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Watch with BIANJ: Live Concussion Documentary Screening

In recognition of National Concussion Awareness Day, the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey will be livestreaming Bell Ringer: The Invisible Brain Injury on Friday, September 16 starting at 3 PM. Join us to watch this award-winning PBS documentary, which is approximately one hour long and will be streamed live via Zoom. A brief optional discussion will immediately follow. Seating is limited for this free screening. Reserve your spot today.

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Free Webinar: Back-to-School Update – A Comprehensive Approach to Athlete Brain Health and Concussion

With the start of a new school year, children across New Jersey will be resuming interscholastic sports participation. This webinar will provide an updated overview of the current best practices for diagnosis and management of concussion and post-concussion syndrome with an emphasis on overall athlete brain health. There will be a specific focus on what is most important to understand for school personnel (teachers, coaches, etc.) and parents of youth and high school athletes. This webinar will be held via Zoom. Click here to register today!

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WEBINAR: Back to School Update – A Comprehensive Approach to Athlete Brain Health and Concussion

With the start of a new school year, children across New Jersey will be resuming interscholastic sports participation. This webinar will provide an updated overview of the current best practices for diagnosis and management of concussion and post-concussion syndrome with an emphasis on overall athlete brain health. There will be a specific focus on what is most important to understand for school personnel (teachers, coaches, etc.) and parents of youth and high school athletes.

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Sports Concussion

What is sports concussion? Sports concussions often occur in contact sports such as football, ice hockey, soccer and lacrosse, but they also occur in non-contact sports such as baseball, golf, and cheerleading. Most sports concussions don’t involve a loss or consciousness or a blow to the head, and many times, are overlooked by coaches and parents as they can be focused on the play. For most athletes, symptoms will resolve within two to four weeks, however for some, symptoms can persist for several months. Safe Return to Play If an impact or blow to the head is observed or suspected, and an athlete displays any of the above symptoms, they should follow the steps for a safe return to play. LEARN THE STEPS What are the signs and symptoms? What's the Difference?Signs of Sports ConcussionSymptoms Reported by AthleteWhat's the Difference? What makes a sport concussion different from other concussions? Athletes want to get back to play as soon as possible and may disregard other symptoms. The risk for a second concussion is higher when young athletes return to practice or competition too soon. The NJ Concussion Law has certain requirements before a student athlete can return to practice or competition. Signs of Sports Concussion Feel dazed or stunned Confusion Forgets plays or coaches instruction Uncertainty about opponents, time (e.g., which half, quarter), or score Alterations in coordination or clumsiness Gait or balance problems Shows personality, mood, or behavior change Forgets events prior to or after the impact Loss of consciousness Symptoms Reported by Athlete Headache or pressure in the head Dizziness Balance Problems Nausea or Vomiting Sensitivity to light Sensitivity to noise Lethargy or fatigue Problems remembering Poor attention/concentration Not feeling right Slowed processing Numbness or tingling Sleep problems How to manage a sports concussion How a sports concussion is diagnosed A sports concussion is a medical diagnosis and should be evaluated and diagnosed by a physician. Athletes may report symptoms during the game or after, and sometimes days later. These symptoms should be taken as seriously as those reported on the day of the impact, and the athlete should be evaluated by a physician. A doctor will review how the impact occurred, signs and symptoms, and medical history. They will also conduct a neurological examination which assesses vision, hearing, balance, coordination, and cognitive functions. Concussions should be managed by medical physicians and licensed healthcare providers who have specialized training in the management and treatment of concussion. Recovery from sports related concussion Cognitive and physical rest The standard of care following a diagnosis of concussion is physical and cognitive rest. During the first few days of recovery, athletes who have sustained concussion should restrict physical AND cognitive activities that require attention and concentration, as they may exacerbate and possibly prolong overall recovery. It is expected that athletes who have sustained concussion who limit relevant physical and cognitive activities will not require further intervention and will recover spontaneously. What limiting cognitive and physical rest looks like Student Athletes should be provided with a return to learn plan and a set of personalized academic accommodations to assist in their recovery. Some athletes may be [...]
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Concussion

