Got a brain injury question? Ask an expert on March 13

Public invited to “Ask the Brain Injury Experts” event

Brain Injury Awareness Month bundle_FB post hUnlike a wrist or ankle fracture where a cast, splint or minor surgery can help return function back to “normal,” an injury to the brain can present unique challenges. No two brain injuries are alike; recovery and treatment recommendations are based on the severity of the injury and other factors – and can have life-changing effects.

Hennepin Healthcare’s Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Center cares for more than 3,000 patients each year, providing a full range of state-of-the-art medical and rehabilitative services from prevention to emergency care, neurosurgery, critical care, rehabilitation and the Traumatic Brain Injury Outpatient Program.

Experts from many of those services will be available to answer questions in person at the “Ask the Brain Injury Experts” event on Wednesday, March 13 from noon-1pm at the M. Stillman Education and Community Center located on the first floor of the Hennepin Healthcare Clinic & Specialty Center. A live Twitter chat will also take place during that time so anyone who cannot attend in person can ask questions using the hashtags #TBIMonth and #TBIChat to @hennepinhc.

What:              Ask the Brain Injury Experts
When:             Wednesday, March 13, 2019 from noon to 1pm
Where:            Hennepin Healthcare Clinic & Specialty Center
715 S. 8th St. Mpls., MN 55404, 1st Floor M. Stillman Education and Community Center (Parking is available beneath the building.)

Throughout the month of March the TBI Center is sponsoring educational events for the public to raise awareness about traumatic brain injury. Although they are free, some of these events require registration. More information is available at  hennepinhealthcare.org/tbimonth 

Each year, more than 2.5 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Among children and young adults, TBI is the leading cause of death and disability. In Minnesota, nearly 100,000 brain injuries occur annually. A large percentage of those injuries are mild to moderate cases and often go untreated. As a Level I Trauma Center, Hennepin Healthcare admits and treats the most traumatic brain injuries in the state. For more information about TBI programs and services, go to hennepinhealthcare.org/tbi

 

NFL Alumni Teams Up With Hennepin County Medical Center to Make Memories & Support Brain Injury Research

SuperBrain2018 logo for wrapper2Pro-brain, pro-game event during Super Bowl LII week announced

On Thursday, October 12, 2017 Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) welcomes Ben Utecht and Lee Nystrom, former NFL players, to announce Super Brain 2018 – a fundraising event to support the Brain Injury Research Laboratory at HCMC.

Who:     Hennepin County Medical Center, NFL Alumni

What:    Super Brain 2018 event announcement

When:   Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 2pm

Where: Simulation Center, Hennepin County Medical Center, 615 South Sixth St., Mpls, MN 55415.

Continue reading “NFL Alumni Teams Up With Hennepin County Medical Center to Make Memories & Support Brain Injury Research”

Eye tracking detects high pressure inside the skull

Contact: Christine Hill 612.873.5719

Doctors Can Detect Pressure Increases Inside the Skull By Tracking Eye Movements During Watching of Music Videos

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Dr. Uzma Samadani

Eye movement tracking while watching a music video for 220 seconds can reveal whether there is increased pressure inside the skull.  The technology works by measuring the function of the nerves that rotate the eyeball.  “Doctors have known for more than 3000 years that high pressure inside the skull impairs the function of these delicate nerves, and that the first to be affected is usually the nerve that rotates the eye laterally” said neurosurgeon Dr. Uzma Samadani, the lead study investigator.

Participants in the National Space and Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) funded study were 23 patients in the neurosurgical intensive care unit who were awake but had brain problems such as bleeding, trauma, stroke or tumors requiring intracranial pressure monitoring with a drainage catheter.  On 55 occasions the patients watched music videos and Disney film clips while an eye tracking camera measured vertical and horizontal eye movements for 220 seconds.   There was a correlation between increased intracranial pressure and decreased function

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During a recent visit NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, MD (who received his medical training at HCMC), was given a demonstration of the eye-tracking technology.

 of the nerves moving the eye as detected with eye tracking.  Decreased lateral eye movements showed the strongest correlation with elevated intracranial pressure, consistent with what has long been known about nerve function.  Individual patients had normal tracking at lower pressures and decreased eye movement at higher pressures regardless of whether the high or low pressure occurred first.

Dr. Samadani, who is the Rockswold Kaplan Endowed Chair for Brain Injury Research at Hennepin County Medical Center as well as an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School, noted that concussion and elevated intracranial pressure impact many of the same eye tracking metrics, suggesting that similar pathways may be impaired.

Study results were presented at a joint NASA/NSBRI research group meeting and are now published in the Journal of Neurosurgery.  The company Oculogica Inc has licensed exclusive world-wide rights for commercialization of the technology, for which a patent was issued earlier this month.

NSBRI funded the eye tracking research as a grant to the company Oculogica Inc through the SMARTCAP program which supports commercialization of technologies that will have utility both in space and on earth.  Eye tracking for detection of elevated intracranial pressure could potentially benefit 7 million Americans with hydrocephalus as well as have utility for concussion and other types of brain injury.  One potential indication for eye tracking would be identification of concussed subjects at high risk for second impact syndrome, which is thought to occur after, and further contribute to high intracranial pressure, which can be fatal.

