January is National Sports TBI (traumatic brain injury) Awareness Month which discusses topics like concussions, high fructose diets and brain injuries. Although sports are a mode to keep active and can be an enjoyable pastime they can pose a risk to health, especially when it comes to the brain. Therefore, it’s important to be made aware of possible threats from sports in order to better prevent complications and injury.
Here is a round up of Bel Marra Health’s top stories in regards to concussions, high fructose diets, brain injuries and even brain aging in order for you to better protect yourself.
Concussion (traumatic brain injury) and head impact may accelerate brain aging. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury which alters the way the brain functions. Effects of concussion are usually temporary but continuous head trauma or lack of healing can have long-lasting effects.
Aside from a direct blow to the head concussions can also be caused due to the head and upper body being aggressively shaken. Some symptoms of concussion include headache, concentration problems, memory problems, balance and coordination problems, and loss of consciousness.
If proper care is taken a person can fully recover from a concussion but it’s important to prevent future ones to avoid complications. Continue reading…
There’s no need to stay cooped up inside during the winter months when there are plenty of winter activities which you can enjoy like skiing and skating. But as with any activity even winter sports run their own risk which can be quite dangerous if you’re not careful.
Nemours Health put together a list of how to keep yourself and others safe when partaking in winter sports – specifically skiing and snowboarding – which include:
- Having the proper skis: larger skis may be harder to control, speak to a professional in order to pick the proper skis for your body type
- Have proper bindings which keep your boots to the skis or snowboard. Bindings should be able to release you foot but not too easily and should be adjusted by a professional
- Boots should fit correctly – not too tight nor big. Your boots should also be warm and should be secured to your skis or snowboard
- Like skis, poles should be of appropriate length and should have loops straps which go around the wrists. Continue reading…
A hypertension drug has been shown to block traumatic brain injury (TBI) inflammations caused by liver proteins. TBI has been shown to affect the body as well as the brain in animal studies. The findings were discovered by researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center.
Researchers found that brain injuries produce an inflammatory response, in particular within the liver. In return, the liver boosts protein production which increases inflammation in the brain, contributing to chronic inflammation, nerve cell death and reduction in blood flow.
In mice models, the researchers found that using a drug to treat hypertension blocks the production of a particular molecular which can reduce inflammation. When this molecule is blocked it allows the brain to better heal. Researchers report that 1.7 million-plus people experience a TBI annually, and uncovering a treatment could greatly improve their health. Continue reading…
A diet high in fructose has been linked to weight gain for a long time, but now neuroscientists believe processed fructose could impact the ability to heal after head trauma, putting nutrition and brain injury in the spotlight.
Fructose is a link in the metabolism of glucose; yet there is no real need for dietary fructose. When ingested by itself, fructose is not absorbed very well and is mostly cleared by the liver. When the liver gets overloaded it starts turning the fructose into fat.
Although it seems to be common knowledge that a diet high in sugar is not a good idea, statistics show that high fructose corn syrup intake in the United States is an overwhelming 55 pounds per person each year.
In the United States, a sweetener called HFCS is added to processed foods, including breads, cereals, soups, lunchmeats and condiments. It’s actually made up of sucrose and fructose – the majority being fructose. In its natural form (fruit) paired up with fiber, it has a much slower absorption rate. This means there are lower risks of insulin spike and diabetes. It is very different from processed fructose found in corn syrup. Continue reading…
A new study gives yet another reason to wear a protective helmet during activities – working in construction, cycling, contact or extreme sports – where there is a risk of head injury. Team sports, such as hockey and football, are a big source of traumatic brain injury among youth, while falls and motor vehicle collisions take the lead among adults. The team conducting the study has found a significant link between adults suffering from attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury at some point in their lives. This study follows and supports an earlier study which came to the same conclusion, albeit in children.
Details of the study are available in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. Continue reading…