On this "Promoting
an Informed Public" special, the panel considers the
impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on the individual
and the family, treatment options, and current research
in the field. Some of the topics for discussion include:
physical and emotional impact of TBI on the individual and
family, living with the disability, signs and symptoms of
TBI, treatment options, long-tem care, family finances/insurance
While the public is often deluged with news stories regarding
near fatal accidents and car crashes, we rarely hear about
those who survive, who are often living with a brain injury
(frequently referred to as "traumatic brain injury").
More than one million children each year suffer a brain
injury of varying seriousness. Thousands of soldiers who
have returned from Iraq are also dealing and being treated
for this disability. The few stories that reach the public
involve celebrities or other well-known personalities who
have suffered a brain injury.
Brain injury is called the “silent epidemic” because
public recognition of brain injury is extremely low despite
the staggering number of people who are injured each year.
The effects of brain injury are often invisible to an unknowing
observer. Likewise, the visible effects of brain injury—such
as physical impairment, behavioral issues, and even cognitive
deficits—are often not properly attributed to brain
injury. Over 1.4 million people in the United States sustain
traumatic brain injuries (TBI) each year. The signs and symptoms
of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be subtle. Symptoms
of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following the
injury or may even be missed as people may look fine even
though they may act or feel differently. TBI can cause a wide
range of functional changes affecting thinking, sensation,
language, and/or emotions. It can also cause epilepsy and
increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer’s
disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders
that become more prevalent with age.
Tape Piece - Produced by Paula M. Levine,
the mini-documentary features the story of Matthew Torti
who at 29 had a seizure and a year later had surgery to
correct his condition and that surgery left him paralyzed
on his right side and unable to speak or walk. We talk with
his mom Marilyn and Carol Albanese who is executive director
of Opportunity Project, whose mission is to create a supportive
and enabling environment fore adults who’ve sustained
a brain injury.
Dr. Caroline McCagg |
Dr. Vanessa Walsh
Dr. Caroline McCagg – A rehabilitation
specialist and Associate Medical Director at the JFK-Johnson
Dennis Benigno – Executive Director
of the New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research. His son suffered a
traumatic brain injury more than 20 years ago.
Katrina Majewski – Is a senior at Rutgers
University and is living with a brain injury she sustained while playing field hockey.
Dr. Vanessa Walsh – A rehabilitation
psychologist and the Associate Director of Neuro - psychology
and Neuro - rehabilitation at Children’s Specialized