What is a concussion? A concussion is often referred to as a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain. There may be signs of injury to the head, such as bruising or cuts, or there may be no visible injury. A person does not necessarily lose consciousness after a concussion. Concussions are usually not life-threatening but, they should be taken seriously. Remember: A concussion/mTBI is an injury to the brain, not just ‘seeing stars’. Most people will recover completely within 2-3 weeks if given the proper periods of rest and a gradual return to activities. Repeated concussions occurring over an extended period can result in cumulative neurological and cognitive effects. Repeated concussions occurring within a short period of time can be catastrophic. Request a Workshop BIANJ offers customizable workshops for parents, teachers, and coaches. Contact us today to get your school up to speed on concussion prevention, recognition, and treatment. REQUEST A WORKSHOP Symptoms of Concussion Symptoms of concussion can vary, but common signs include: Dizziness Headaches Blurred Vision Nausea Vomiting Slurred Speech Appearing Dazed, Confused Ringing in the Ears Delayed Response to Questions What If I Have a Sports Concussion? LEARN THE SIGNS When to Seek Medical Attention Healthcare professionals recommend individuals contact their physician, call 911 , or go to the nearest emergency department immediately if someone sustains a bump, blow, or jolt to the head and has these symptoms: A headache that gets worse and does not go away Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination Repeated vomiting or nausea Slurred speech Drowsiness or cannot be awakened Pupil asymmetry Convulsions or seizures Does not recognize people or places Increased confusion, restlessness, and agitation Unusual behavior Loss of consciousness Treatment Many people who have a concussion will experience initial symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, thinking difficulties, and changes in behavior. Symptoms typically diminish after two to three weeks. If symptoms continue beyond two weeks, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional trained in concussion management. Evaluation by healthcare professionals trained in the care of concussion is important After sustaining a concussion, it is very important to avoid any activity that places the individual at risk of sustaining another concussion Assure the individual that symptoms will subside if a recovery plan that balances rest and activity is followed Since most people will recover completely, accommodations will be temporary Healthcare professionals who are trained in concussion management will also take into consideration the stressors in the person’s life and how those may impact the recovery process. All factors need to be considered and addressed as a part of the recovery plan. The good news is that research shows that early identification, education, and management of symptoms can prevent long-term symptoms. Managing the symptoms through a balance of rest and activity is the key to recovery. Post [...]
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CTE Awareness Day

CTE AWARENESS DAY January 30, 2022 Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, commonly referred to as "CTE," is a pathological diagnosis that has been found on autopsy in athletes, veterans, and others with histories of repeated brain traumas. Some reported experienced by people eventually diagnosed with CTE include difficulty with impulse control, aggression, depression, irritability, paranoia, anxiety, and difficulty with memory and sleep. It is important to remember that these symptoms are common and can be caused by many other things that may be treatable. There is still debate about how common CTE actually is, and there is currently no way to diagnose CTE in a living person. One concussion in the absence of other brain trauma has never been seen to cause CTE, and, while the risk factors for developing CTE remain unclear, it is proposed that repetitive head/brain trauma is of greater concern. Causes of CTE Evidence suggests that repeated or recurrent blows to the head can increase the risk of developing CTE. However, most people with concussion will not develop CTE. Exact causes are not fully understood and are still being researched. Learn more When to Get Medical Advice If you have sustained a blow to the head or body that resulted in a concussion (also a traumatic brain injury), you should seek medical attention. You may experience issues with memory, mood swings, confusion, and difficulty thinking. If you are worried about any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to consult with your physician. It is important to note that there currently is no test to diagnose CTE. Most athletes, veterans, or people with a history of repeated concussions, will not develop CTE. However, if you are experiencing long lasting symptoms of after a brain injury or head trauma, you should always seek medical attention. Prevention of CTE Brain injury is difficult to predict or avoid, however prevention is key to reducing the risk. Always wear protective gear, use proper technique, and practice good sportsmanship All athletes should be supervised at all times by a professional who is trained to screen for signs and symptoms of concussion Follow concussion protocol and listen to the advice of your concussion management team Stay up to date with the latest information about concussion diagnosis and management Seek medical advice immediately if a concussion or brain injury is suspected Need advice? Contact the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey's Helpline at 1-800-669-4323 or info@bianj.org. Contact Us
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40th Annual Seminar for Professionals

