Blog Posts in 2021

  • Anyone who suffers from it can attest that overcoming chronic pain often takes nothing short of a heroic effort. I was encouraged recently to see the subject of pain be reintroduced to the national spotlight during the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony for former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Throughout his nine years in the NFL, Mr. Johnson revealed that he ...
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  • Why Strict Rest Is No Longer Recommended After Sports-Related Concussion

    Posted By Vernon B. Williams, MD || 30-Sep-2021

    As the science surrounding concussion evolves, so must the medical care for patients. All concussions are serious. Yet balancing what we know about concussion, neurological function, and brain health with what we don’t know can sometimes be a tightrope walk for a sports neurologist. With the science of concussion evolving rapidly, there is no single, universally accepted consensus definition ...
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  • Patients who reported experiencing widespread pain had an increased incidence of all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke. This increased risk is independent of factors such as age, health, or sociodemographic circumstance. Researchers analyzed data from 2,464 participants of the Framingham Offspring Study Cohort, who underwent examination by health practitioners between 1990 and ...
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  • Exercise, Sleep, and The Glymphatic System

    Posted By Vernon B. Williams, MD || 18-Aug-2021

    How can we enlist these three fantastic factors for optimized brain health? The human body is a scientific marvel of systems and functions, all designed to work together in making the healthiest ‘you’ possible. The catchy “Dry Bones” song many of us learned as kids, in which the lyrics feature one bone in the body connecting to another, can apply to so much more than just ...
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  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Future Neurological Health

    Posted By Vernon B. Williams, MD || 2-Aug-2021

    ACEs are common and future health risk increases with repeated exposure. One biological marvel of the human brain is that it is an adaptable organ, able to alter its structure based on life experiences. Because childhood is a time when rapid and significant development occurs – walking and talking, for example – the brain is susceptible to events that occur during this critical ...
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  • Headaches are like a box of chocolates: You never know which kind you're going to get (and can only hope the one you end up with doesn't bring your day to a screeching halt). As you've likely experienced yourself, there's no single, standard type of headache. They run the gamut from dull-yet-annoying, to pounding, to sharp and painful, to feeling like your entire head is being ...
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  • The Importance of Sleep for the Healthy and the Injured Brain

    Posted By Vernon B. Williams, MD || 30-Jun-2021

    New research suggests quality sleep has a healing effect on TBI. As a sports neurologist and pain medicine specialist, I have tremendous respect for the positive impact of quality sleep on Neurologic health across the lifespan. Whether it's training for the next game, recovering from injury, or healthy lifestyle maintenance, good sleep is imperative for everyone. Recently, I came across even ...
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  • Pain, Placebo, Nocebo and the Brain

    Posted By Vernon B. Williams, MD || 30-Jun-2021

    Placebos have been used for centuries in medicine, both inside of clinical research studies and out. Interestingly, the word placebo was medically defined in the early 1800s as “any medicine adapted more to please than to benefit the patient.” Although this definition implies deception on the part of the clinician, that isn’t the intent at all today. Thus, the description has ...
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  • Migraine is a common condition, affecting more than 37 million people in the United States and up to 148 million worldwide. And some evidence suggests that migraine prevalence might be increasing globally. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), migraine is around twice as commonTrusted Source in women than men. Often, the primary migraine symptom is a moderate to severe headache, and ...
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  • Have you ever forgotten where you left your keys? Been unable to recall where you placed your wallet? Woken up late because it slipped your mind to set the alarm on your cellphone or clock? None of these circumstances are cause for alarm, says Dr. Vernon Williams, a sports neurologist and founding director of the Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe ...
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  • KOPA Quotes Williams: 6 Science-Backed Ways to Boost Your Memory

    Posted By Vernon B. Williams, MD || 15-Jun-2021

    It’s perfectly normal to experience brief memory loss now and then. We’ve all forgotten where we’ve put something or not immediately remembered somebody’s name, right? But, with age and certain medical conditions, memory loss might become more of an issue, says Vernon Williams, M.D., a sports neurologist, pain management specialist, and the founding director of the Center ...
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  • Key Takeaways Black college athletes report less concussion symptom knowledge (CSK) than their White peers. While both relied on athletic trainers, Black college athletes reported accessing referees for CSK while their White counterparts reported school-based sources, medical websites, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for CSK. Black college athletes were less likely than ...
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  • With the pandemic lurching to a long and winding close, you may be ready to leave lockdowns and wanting to take back control of your health. Good idea. Popular things you've done over the last year may have put your body out of shape, and now is the time to reverse the damage. Read on for popular habits that are wrecking your body, according to experts—and to ensure your health and the ...
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  • Using CBD as a pain reliever may not actually reduce your pain intensity, but it might make it feel less unpleasant, according to researchers. A small study by researchers at Syracuse University suggests that the placebo effect may play a role in cannabidiol's (CBD) ability to provide relief for chronic pain. The researchers recruited 15 participants, who were compensated for their ...
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  • Livestrong Quotes Dr. Williams: The 15 Best Natural Remedies for Headaches

