Recent Posts in Blogs & Updates Category

  • Exploring and Enhancing the Gut-Brain Connection

    || 3-Dec-2021

    Research suggests the health of the gut biome as a conduit to optimal brain health. I'm a neurologist, a sports neurologist, but certainly not a gastroenterologist, so it may seem strange, on the surface, that I'd write an article about gut health. However, there is increasing clinical evidence to suggest (if not yet prove) that our intestinal health may have a significant influence on our ...
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  • The Risk of Concussion Doesn't Discriminate...

    || 2-Nov-2021

    But the opportunity to recognize one and intervene early isn’t always readily available to Black athletes. A recent study published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation (JHTR) found that among college athletes, concussion-related symptoms were recognized less by Black athletes than their White counterparts. Medically speaking, concussions don't discriminate. They can affect ...
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  • 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

    || 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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  • Exercise, Sleep, and The Glymphatic System

    || 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

    || 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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  • The Importance of Sleep for the Healthy and the Injured Brain

    || 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

    || 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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  • Concussion Considerations for Athletes with Neurologic Conditions

    || 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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  • 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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  • Pandemic Like an Athlete

    || 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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  • IF YOU’RE LIKE MOST people, you've experienced memory loss at some point in your life. From forgetting where you put something to not being immediately able to recall a person’s name, most of us have been there a time or two. However, as we age, more consistent and sometimes severe memory declines can begin to take hold – forcing the person experiencing them to alter their ...
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  • This is Your Brain, On Food

    || 4-Dec-2020

    The type of diet we eat affects so much more than the way we look. If you're old enough to remember television public service announcements from the '80s, you'll likely recall one from A Partnership for a Drug-Free America. In the brief spot, an egg frying in a pan symbolizes the effects of chronic, illicit drug use on the brain. It was a campaign that ran for a while. More recent ...
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  • TO ADDRESS PLAYER safety and injury risk, the governor of California recently signed a bill that places restrictions on the amount of time allowed for tackling during any given week at football practice for high school and youth athletes. Aimed at reducing the amount of contact allowed during football practice (reducing exposure), this move follows other state and athletic legislatures in the ...
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  • The Dreaded "Burner" Injury in Athletes

    || 14-Oct-2020

    Burner or stinger injuries are a common nerve-related issue among contact athletes. Despite a pandemic-caused delay, professional football is now in full swing minus the stadiums being filled with the teams’ passionate fans. As would be the case even during a "normal" season, the player injury reports have begun to roll in, from ankle injuries to ACL tears and plenty in between. ...
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  • Pain and Addiction on the Sidelines

    || 2-Oct-2020

    How can athletes avoid pain and addiction post-surgery? As a sports-neurologist and pain medicine specialist, I have specific expertise in the management of chronic pain in athletes. Unfortunately, with this expertise, I bear too-frequent witness to the dual-heartbreak of athletes who experience a season- or career-halting injury and subsequent surgery, only to have it be accompanied by pain and ...
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  • Under Pressure: How Elite Athletes Respond to Stress

    || 3-Sep-2020

    Elite athletes, though among the most skilled and talented in their sport, are still not immune to the psychological pressure that can attack the mind and body before, or during an important athletic event. Professional athletes are humans, just like the rest of us. They feel the same nervousness, "butterflies," or physiological stress that everyone has felt in situations where and when ...
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  • THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC brought on by COVID-19 put a halt to much of what we previously took for granted – including athletics on the youth, collegiate and professional levels. Though such measures seemed extreme to sports fans, they were also very necessary. But as countermeasures often do, they may come with a cost of their own. In this case, that price might be paid by incoming rookies who ...
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  • Taking Control of Your Telehealth

    || 26-Jul-2020

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, here’s how to be ready for a great telehealth appointment. Though few could have predicted why it happened, the rise of the virtual doctor's office visit has exploded in 2020, in large part due to COVID-19. But, virtual medicine, or telehealth, made waves before this pandemic and is one "new normal" that would be great to keep around well beyond ...
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  • How Sleep Deprivation Affects the Brain

    || 13-Jul-2020

    The amount of time spent in quality, deep sleep has decreased over several decades. Sleep might seem like a period of time when the brain is at rest. But that’s not true. Sleep is an active neurological process. The brain is going through very specific stages that should happen for specific periods of time. The brain should run through these cycles of stages a certain number of times over ...
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  • Migraines in Children and Teens

    || 1-May-2020

    Treatment and prevention plans are unique for younger people who experience migraine headaches. If you’ve ever experienced a migraine, you know it’s not your average, run-of-the-mill headache. And a migraine is more than just a “bad headache.” Migraines are in a headache class all their own. They have specific clinical criteria. Migraine headache pain is often described as ...
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  • IF YOU'RE LIKE MOST people in America, and many parts of the world, your usual, everyday way of life has been significantly altered because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts to stem the contagion of the viral outbreak have abruptly changed the way we're living our lives in what we've always known as a modern – and convenient – world. "Disruption" is one word for ...
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  • Support for Chronic Pain Sufferers

    || 2-Mar-2020

    Constant pain can make people feel alone on a deserted island; a support system helps. When you observe someone in a neck brace who is wincing in pain, it can result in an immediate feeling of sympathy for them – an understanding that this individual is hurt, as evidenced by the presence of the neck brace. You need no further “proof” that the injury is “real” because ...
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  • Why We Need More African-Americans in Medicine

    || 25-Feb-2020

    AS I REFLECT ON THE significance of Black History Month in my life, I can't help but think of the African-American mentors who blazed the trails before me. These are individuals who didn't allow their racial makeup to stand in the way of achieving their dreams. More importantly, as a result of their dedication and despite many obstacles, race didn't prevent them from contributing to ...
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