Thank you to everyone who participated in independent study for the seminar this year! New Jersey's Premier Brain Injury Seminar for Professionals The Annual Seminar offers an educational and networking opportunity for professionals to gain knowledge of the latest research, best practices and effective strategies for working with individuals affected by brain injury. The Seminar is a full day conference. Lunch will be served and organization exhibitors and student poster presentations will also be included. Presentations will also be recorded for use as an Independent Study on the BIANJ website. Keynote Address The Power and Potency of Social Capital Al Condeluci, PhD Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh EVENT BROCHURE Workshops Physical Exercise to Promote Wellness Performance Feedback Executive Functioning, Mental Health and School Stress Reduction for Caregivers Executive Functioning, Mental Health and Work Impact of Tobacco Use Cognitive Impairments with Long COVID Cognitive and Emotional Dysfunction Post COVID Concussion Dysphasia and Aspiration EVENT BROCHURE Scholarships Priority is given to individuals who have not attended the Annual Seminar in the past. Please note that scholarships do not cover the processing fee for CEUs. APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP Award Nominations Each year the Alliance recognizes outstanding individuals for their dedication to our mission through their professional contributions, personal achievements, strength of character, and relentless work to support our constituency. 2022 Nominations are closed. Mimi Goldman Positive Achievement Award Mimi Goldman, who was pivotal in the development of the Council for the Head-Injured Community (CHIC, now known as VOICES), passed away in 1997. She was the first person with a brain injury to serve on the Board of Trustees for the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey. Mimi served as a role model for the brain injury community, sharing her talents and experiences on numerous committees and events, and always with a characteristic smile. The Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey established the Miriam (Mimi) Goldman Positive Achievement Award in the spring of 1997 to commemorate Mimi Goldman. This award is presented each year to an individual with a brain injury to honor his or her accomplishments. 2022 Recipient: Christopher Mueller Trooper Scales Memorial Award Trooper Christopher S. Scales was a front-line partner in the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey’s brain injury prevention efforts. Trooper Scales was struck and killed on December 3, 2002 while conducting a seatbelt enforcement detail on the New Jersey Turnpike. The Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey honored State Trooper Christopher Scales posthumously in May 2003 by introducing the Trooper Christopher Scales Memorial Award. This award is presented each year to a member of the law enforcement community who has demonstrated exemplary efforts in promoting public safety and brain injury prevention. 2022 Recipient: Sgt. Jefferey Delbuono Jill Schulman Community Pillar Award The Jill Schulman Community Pillar Award recognizes individuals, employed in the brain injury field, who significantly contribute to the quality of life for people with brain injury and their caregivers and promote brain health through their volunteer service and support of the mission of the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey. The Award was renamed to honor Jill Schulman who passed away in May of 2011. During [...]
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2022 Annual Seminar Self-Study