NSBRI has a program investigating technologies for non-invasive monitoring of intracranial pressure which can potentially be elevated during space travel.  Astronauts who experience reduced gravity for prolonged periods of time are at risk for developing headaches and visual problems.  It is thought that without gravity, there is increased pooling of blood in the brain and elevated pressures inside the skull and eye structures.  This risk for elevated intracranial pressure impacts NASA’s plan for prolonged space travel.  Untreated elevated intracranial pressure can lead to cognitive difficulty and vision problems including blindness.  On earth, doctors currently drill holes into the skull to place monitors to measure this pressure in patients with trauma, bleeding in the brain, or certain tumors.  In space, such a measurement is not feasible, necessitating non-invasive measurement.

Dr. Samadani is a founder of the company Oculogica Inc., which is currently applying for FDA clearance for the eye tracking technology, called EyeBox.  She disclosed that she, New York University, the Department of Veterans Affairs and Hennepin County Medical Center all had equity interests in the company.

Abbott, Hennepin County Medical Center and University of Minnesota Collaborate to Launch the Nation’s Largest, Single-Center Prospective Study on Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury

Researchers aim to develop a standard approach for evaluating and diagnosing traumatic brain injury, including concussion

  • Study will include various evaluation methods, including analysis of blood-based biomarkers, eye tracking and imaging to help classify severity of head injury

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year, there are an estimated 2.2 million emergency department visits for traumatic brain injuries (TBI).[i] For people with head injuries, quick evaluation and treatment are critical.

That’s why researchers at Hennepin County Medical Center (Minneapolis, Minn.) and the University of Minnesota are launching an innovative, comprehensive study in collaboration with Abbott to better identify the range of brain injuries among patients. Using multiple evaluation tools, including eye tracking, blood-based biomarkers, imaging and cognitive measures, scientists hope to develop a new standard approach to help classify brain injuries, including concussions, and provide the information needed to guide doctors’ treatment decisions.

“We know that there are different types of brain damage that can occur after trauma, whether it’s a mild concussion or a severe injury,” said neurosurgeon Uzma Samadani, M.D., Ph.D., Rockswold Kaplan Endowed Chair for TBI Research at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), associate professor at the University of Minnesota and one of the lead investigators of the study. “Our goal with this study is to combine multiple assessment techniques to quickly assess the severity of brain injuries and enable clinicians to provide appropriate treatments.” Continue reading “Abbott, Hennepin County Medical Center and University of Minnesota Collaborate to Launch the Nation’s Largest, Single-Center Prospective Study on Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury”

Researchers at HCMC awarded grants for Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury

Last year the Minnesota State Legislature established the Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Grant Program (136A.901).   The grants support research into new and innovative treatments and rehabilitative efforts for functional improvement of people with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. The first research grants were announced January 25, and three out of four of the new grants were awarded to researchers at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC). Continue reading “Researchers at HCMC awarded grants for Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury”

Internationally recognized neurosurgeon Dr. Uzma Samadani joins HCMC

SAMADANI_UZMA_photoDr. Uzma Samadani, whose research on concussion recently made headlines around the world, is joining the Department of Neurosurgery at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), a nationally recognized Level I Adult and Pediatric Trauma Center that specializes in the treatment of traumatic brain injuries. She will serve as the Rockswold Kaplan Chair for Traumatic Brain Injury Research, and also be appointed an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota. Continue reading “Internationally recognized neurosurgeon Dr. Uzma Samadani joins HCMC”

Former Olympic hopeful Kevin Pearce to visit TBI patients

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On Thursday, April 9, 2015 snowboarder Kevin Pearce, who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 2009 while training for the Olympics, will stop by Hennepin County Medical Center’s Traumatic Brain Injury Center to visit with and encourage TBI patients. HCMC’s TBI Center was chosen as a visit site for Pearce because of its reputation for exceptional care of TBI patients and its leadership in the industry.

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Kevin Pearce

“The care and encouragement I received during my recovery was so important, and now I want to support and encourage others living with a traumatic brain injury,” explains Pearce.

On December 31, 2009, Pearce was attempting a Cab double cork in a halfpipe in Park City, Utah when he sustained a TBI. An HBO documentary about his experience “The Crash Reel – the Ride of a Lifetime” won an Emmy for Outstanding Information Program. Today, Pearce is an internationally renowned sports commentator, motivational speaker, and advocate for TBI education, prevention, rehabilitation and research, as well as a Sports Ambassador for the National Down Syndrome Society.

About Traumatic Brain Injuries Each year, more than 1.5 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Among children and young adults, TBI is the leading cause of death and disability.

In Minnesota, nearly 100,000 brain injuries occur annually. A large percentage of those injuries are mild to moderate cases and often go untreated. As a Level I Trauma Center, Hennepin County Medical Center admits and treats the most traumatic brain injuries in the state.

The Traumatic Brain Injury Center at Hennepin County Medical Center offers comprehensive, multidisciplinary patient care, education and research to serve people who have sustained a traumatic brain injury. Providing a full range of state-of-the-art medical and rehabilitative services, the TBI Center features caregivers whose expertise spans the entire continuum of care for adult and pediatric TBI patients — from prevention to emergency care, neurosurgery, critical care, rehabilitation and the Mild to Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic. Each year, professionals at the Traumatic Brain Injury Center care for more than 2,000 patients.