about head injuries, athletes start to realize the importance of protecting their brains. To learn more about Miyazaki, the SBIA or Take Brain Injury out of Play campaign, email Miyazaki at k.miyazaki@usask.ca or go to the SBIA website at www.sbia.ca.


Story from The Saskatoon Express

 

 

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Connections: Spring 2013

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   April 22, 2013 10:14

The Spring 2013 edition of our Connections newsletter is out!

Inside this issue you will find:

 

Spring 2013-online.pdf (1.25 mb)

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Ban Fighting in Hockey: Poll - Globe and Mail article

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   March 9, 2013 12:10

It appears the nation is keen to clean up the national game.

A new Exhibit No. 1 in the court of public opinion was on gut-wrenching display Wednesday night at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, when Maple Leafs forward Frazer McLaren knocked out Ottawa Senators rookie Dave Dziurzynski with a single punch to the head.

Rarely has a player worn such an unfortunate nickname – “Call me Dizzy,” Dziurzynski recently told reporters who were tying their fingers in knots trying to type his name – as the 23-year-old forward suffered a concussion in the fight that took place barely 26 seconds into the game.

“It doesn’t appear to have been provoked at all,” says former Ontario attorney-general Roy McMurtry, who fought, and mostly lost, a high-profile legal battle against NHL violence in the 1970s.

“It’s just plain thuggery.”

It’s also a farce. The staged fight is the cartoon of professional hockey – “entertainment” apart from the main attraction – but it is increasingly seen as not funny at all. Particularly when players are injured.

This was the classic staged fight, all but guaranteed the moment the two coaches filled out their lineups and threw out players who should count themselves fortunate to see a few minutes of ice time on a fourth line.

There was a fight, but no punishment for stopping the game so abruptly and unnecessarily. Both players were given majors – let’s not call them penalties – and sent off (Dziurzynski was helped off once he regained consciousness). The teams then resumed play with five skaters a side.

McLaren, with his fifth fight of the shrunken season, will now be able to table his treasured major just as superior players will table their goals and assists come contract time. In the NHL, after all, you are rewarded, not penalized, for fighting.

It is perhaps the greatest absurdity in all of team sports. And, it appears, people are finally starting to see it as such.

“Staged fights, and indeed all fights in hockey should be banned, as they are in many great sports such as soccer,” says Dr. Charles Tator, founder of ThinkFirst Canada and project director of the Canadian Sports Concussion Project at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre at Toronto Western Hospital.

“We would have a safer game if we banned fighting.”

Nearly 40 years after McMurtry and his brother Bill tried to get gratuitous and unnecessary violence out of the game, a new survey contends that Canadians are sick of such thuggery.

Angus Reid Public Opinion recently surveyed the population at large, as well as a specific sample of self-described hockey fans, on a number of issues from when to introduce bodychecking to what should be done about fisticuffs in the game.

This week, The Globe and Mail reported on the first part of the survey – a vast majority of Canadians want bodychecking out of peewee hockey – and today the results are in on the public attitude toward fighting:

Three-quarters of Canadians (78 per cent) – and an identical percentage of fans of the game – want to see fights banned in all junior hockey;

Two-thirds of Canadians – fans as well as the general public – believe fighting should also be banned at the professional level;

Only 16 per cent of the country favours allowing fights at the junior levels;

One-quarter of Canadians (27 per cent) oppose eliminating fights at the professional level, while 5 per cent aren’t sure what to do;

While 95 per cent of fans believe skating is an “essential component” of the game, and 93 per cent believe shooting is important, a minuscule 7 per cent say the ability to engage in on-ice fights is important.

In other words, hockey’s cartoon can go.

The online survey was conducted between Feb. 22 and 26. It involved 1,013 Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists and an additional smaller sample of 502 self-described hockey fans. According to the pollster, the margin of error in such a survey would be plus or minus 3.1 per cent from the larger sample of Canadian adults, and plus or minus 4.5 per cent for the smaller sample.

Respondents were asked if they would support a system in place in college and university hockey, where rules call for automatic ejection and suspension for those players engaging in fisticuffs.

By large majorities, they agreed there should be rules to bring an end, as much as possible, to fighting in hockey.

The survey did not break down fights into those that occur in the heat of the moment and those that occur for no comprehensible reason, as was the case when Dziurzynski and McLaren decided to hammer each other before the game had taken a second breath.

So while McLaren has another “major” to take to the bargaining table, Dziurzynski carries with him a history of concussion as he tries to establish what has already been a most unlikely hockey career.

The 23-year-old rookie from Lloydminster, Alta., came to the NHL only because the Senators have been so gutted by injury the team has had to reach far down into its minor-league system.

Dziurzynski did not play major junior hockey and was never drafted. His size – 6 foot 3, 204 pounds – and willingness to do whatever it takes made him an attractive quantity. He at times has appeared to be a late bloomer as far as ability and skills are concerned, but his main qualities remain size and toughness.

