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Traumatic Brain Injury and War. Lets help our soldiers when they get home. Happy Veterans Day

November 11, 2011
Veterans day-Brain traumatic injury

Veterans day-Brain traumatic injury

Brain Injury represents one of the most feared injuries for our soldiers Today. Veteran’s day is a really important day in The United States and represent a very emotional day  for all of us and the importance to appreciate  all of our soldiers. My grandfather was a soldier in World War II and always told us since we were little that to be a soldier was the highest honor a citizen can hope for. I still miss him.

However I really wanted to point out the importance of taking care of our soldiers when they get home and we all know that they have a great risk in getting  physically wounded or mentally impaired.

When they get back home normally they  have three possibilities: One they return fine, Second they return physically wounded, third they return with some brain injury or lastly and sadly a combination of any of those two. Traumatic brain injury often goes undetected until the affected soldier returns home and his or her family.  If you are a soldier you have a high risk that some brain trauma has developed no matter if it is fear, limited mobility, depression, anxiety  or brain trauma among others. In addition there is  greater chance of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer or Parkinson. It is estimated that as many as 2 out 3 soldiers that return home they experienced some condition that needs to be monitored.  A large study in older veterans raises fresh concern about mild brain injuries that hundreds of thousands of troops have suffered from explosions in recent wars. Even concussions seem to raise the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia later in life, researchers found.

I wanted to introduce you to a great journalist, reporter and a great fellow soccer player, Bob Woodruff who was critically wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Since then he and his wife created this wonderful organization called is a public education movement of the Bob Woodruff Foundation that educates the public about the needs of injured service members, veterans and their families as they reintegrate into their communities.

The mission of the Bob Woodruff Foundation is to provide resources and support to injured service members, veterans and their families — building a movement to empower communities nationwide to take action to successfully reintegrate our nation’s injured heroes—especially those who have sustained the Hidden Injuries of War—back into their communities so they may thrive physically, psychologically, socially and economically for more information click here

What is Traumatic Brain Injury? (From the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)

Traumatic brain injury (TBI), a form of acquired brain injury, occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. TBI can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.  Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain.   A person with a mild TBI may remain conscious or may experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes. Other symptoms of mild TBI include headache, confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision or tired eyes, ringing in the ears, bad taste in the mouth, fatigue or lethargy, a change in sleep patterns, behavioral or mood changes, and trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking. to keep reading click here


Since my program got its first  $25,000 Grant in Parkinson Disease I have become very interested in brain trauma and brain stroke and how physical activity plays a fundamental role for recovery especially since the brain is  highly plastic and susceptible to change especially when we follow an individualized program.  Motor networks are extremely important for the human body.

I have always been fascinated by the role of the motor networks of the brain but especially the cerebellum, the treasure of the brain and fundamental for wounded soldiers

However neurons in the Cerebellum are really different from the neurons in the rest of the brain. My absolute mentor Dr John H. Martin Ph.D and Author of Neuroanatomy: Text and Atlas  has explained me how this interesting motor circuits work and how the cerebellum plays a fundamental role.

Why are the neurons called Purkinje  in the Cerebellum so different? Are they better or worse? According to Dr John H. Martin Ph.D who has studied the Development of the motor systems of the brain and spinal cord and currently he is Professor at City College in New York  ”I think they are different in several ways. Let me tell you about two. First, they take in an enormous amount of information. Think of a big tree with lots of branches and leaves. This is like aPurkinje cell; the branches and leaves are receiving information from other parts of the nervous system. They have more “branches and leaves” than other nerve cells. Second, they are different in another way; they inhibit the firing of other neurons.  Most neurons that receive so much information excite other neurons; Purkinje cells inhibit. We don’t know why this is the case “

According to Dr Martin “Movements are adapted to the goals at hand; movements are purposeful. To make movements effective, they are fine-tuned to the environment. For this to happen we need the help of the sensory systems. When we reach for a water bottle, we need to see where it is, precisely. When we step, we need to make sure where the ground is. This occurs because the sensory systems communicate with the motor systems. The cerebellum receives a lot of sensory information, but its job is not just a passive receiver. It needs to figure out what aspects of sensation are important for controlling movements”

Traumatic brain injury-exercises to improve balance, coordination and self-esteem

Traumatic brain injury-exercises to improve balance, coordination and self-esteem

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