Building Community and Enhancing Quality of Life Following Brain Injury Independent Study is available through June 22, 2022. REGISTER NOW Independent Study Workshop Links and Evaluation Forms: If you are applying for CEUs, you must watch one workshop per session in its entirety and submit the corresponding Evaluation Form. Opening RemarksKeynoteBlock ABlock BBlock COverall EvaluationOpening Remarks Opening Remarks Keynote Keynote: The Power and Potency of Social Capital Complete the Evaluation Block A Implementation of Structured Physical Exercise to Promote Mental Health/Wellness in Individuals After Brain Injury Complete the Evaluation Performance Feedback: From Research to Utilization in Practice Complete the Evaluation Executive Functioning, Mental Health and Brain Injury: Connecting the Dots in School Complete the Evaluation Block B Stress Reduction Program for Caregivers of Those With Brain Injuries Complete the Evaluation Executive Functioning, Mental Health and Work: Challenges for Those Returning to Work Complete the Evaluation Block C Research Panel Complete the Evaluation Concussion: Not Just an "Athlete" Thing Complete the Evaluation Dysphagia and Aspiration Following Brain Injury: Factors, Limitations and Management Complete the Evaluation Overall Evaluation Overall Evaluation 2022 Independent Study Brochure DOWNLOAD NOW! Posttests If you are applying for NASW, you must complete a posttest. NASW Posttest » Student Poster Presentations Training with Agency-Inspired Feedback from a Sensor Glove in Virtual Reality to Improve Grasp Performance Is yoga beneficial for the physical and mental health for individuals with chronic stroke? Self reported balance confidence following traumatic vs. non traumatic brain injury Do adolescents with ADHD demonstrate longer recovery duration/after concussion? Web-based geospatial brain injury service provider catalog For ambulatory adults with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, does dual-task training improve balance and fall risk? This event is funded in part by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Disability Services, and the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. 2021 CEU Sponsor: We're here to help. Call 1-800-669-4323.
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About Brain Injury

Brain Injury Basics The brain controls everything we say, do, think, and feel. It keeps us alive through breathing, circulation, digestion, hormones, and the immune system. Through the brain, we experience emotion and express ourselves. A brain injury may produce an altered or diminished state of consciousness and result in an impairment of cognitive abilities or physical functioning. It can also result in the disturbance of behavioral or emotional functioning. These impairments may be temporary or permanent and cause partial or total functional disability. NJ Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Fund The NJ TBI Fund, a Division of Disability Services program, provides New Jersey residents of any age who have survived a traumatic brain injury the opportunity to access the brain injury related services and supports they need to live in the community. Call 1-800-669-4323 for help. EMAIL US FOR INFO Types of Brain Injury A brain injury is an injury to the brain that occurs after birth and is not congenital, degenerative or hereditary. The injury results in a change of the brain’s neuronal activity. There are two types of brain injury: Traumatic Brain Injury and Acquired Brain Injury. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) A TBI is caused by an external factor such as a bump, blow or jolt to the head, that disrupts the normal function of the brain. TBI can be defined as closed (non-penetrating) or open (penetrating). The severity of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may range from “mild” (i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury). Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) ABI is an injury to the brain that is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. This type of injury is one that has occurred after birth. ABI can result in cognitive, physical, emotional or behavioral impairments that may lead to permanent or temporary changes in functioning. RUTGERS BRAIN INJURY PRIMER COURSE This course is for regular and special education teachers, school psychologists, social workers, guidance counselors, principals, speech and language pathologists and other professionals who work with students with brain injuries. Learn more and register today. Causes of Brain Injury Causes of Traumatic Brain InjuryCauses of Acquired Brain InjuryCauses of Traumatic Brain Injury Falls Assaults Motor Vehicle Crashes Sports/Recreation Injuries Abusive Head Trauma (Shaken Baby Syndrome) Gunshot Wounds Workplace Injuries Child Abuse Domestic Violence Military Actions (Blast Injury) Causes of Acquired Brain Injury Stroke (Hemorrhage, Blood Clot) Infectious Disease Meningitis Encephalitis Seizure Electric Shock Tumors Metabolic Disorders Neurotoxic Poisoning (Carbon Monoxide, Lead Exposure) Lack of Oxygen (Drowning, Choking, Hypoxic/Anoxic Injury) Drug Overdose LOOKING FOR A SUPPORT GROUP? We have both virtual and in-person support groups for you and your family members. REGISTER TODAY Possible Effects of Brain Injury A brain injury can cause a wide range of  short or long-term changes: Thinking (i.e., memory and reasoning) Sensation (i.e., touch, taste, and smell) Language (i.e., communication, expression, and understanding); and Emotion (i.e., depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, acting out, and social inappropriateness) Physical (i.e, seizures, muscle spasticity, fatigue, headaches, balance problems, and more) Some people with brain injury experience mild to [...]
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Resources

