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August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘trauma’

New Diagnostic for Pro Football Players Suffering from Mild ‘Unreported’ Concussions

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

According to a Ben Gurion University of the Negev research group, professional football players for the first time have been found to have brain damage from mild “unreported” concussions. Published in the current issue of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Neurology, the Ben Gurion study could improve decision-making about when an athlete should “return to play.”

The new, enhanced MRI diagnostic approach was, for the first time, able to identify significant damage to the blood-brain barrier (BBB) of professional football players following “unreported” trauma or mild concussions.

Dr. Alon Friedman at the Ben-Gurion University Brain Imaging Research Center discovered the new diagnostic approach. “Until now, there wasn’t a diagnostic capability to identify mild brain injury early after the trauma,” he said.

“In the NFL, other professional sports and especially school sports, concern has grown about the long-term neuropsychiatric consequences of repeated mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and specifically sports-related concussive and sub-concussive head impacts,” he added.

The paper describing the new diagnostic was published by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Soroka University Medical Center. It details using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for detection and localization of vascular pathology and blood-brain barrier breakdown in football players. 

“The goal of our study was to use our new method to visualize the extent and location of BBB dysfunction in football players using Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DCE-MRI) on a Phillips 3-T Ingenia. Specifically, it generates more detailed brain maps showing brain regions with abnormal vasculature, or a ‘leaky BBB,’ ” said Dr. Friedman.

Study participants included 16 football players from Israel’s professional football team, Black Swarm, as well as 13 track and field athletes from Ben-Gurion University who served as controls. All underwent the newly developed MRI-based diagnostic.

“The group of 29 volunteers was clearly differentiated into an intact-BBB group and a pathological-BBB group,” Friedman explains. “This showed a clear association between football and increased risk for BBB pathology that we couldn’t see before. In addition, high-BBB permeability was found in six players and in only one athlete from the control group.”

Friedman also indicated that repeated, mild concussive events might impact some players differently than others. This level of diagnosis of individual players can provide the basis of more rational decision-making on “return to play” for professionals as well as amateurs of any age, he pointed out. 

“Generally, players return to the game long before the brain’s physical healing is complete, which could exacerbate the possibility of brain damage later in life,” says Friedman.

A decade of research in the BGU Laboratory for Experimental Neurosurgery has shown that vascular pathology, and specifically dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), plays a key role in brain dysfunction and degeneration, and may be an underlying cause of neurodegenerative complications after brain injuries.  

The BBB is a highly selective permeable membrane that separates circulating blood from extracellular fluid. It protects the brain by preventing many dangerous substances from penetrating, and therefore is not meant to be damaged.

Medical researchers, including Friedman’s group at BGU, are working to discover ways to find drugs that will target the BBB and facilitate its repair, ultimately allowing for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain-related diseases.

The Ben Gurion University study was supported by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program and the Israel Science Foundation.

2 Rock Attacks on Jerusalem Light Rail

Monday, September 29th, 2014

There were two separate ‘travel terror’ attacks on the Jerusalem Light Rail Sunday night, both in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, according to Channel 2 television news.

Local Arabs hurled rocks at the passenger train as it passed through the neighborhood. No one was physically injured although a number of passengers were traumatized by the attacks. Several cars were damaged in the attacks as well.

Each time a window on the Light Rail is smashed, the CityPass company is forced to pay between NIS 3,000 to NIS 5,000 for its replacement since insurance does not cover the cost of damage due to terror attacks.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called for a “heavy handed response” to violence in the city in a statement earlier this month, and pledged the assistance of city hall as needed by the police.

Miracle in Ashkelon: No One Home When Missile Hits

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

A missile fired by Gaza terrorists struck a home in Ashkelon Wednesday afternoon in the Ashkelon coastal region district.

It was a direct hit.

But the People of Israel can add this to the list of miracles with which they’ve been blessed during Operation Protective Edge, because no one was home when the missile struck the home of the Messer family.

“We had just left a few minutes before; I don’t know, we just had this feeling,” Alon Messer told a reporter for Army Radio in an interview a few minutes later. “My wife and I took our baby daughter and we had barely gone, when we heard the siren, and then the ‘boom!’ It was so close, we just knew somehow it was our house — and sure enough, when we came back and looked, there it was.”

The house had just been built, his wife added. “It was barely a year old,” she mourned. But despite the damage, no one was physically injured. Residents around the area were understandably traumatized in response to the event.

