Recent Posts in Blogs & Updates Category

  • How Aerobic Exercise Benefits the Brain -- Especially As You Age

    || 11-Jul-2019

    A RECENT COLUMBIA University study builds on previous research linking aerobic exercise to cognitive function and cortical thickness improvement in middle-aged and older adults. Here's a look at what the findings could mean for you. Can you imagine living through chronic neurological disease and dysfunction that prevents you from learning, reasoning, behaving appropriately or even remembering ...
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  • Artificial Intelligence Shows Promise in Concussion Management

    || 21-May-2019

    TYPICALLY, WHEN WE TALK about analytics in sports, the discussion is focused on advanced player statistics – and more recently, on performance analytics through things like wearable sensor technologies and high-speed cameras. Advanced analytics and AI in sports are continuing to grow and evolve, even into the injury prevention and management arena. A recent research study I was involved in ...
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  • The Neurological Phenomenon of Stinger or Burner Injuries

    || 4-Apr-2019

    WE TEND TO LOOK FOR signs and symptoms of a concussion after a big hit in a football game. But as a sports neurologist, concussion is only one of the injuries I'm looking for as players pick themselves up and return to the huddle or sideline. Body language can tell you a lot. How players move, whether or not they're fluid and symmetric in their arm-swing and obvious or subtle evidence of a ...
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  • Are Doctors to Blame for Prescription Opioid Overuse in America?

    || 25-Mar-2019

    A RECENT JAMA NEWS release asked whether the marketing of opioids to physicians was associated with overdose deaths. The article pointed the finger at both the marketing tactics of pharmaceutical companies and at the physicians who are prescribing the medications. But the truth is, there are multiple stakeholders, individuals and entities contributing to the opioid epidemic. So, to cure it, we all ...
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  • Sleep Health: The Key to Total-Body Wellness and Peak Performance?

    || 14-Jan-2019

    WHEN IT COMES TO overall health and wellness, the tandem twosome most frequently discussed are diet and exercise. And with good reason – they are crucial contributors. What you consistently put into your body and how you move that body to build and maintain cardiovascular and musculoskeletal fitness are vital to your health across a lifetime. But did you know that some sleep researchers ...
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  • What the CDC's New Concussion Guidelines Mean for Kids

    || 2-Nov-2018

    What the CDC's New Concussion Guidelines Mean for Kids CONCUSSION AND traumatic brain injury are ever-present topics among American parents and coaches of young athletes today. So the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recent issuing of clinical concussion guidelines for pediatric professionals come at a crucial time in our collective conversation about how to protect kids from ...
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  • The Hierarchy of Headaches

    || 27-Sep-2018

    HEADACHES, LIKE BACK pain, are a universal human phenomenon that just about every adult has experienced at some point in time and can relate to. From the dull twinges to the nausea-inducing pounders, headaches can run the gamut. The Headache Society has cataloged and classified more than 150 primary and secondary headache disorder types. So how do you figure out what brings a headache on so that ...
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  • Brain Training: Classroom Edition

    || 6-Sep-2018

    WHEN MOST PEOPLE consider the concept of brain training to improve learning, they tend to think of those online game programs or puzzles that are purported to give the brain a "workout" by practicing memory and problem solving skills to sharpen the mind. Others consider more advanced techniques aimed at optimizing brainwave activity through neurofeedback or stimulation therapies. ...
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  • New Concussion Frontiers: Good News for Brain Injuries

    || 20-Aug-2018

    THE HUMAN BRAIN IS arguably the most complex and fascinating organ structure. About 3 pounds in weight, it contains approximately 100 billion neurons – which some say compares to the same number of stars in the Milky Way. As a sports neurologist, if I ask just about any athlete (or depending on their age, an athlete's parents) what their biggest concern is when it comes to their brain ...
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  • 3 Underappreciated Sports Concussion Causes

    || 9-Jul-2018

    If you asked the people you know what they've heard in the news about sports concussions, they'd likely cite reports about concussion concerns related to professional American football. They aren't wrong. There are a multitude of studies, reports, opinion editorials and feelings on this very subject. While concussion in football should absolutely be taken seriously, it certainly ...
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  • How the Brain Responds to What the Eyes See

    || 30-Apr-2018

    IN A FIELD THAT'S ever-expanding, sports neurologists are excited about emerging scientific evidence helping us understand how and why training an athlete's vision and brain are as important as musculoskeletal strengthening, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility when it comes to peak athletic performance. For example, baseball is one of the most visually intensive sports, and with the ...
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  • Technology a Strong Weapon in the Opioid Battle

    || 27-Apr-2018

    Though chronic pain is most commonly experienced in the back or the legs, pain anywhere in the body that has lasted for six months or longer is considered chronic. In America today, it is estimated that upwards of 100 million people suffer the devastating effects of chronic pain. It is the primary cause of disability among adults in the United States at a cost of about $600 billion, annually. ...
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  • Proprioception: the Unsung Hero of the Senses