We're here to help. Whether you have a brain injury or concussion, are a caregiver or a professional, we have many resources available for you. If you're in need of further assistance, please give our helpline a call at 1-800-669-4323. Brain InjuryCaregiversProfessionalsConcussion/Sports ConcussionBrain Injury HELPFUL ARTICLES Domestic Violence: What Survivors Need to Know Alcohol Use Social Skills Emotional Problems Relationships Balance Problems Headaches Seizures Vision Problems Spasticity Sleep Loss of Taste and Smell Returning to School FACT SHEETS Free and Low Cost Legal Services in NJ Housing Info Guide Fatigue Transportation for People with Brain Injury No IEPs in College Healing Your Marriage After Brain Injury VIDEOS The ABLE Act Falls and Prevention Introduction to Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income Neurofatigue: The Tired Brain and How to Manage It Mental Wellness in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond The Role of Medical Nutrition Therapy Following Traumatic Brain Injury Learning Travel Skills to Lead to Independent Mobility in the Community Persuasion: A Cornerstone of Effective Advocacy Brain Aneurysms – A Comprehensive Guide for Patients Sex and Intimacy After TBI Nutrition and the Brain Made Simple Protecting Yourself and Your Family with NJ Auto Insurance Relationships Caregivers HELPFUL ARTICLES Returning to School FACT SHEETS Caregiving and Ambiguous Loss Healing Your Marriage After Brain Injury Making Life Work After Brain Injury – English Making Life Work After Brain Injury – Spanish Paying the Bills Take Care of Yourself Acute Brain Injury Guide First Few Days Selecting a Rehabilitation Facility Questions to Consider Before Discharge Free and Low Cost Legal Services in NJ Power of Attorney and Guardianship Helping Your Family Member Live Independently No IEPs in College A Parent’s Guide to Concussion A Parent’s Guide to Concussion – Spanish VIDEOS Loss and Grief Following Brain Injury Caring for Caregivers Persuasion: A Cornerstone of Effective Advocacy Discharged from Rehab, Now What? IEP Strategies for the Student that has Sustained a Brain Injury Pediatric Brain Injury Relationships Protecting Yourself and Your Family with NJ Auto Insurance Professionals FACT SHEETS Coach’s Pocket Card Domestic Violence: What Professionals Need to Know Concussion in the Classroom Executive Dysfunction in Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Craniosacral Therapy and Brain Injury: A Pathway to Healing Impact of End Stage Renal Disease on Outcomes of Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury at Acute Rehabilitation Discharge The NIDILRR-sponsored TBI Model System Program Epilepsy After Brain Injury Prism Adaptation Treatment for Improving Function Vision and Functional Movements in Patients with Spatial Neglect VIDEOS August 2022 Webinar: Back-to-School Update - Athlete Brain Health and Concussion New Approaches to Diagnosing and Treating Cognitive and Neurobehavioral Problems in Patients with TBI Neurosurgical Management of Brain Aneurysms Applying an Integrated Approach to Managing the Behavioral Consequences of Emergencies Neurofatigue: The Tired Brain and How to Manage It Exploring Executive Dysfunction in Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Domestic Violence and the Role of the Healthcare Provider: Assessment and Intervention Strategies IEP Strategies for the Student that has Sustained a Brain Injury Pediatric Brain Injury Traumatic Brain Injury as a Chronic Health Condition Non-Pharmacological Management of Sleep Disturbances After TBI How Individuals with Brain Injury May Benefit from Advocacy Support [...]
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