When the taller and larger McLaren asked right off the opening faceoff if Dziurzynski wanted to fight – McLaren has admitted he was trying to “spark” his team to a strong early start – the Ottawa rookie initially said no, but then went ahead and fought anyway.

If he was going to stick, he would have to prove himself.

But what he also proved is that, when it comes to fighting in hockey, we are getting a bit dizzy and nauseous.

Article from the Globe and Mail.

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Connections: March 2013

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   March 8, 2013 15:40

Connections first monthly update has been released. Check it out here!

Inside there is information about upcoming events, and awareness programs.

Don't forget that next week in Brain Awareness Week.

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The Long-Term Effects of Brain Injury

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   March 2, 2013 13:56

Researchers from the University of South Florida and colleagues at the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital studying the long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI) using rat models, have found that, overtime, TBI results in progressive brain deterioration characterized by elevated inflammation and suppressed cell regeneration. However, therapeutic intervention, even in the chronic stage of TBI, may still help prevent cell death. 

Their study is published in the current issue of the journal PLOS ONE.

"In the U.S., an estimated 1.7 million people suffer from traumatic brain injury," said Dr. Cesar V. Borlongan, professor and vice chair of the department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida (USF). "In addition, TBI is responsible for 52,000 early deaths, accounts for 30 percent of all injury-related deaths, and costs approximately $52 billion yearly to treat."

While TBI is generally considered an acute injury, secondary cell death caused by neuroinflammation and an impaired repair mechanism accompany the injury over time, said the authors. Long-term neurological deficits from TBI related to inflammation may cause more severe secondary injuries and predispose long-term survivors to age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and post-traumatic dementia. 

Since the U.S. military has been involved in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the incidence of traumatic brain injury suffered by troops has increased dramatically, primarily from improvised explosive devices (IEDs), according to Martin Steele, Lieutenant General, U.S. Marine Corps (retired), USF associate vice president for veterans research, and executive director of Military Partnerships. In response, the U.S. Veterans Administration has increasingly focused on TBI research and treatment. 

"Progressive injury to hippocampal, cortical and thalamic regions contributes to long-term cognitive damage post-TBI," said study co-author Dr. Paul R. Sanberg, USF senior vice president for research and innovation. "Both military and civilian patients have shown functional and cognitive deficits resulting from TBI." 

Because TBI involves both acute and chronic stages, the researchers noted that animal model research on the chronic stages of TBI could provide insight into identifying therapeutic targets for treatment in the post-acute stage. 

"Using animal models of TBI, our study investigated the prolonged pathological outcomes of TBI in different parts of the brain, such as the dorsal striatum, thalamus, corpus callosum white matter, hippocampus and cerebral peduncle," explained Borlongan, the study's lead author. "We found that a massive neuroinflammation after TBI causes a second wave of cell death that impairs cell proliferation and impedes the brain's regenerative capabilities." 

Upon examining the rat brains eight weeks post-trauma, the researchers found "a significant up-regulation of activated microglia cells, not only in the area of direct trauma, but also in adjacent as well as distant areas." The location of inflammation correlated with the cell loss and impaired cell proliferation researchers observed.

Microglia cells act as the first and main form of immune defense in the central nervous system and make up 20 percent of the total glial cell population within the brain. They are distributed across large regions throughout the brain and spinal cord.

"Our study found that cell proliferation was significantly affected by a cascade of neuroinflammatory events in chronic TBI and we identified the susceptibility of newly formed cells within neurologic niches and suppression of neurological repair," wrote the authors.

The researchers concluded that, while the progressive deterioration of the TBI-affected brain over time suppressed efforts of repair, intervention, even in the chronic stage of TBI injury, could help further deterioration.

 

Article from Science Daily 

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Impact - The Latest Edition of the BIAC Newsletter

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   February 13, 2013 17:50

If you haven't checked it out yet, you can download the latest edition of the Brain Injury Association of Canada's latest edition of their newsletter, Impact.

You'll notice some friendly faces on the cover in a story that highlights our Regina Chapter's weekly drumming group!

Download Impact: 

Impact-Feb2013.pdf (3.68 mb)

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Caleb Moore dies after Accident at X-Games

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   February 5, 2013 15:28

Caleb Moore was a Texas kid drawn to the snow, rehearsing complicated tricks on a snowmobile into a foam pit back home until they became second nature and ready for the mountains.

With his younger brother following along and constantly pushing him, Moore became a rising talent in action sports.

The innovative freestyle snowmobile rider, who was hurt in a crash at the Winter X Games in Colorado, died Thursday morning. He was 25.

Moore had been undergoing care at a hospital in Grand Junction since the Jan. 24 crash. Family spokeswoman Chelsea Lawson confirmed his death, the first in the 18-year history of the X Games.

“He lived his life to the fullest. He was an inspiration,” Lawson said.

AA former all-terrain vehicle racer, Moore switched over to snowmobiles as a teenager and quickly rose to the top of the sport. He won four Winter X Games medals, including a bronze last season when his younger brother, Colten, captured gold.