    || 11-Apr-2018

    Beginning in grade school, most everyone is taught about the five senses: touch, sight, taste, smell and sound. These are responsible for our interaction with the external world around us. Sensory nerves in our bodies pick up on these outside stimuli and deliver the information to our brains for processing, through our senses. However, we humans also possess several senses that are responsible for ...
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  • Improving Safety and Reducing Risk in Youth Contact Sports

    || 28-Feb-2018

    Concussion – no matter who you are or where you go today – is a word that has been splashed across many sports and mainstream media headlines. As such, it is a word that has provoked a collective fear and doubt in the minds of the public – perhaps most especially among parents of young athletes participating in "contact sports." And the medical community is weighing in. ...
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  • How to Train Your Brain to Improve Performance

    || 16-Jan-2018

    When most people consider the concept of brain training to improve learning, they tend to think of those online game programs or puzzles that are purported to give the brain a "workout" by practicing memory and problem-solving skills to sharpen the mind. Others consider more advanced techniques aimed at optimizing brainwave activity through neurofeedback or stimulation therapies. ...
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  • Pain: Is it All in Your Head?

    || 16-Oct-2017

    You twist your ankle, cut your finger, slip and fall, or suddenly experience more severe pain in your back, chest or abdomen that sends you to the emergency room. When you feel that pain, your brain is trying to tell you something. Some kind of tissue injury has occurred. Without proper attention, rest or further treatment, things could get worse. In this case, pain, although uncomfortable, is a ...
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  • The Impact of Football on the Brain

    || 2-Oct-2017

    A recent study conducted by Boston University researchers and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has caught the public's attention. And, as a result, concern about American football's impact on the brain – namely when it comes to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE – has heightened once again. CTE is the medical term used to describe the ...
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  • New Conclusions on Concussion 'Cocooning'

    || 17-Jul-2017

    Until very recently, the widespread recommendation by the medical community to patients who had suffered a concussion was simple and straightforward: rest, rest and more rest. The trauma that the brain sustains during a concussion can be from linear forces (like when the brain is forcefully pushed up against the hard ridges and walls of the skull), or from rotational forces (like when a ...
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  • 3 Questions to Ask Before Taking Prescription Pain Meds

    || 6-Jul-2017

    Over the last few decades, the prevalence of narcotic painkiller (also referred to as opioids) use in the United States has skyrocketed. This class of medications suppresses the body’s perception of pain by blocking signals between the brain and the nervous system. In the past, usage of opioids for pain relief was mostly limited to short-term instances of severe pain, such as during the ...
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  • Understanding Migraines and Their Triggers

    || 11-May-2017

    Believe it or not, 38 million Americans suffer from regular migraines, and many don’t even know it. Yes, the debilitating side effects of a migraine can knock sufferers off their feet and leave them pleading for relief, as the pulsing and throbbing continues from several hours up to several days in some of the most severe cases. But for others, the headache pain associated with their ...
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  • To Play or Not to Play? That Is the Concussion Question

    || 3-Apr-2017

    "Dr. Williams, would you let your son play football?" Over the course of a 20-year career as a sports neurologist, that question is one of the most frequently asked by patients, friends who are parents of young athletes and the public in general. Early in my career, the question was related to the risk of musculoskeletal and spine injury. Aware of the risk of fractures, bruises and other ...
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  • 3 Concussion Myths: Busted

    || 2-Mar-2017

    Concussions are among the most common – and potentially dangerous – injuries seen in sports medicine. Part of the danger surrounding them is the abundance of misinformation spread by word of mouth among the athletic population, plus false information that’s readily available and shared on the Internet. Education is the best shield to protect from what can be lasting and lingering ...
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  • 3 Ways to Love Your Brain

    || 28-Jan-2017

    When it comes to neurological health, people often consider it in terms of what to fix when things go wrong. From concussion to chronic pain conditions, many still believe that brain health is only something that can be repaired once its damaged and not something that can actually be enhanced. But the truth my friends is that you CAN and should make enhanced brain health a focus in your life. Not ...
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  • In part one of this series, I touched on the scientifically proven physical and neurological benefits of exercise. When most non-fitness folks think of exercise, what typically comes to mind is jogging, running, bicycling, or light weightlifting – some variation of moderate energy, steady-state movement. As previously discussed, this type of body mechanics is important for cardiovascular ...
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  • Chronic Pain and the Holidays - 3 Tips to Help

    || 20-Nov-2016

    Though holiday songs, cards and greetings herald it as ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,’ for people suffering from chronic pain conditions, these final weeks on the calendar can feel anything but merry. Even for those who aren’t burdened by illness, the holidays are often stressful. But when you’ve got a condition characterized by pain, the stress and ill-effects on ...
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