    Posted By Vernon B. Williams, MD || 29-Apr-2021

    Headaches are an all-too-common annoyance. At best, they can make even simple daily tasks more challenging. At worst, they can leave you curled up in bed for hours. The good news is that if you're not a fan of taking Tylenol on a regular basis, there are plenty of natural remedies for headaches, including some small lifestyle changes, certain foods and hot or cold therapy. Here are 15 ...
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  • We’ve all suffered from a headache at some point. From hormones to hangovers, there are countless culprits—but fewer cures. Prescription and over-the-counter meds can be helpful, yet there are natural ways to prevent them altogether. The key is learning to avoid certain lifestyle triggers. How Common Are Headaches? Whether you get a headache a few times a year or experience migraines ...
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  • Over the years, scientific research has suggested that people of color face healthcare disparities and decreased access to quality care compared with white people. Diagnosis of and treatment for migraine is no exception. Wade M. Cooper, DO, director of the Headache & Neuropathic Pain Clinic at the University of Michigan, told Healthline that migraine is underdiagnosed in general — but ...
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  • Concussion Considerations for Athletes with Neurologic Conditions

    Posted By Vernon B. Williams, MD || 1-Apr-2021

    Concussions can happen to anyone; but those with underlying conditions may be at greater risk. As a sports neurologist, I can say with confidence that the sports neurology community knows much more about the phenomenon of concussion today than we did even just a decade ago. However, I can also admit that we have much more to learn. I understand that the unknown can be unnerving to athletes or ...
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  • Key Takeaways A study conducted by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University found that sleep may play a positive role in healing traumatic brain injuries. Fragmented sleep may interfere with recovery from brain injuries and concussions. To sleep better, people should avoid excessive alcohol, exercise, and screen time before going to bed. Getting enough quality sleep at night is ...
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  • THE “GLADIATOR” mentality throughout sports history has been widely celebrated and glorified. For avid sports fans such as myself, we can remember those seemingly impossible performances by such revered modern-day warriors as the late, great Kobe Bryant, shooting and making two free throws after tearing his Achilles. While every performance and memory is unique, we've all likely ...
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  • IT'S ESTIMATED THAT less than half of all people who experience migraine headaches are aware of their diagnosis. In other words, tens of millions of people have headaches that meet the clinical criteria for migraine, yet they're unaware that a migraine headache is a type from which they suffer. Often, people misclassify and misattribute their migraine headaches to a different cause. Many ...
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  • There’s no denying that health and happiness go hand in hand—those who practice healthy habits like eating well, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep tend to live happier, more fulfilling lives. While diet and exercise are core components of a healthy lifestyle, there are many more habits that can significantly improve your overall wellbeing. And as with building any habits, ...
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  • Pandemic Like an Athlete

    Posted By Vernon B. Williams, MD || 15-Mar-2021

    The techniques that elite athletes use to overcome adversity can be harnessed by anyone. We're heading into the waist-deep snow of a pandemic winter. For many, it is cold, dark, and dreary. By now, most of the earth's human population has been affected by COVID-19 in ways large and small. Some have sacrificed life. Some have experienced job-loss, relationship strains, and health setbacks. ...
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  • Key Takeways The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the marketing of the Q-Collar, a jugular vein compression collar, meant to protect the brain from repeat impact. The Q-Collar is not designed to prevent concussions or other serious head injuries. Even if a person is wearing additional protective gear like the Q-Collar, they should still focus on playing safely. In recent years, the ...
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  • Key Takeaways A study on more than 30,000 student athletes and cadets found that those who lacked sleep had symptoms similar to a concussion. People who had mental health conditions or high levels of stress also had symptoms that fit the criteria for post-concussion syndrome, even though they didn’t have a recent head injury. The findings underscore the importance of quality sleep and may ...
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