Caleb Moore was attempting a backflip in the freestyle event in Aspen last week when the skis on his 450-pound snowmobile caught the lip of the landing area, sending him flying over the handlebars. Moore landed face first into the snow with his snowmobile rolling over him.

Moore stayed down for quite some time, before walking off with help and going to a hospital to be treated for a concussion. Moore developed bleeding around his heart and was flown to a hospital in Grand Junction for surgery. The family later said that Moore, of Krum, Texas, also had a complication involving his brain.

Colten Moore was injured in a separate crash that same night. He suffered a separated pelvis in the spill.

The family said in a statement they were grateful for all the prayers and support they have received from people around the world.

X Games officials expressed their condolences and said Moore, a four-time X Games medallist, would be remembered “for his natural passion for life and his deep love for his family and friends.”

The Twitter accounts of many athletes from a wide range of sports expressed their sympathy Thursday:

·      New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow: “So sad to hear about the passing of snowmobiler Caleb Moore. My prayers go out to his younger brother Colten & their entire family.”

·      Freestyle skier Kaya Turski: “The spirit of Caleb Moore will be floating among us forever. RIP.”

·      Surfer Kelly Slater: “Tragic. Don’t even know what to say.”

·      Snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler: “Our world has lost another bright light. Sending my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Caleb Moore.”

·      Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria, who made a visit to Winter X last weekend: “Tragic day for the family of Caleb Moore. Our deepest sympathies go out to all who he influenced and touched. RIP.”

·      Motorsports standout Travis Pastrana: “So sad to hear about Caleb Moore. My condolences and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

·      NASCAR driver Austin Dillon: “Just heard about Caleb Moore. I don’t know what to say other than I’m praying for his family and friends. He was a true Action Sports Hero.”

B.C. Vaught, Caleb Moore’s agent for almost a decade, said he first saw Moore when he was racing an ATV in Minnesota and signed him up to star in some action sports movies.

Later, Moore wanted to make the switch from ATVs to snowmobiles and Vaught helped him. A natural talent, it only took Moore two weeks to master a difficult backflip.

Moore honed his skills in Krum, a town about 5,000 people 50 miles northwest of Dallas that rarely sees snow. Instead, he worked on tricks by launching his sled into a foam pit. After a brief training run on snow ramps in Michigan, he was ready for his sport’s biggest stage — the 2010 Winter X Games.

In that contest, Moore captured a bronze in freestyle and finished sixth in best trick. Two years later, his biography on ESPN said, “Caleb Moore has gone from ‘beginner’s luck’ to ‘serious threat.”’

That was hardly a surprise to Vaught, who said, “Whatever he wanted to do, he did it.”

In that contest, Moore captured a bronze in freestyle and finished sixth in best trick. Two years later, his biography on ESPN said, “Caleb Moore has gone from ‘beginner’s luck’ to ‘serious threat.”’

Vaught said Moore didn’t believe his sport was too extreme, but rather “it was a lifestyle.” He was good at it — along with ATV racing — as he accumulated a garage full of trophies.

Still, Moore’s death is sure to ignite the debate over safety of the discipline. Whether action sports are too dangerous is an issue that’s been raised before.

When freestyle skier Sarah Burke died in a training accident a little more than a year ago in Park City, Utah, there were questions about the halfpipe. Before that, the sport was examined when snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffered a severe brain injury in a fall in the same pipe as Burke two years earlier. Pearce has recovered and served as an analyst at Winter X.

But in general, the athletes accept the risks and defend their disciplines.

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

“I just look at it like this: Yes, we’re in a dangerous sport,” fellow snowmobile rider Levi LaVallee said. “Anytime you’re doing a backflip on anything, it’s dangerous. But we’re training to do this. This is what we practice, what we do day in and day out. We’re comfortable with doing this stuff.”

LaVallee recently described Moore as a “fierce competitor.”

“A very creative mind,” LaVallee said. “I’ve watched him try some crazy, crazy tricks and some of them were successful, some of them not so much. But he was first guy to get back on a sled and go try it again. It shows a lot of heart.”

X Games officials said in a statement that they would conduct a thorough review of freestyle snowmobiling events and adopt any appropriate changes.

“For 18 years, we have worked closely on safety issues with athletes, course designers and other experts. Still, when the world’s best compete at the highest level in any sport, risks remain,” they said, noting that Moore was hurt performing a move he had done several times before.

 

This article is via the National Post.

Other related articles:

The Guardian

USA Today

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Connections: Winter 2013

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   January 30, 2013 09:00

The latest edition of our Connections newsletter is out and loaded with upcoming events and programs, as well as stories from our community! 

Inside the edition there is a report from our Fall Retreat in October 2012; information about the upcoming Spring Retreat, and our annual Brain Blitz Gala; we have included Nikita's Story, as we have begun to include some survivor stories in Connections; and you will also find information about our regular programming.

Download the article here: 

Connections-Winter 2013.pdf (803.26 kb)

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