Close to 100 rockets and missiles were fired at Israeli civilians from Gaza since Hamas violated the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire that was still in force Tuesday afternoon as Israeli and Palestinian Arab negotiators continued to work towards an agreement to end the destruction.

Israeli representatives were immediately recalled from the talks, however, as soon as rocket fire was aimed at Israeli civilians, violating the agreement some eight hours before the cease-fire was due to run out.

Sapir College Closed (Again!) Due to ‘Rain’ of Rocket Fire

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Sapir Academic College has canceled classes and exams on Wednesday due to the renewal of rocket, mortar and missile fire from Sderot.

The well-known institution, home to dramatic and other arts programs is located on the outskirts of the city of Sderot, barely a mile away from the Gaza border.

The institution said it would keep students informed as to when classes will resume. It is not yet clear how and when class time and exams will be made up.

On August 8, 2014, the director of the college, 71-year-old Dr. Nachmi Paz was wounded during a rocket attack when he was unable to make it to a safe space in time. A house in Sderot sustained a direct hit during the same barrage of Qassam rockets fired by Gaza terrorists that day.

When is “enough,” truly enough?

Rockets Land Outside Ofakim Without Warning

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Two rockets exploded Monday afternoon on the outskirts of the southern Israeli town of Ofakim, traumatizing the town’s residents.

People in the area were not prepared for the attack and had not taken cover because the Color Red incoming rocket alert system failed to activate.

Grad Katyusha Missile Explodes in Be’er Sheva

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Gaza terrorists fired a Grad Katyusha missile at Be’er Sheva shortly before 11:00 a.m. local time on Monday.

The missile exploded in an open area on the outskirts of the city, known as the ‘capital of the southern region.’ No physical injuries and no property damage has been reported thus far.

Two similar missiles were fired at the city on Saturday as well; one was intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system, which indicates it was headed for a populated area. The second landed in an open area and caused no property damage. No physical injuries were reported.

Nevertheless, the attacks cause a great deal of anxiety in the population and often trigger trauma attacks in numerous people as well. Mental health centers set up to treat those with post-traumatic stress syndrome report an uptick in the number of calls they have received in the past month due to the escalation in attacks from Gaza.

Despite the government’s promise to silence the rocket fire, Gaza terrorists have continued to escalate and widen the range of their attacks.

Mayors in the coastal cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon have cancelled children’s activities in public buildings that do not contain bomb shelters out of concern the participants may not be protected in the event of an attack.

Gaza Terrorists Continue Rainfall of Rocket Fire

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Gaza terrorists spent the lion’s share of the day on Thursday aiming their rocket fire at the southern border town of Sderot.

The afternoon began with rocket fire aimed at Sderot, although terrorists did not fail to attend to Ofakim, Netivot and the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council and Merhavim Regional Council districts.

The Color Red siren began wailing just after lunch, in the second hour of the afternoon with two warnings, the first in Sderot and the second in the Ofakim area.

Within the requisite 15-second window, a Qassam arrived, this time slamming into a road and causing some damage in the industrial area.

A rocket also exploded in an open area in the Merhavin Regional Council district. As with other attacks earlier in the day, no physical injuries were reported, officials said.

Several hours earlier, during the morning hours, three buildings in the community sustained damage from direct hits by short-range Qassam rockets fired by Gaza terrorists.

One was a summer day camp for young children, who were in the building at the time of the attack. They had 15 seconds to reach the shelter before the rocket struck; by the grace of G-d, constant drilling and a well-built safe space, they made it.

Cars were also damaged by the Qassam attack alongside the second building, a private home.

Sappers were called to defuse a third rocket that didn’t explode in the center of town; it landed near a preschool, causing some damage there as well.

No one was physically injured in any of the attacks although the children were treated for shock. Their parents, badly traumatized and some in shock, came to take them home for the rest of the day. Other residents suffered from severe anxiety and trauma as well.

The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system also was busy – operators sent units up in the air to intercept two missiles flying towards the southern town of Netivot, where the holy Sephardic Torah sage, the Baba Sali, lies at rest in the town’s cemetery.

Neither missile caused and physical injuries or property damage, officials said.

The security cabinet has met nearly every night this week but has yet to reach a decision about how to conclusively silence the rocket, mortar and missile fire.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/gaza-terrorists-focus-rocket-fire-on-sderot/2014/07/03/

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