Concussion and gender: A difference?

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New University of Michigan research shows that concussion does not hurt women athletes more than men.

Does concussion affect women differently from men? A new study from the University of Michigan sheds some light on the subject.

We talked with lead author Kathryn O’Connor, a Ph.D. student at University of Michigan’s NeuroSport Research Laboratory, to learn more about the study and her thoughts on gender differences in concussion. O’Connor recently presented the study results at the American Academy of Neurology’s Sports Concussion Conference.

Tell us briefly about your study.

Our work is part of the National Sport Concussion Outcomes Study (NSCOS) funded by the NCAA.

The research involved 148 Division I college athletes from 11 sports at the University of Michigan during a single season. Of the participants, 51 percent played a contact sport, 24 percent had experienced a concussion and 45 percent were female.

All participants had taken learning and processing tests along with other measures of the brain’s abilities, such as attention and working memory speed.  Continue reading

Concussion Clarity: A conversation with Dr. Jeff Kutcher

From headers in soccer to football tackles to hockey hits, today’s student athletes and their parents have many reasons to monitor brain health. Jeff Kutcher, M.D., Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan and the Director of Michigan NeuroSport, took audience questions in a live webcast on Thursday, August 13th. Watch the full Google Hangout below, or scroll down to read Dr. Kutcher’s take on a few important questions about concussions.

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Living with memory loss

There are countless books and published research studies about dementia that give us insight into the

Members of the U-M Elderberry Club have mild memory loss, but that doesn't stop them from having fun, caring for each other and being creative.

Members of the U-M Elderberry Club have mild memory loss, but that doesn’t stop them from having fun, caring for each other and being creative.

disease. However, the best resource cannot be found on a shelf or an online article, but rather in the conversations we have with those who are living with dementia.

I recently visited the Elderberry Club—the first group of its kind in Michigan and the only group in the country that is designed exclusively for women with mild memory loss. The club meets at the U-M Health System Turner Senior Resource Center once a week. The women come together for support, discussion, friendship, creative expression and education.

During meetings, the women participate in a number of activities. They create art, volunteer in the community, write poetry, listen to music or presentations, and much more. The day I visited, the women were creating beautiful marbled ink artwork using the ancient Japanese technique called suminagash. Joy and laughter filled the room. Their personalities were vibrant and unique, and I could tell that they accepted and loved each other.  Continue reading

Free Parkinson’s Movement & Dance classes

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Patient Dennis Thompson says he feels more limber–mentally and physically–due to University of Michigan’s Parkinson’s Movement & Dance class. And now the class is free.

Parkinson’s and dance don’t usually go together—until now. Read how one patient feels about Turner Senior Resource Center’s Movement & Dance Classes for people with Parkinson’s disease.

With Parkinson’s disease (PD), there’s a feeling of loss, a feeling that I just don’t control my body as well as I used to. Sometimes it feels like a downward slope that doesn’t stop. As you can imagine, I was quite worried about this, and then one day when I was in the Turner Senior Resource Center, I picked up a flyer about their Parkinson’s Movement & Dance Class and decided to give it a try. I’m soon going to sign up for my third session.  Continue reading

5 biggest concussion myths

concussion1Every year, more than one million Americans suffer a concussion from sports activities, car accidents and falls.

However, there are many myths about concussion. Here are the top five.

Myth: Helmets can prevent concussion in sports

Yes, helmets protect against concussion and head injury, but this doesn’t mean that if you use a helmet you’re definitely safe. If your body or head is hit with enough force, your brain can be jarred enough to cause a concussion.  Continue reading

Multiple sclerosis: Unusual treatment holds new hope

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When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in October 2000, I was only 26 years old. I had played football in college. I’d been active. I kept thinking, Now this. I was married but had no children at that point, and I wondered—with MS—what would my life have in store for me?

In a few years, the doctors I was seeing—even though they were neurologists—said they couldn’t do anymore for me than what they were already doing. One of the doctors put three medications in front of me and said, “This is what’s available for MS now. Choose one.” That’s how they approached the problem.

And that’s when I thought, I’m going to the University of Michigan.  Continue reading