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Veterans receiving treatment for traumatic brain injuries at a new health and wellness center in Martinez, California, are helping researchers develop new ways to treat both military and civilian patients who suffer from them.

About 1.7 million Americans per year suffer brain injuries from car crashes, falls and other accidents, and about three-fourths of those injuries come with a concussion. Doctors at the brain health center are hopeful their work with military veterans, who more likely suffered injuries from roadside bombs or combat, will improve overall treatment of brain injuries. Advanced research could also benefit those suffering from neurological diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.

Some researchers at the brain health center are focusing on a more accurate way to spot abnormalities in brain tissue that can't always be seen in an MRI. They're also developing a computer-based test to better measure cognitive ability, another way to diagnose a TBI.

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For many, summer seems to have come and gone in the blink of an eye. But for one California family, summer may have felt like it would never end as they watched their loved one recover from a traumatic brain injury that occurred in the spring.

In a previous post, we shared the story about the man who was beaten after a Dodgers game in Los Angeles. He had been attacked in the stadium parking lot and sustained a serious brain injury, leaving him hospitalized and in a coma. As is typical in the wake of a brain injury, the recovery process was long and difficult. But now after several months the man is finally leaving the hospital.

A spokesperson for the hospital announced that the man would be transferred to a rehabilitation facility to get more specialized rehabilitation to continue his path to recovery. The brain injury had caused the man's brain to swell, increasing pressure in his skull. He underwent several surgical procedures to relieve the pressure and to ensure that the swelling wouldn't return.

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There are different types of traditional therapy that can be used to help brain injury victims. Often individuals who've suffered a traumatic brain injury must relearn even the most common everyday tasks such as eating and walking. Typically, patients will endure cognitive therapy and long-term physical therapy to help retrain their brain and muscles.

One particular group that has been the focus of brain injury treatment is the group of veterans who return from active duty with traumatic brain injuries. It is estimated that approximately 115,000 troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan sustained serious brain injuries. And though the specific needs for each injured soldier may differ, some are hopeful that a new type of therapy will help their recovery both mentally and physically.

It is easy to forget that a traumatic brain injury can also have a serious impact on the victim's mental health. Brain injury victims can become easily discouraged; motions that had been second nature prior to the injury may now be extremely challenging. But physicians are finding that surfing could be physically, mentally, and emotionally therapeutic for traumatic brain injury victims.

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For many brain injury victims, the injury sustained is life-altering and means a lifetime of recovery. The mental and physical rehabilitation process can be extremely frustrating for brain injury victims as they often must relearn how to perform everyday tasks.

But when his son suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident, one San Jose, California, father decided to use his experience as an engineer and cyclist to help with his son's recovery. The crash occurred three years ago and left his son unable to fully control the left side of his body. He also struggles with short term memory and speaking.

Watching his son endure therapy, the father decided to create a tricycle that would be fun for his son to ride but also help speed up his recovery. The trike is a tandem trike, with the front cyclist reclined on his or her back. The father designed the tandem trike this way so that he could pedal with his son, retraining his muscles and helping his brain get used to the motions. It is designed with his son's specific needs in mind and is constantly being adjusted as he grows stronger and regains mobility.

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Baseball season had arrived. The season opener game between the Dodgers and the Giants had concluded and fans were heading home with the incident occurred. A Giants fan was attacked by two men and beaten severely. He suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result and was immediately hospitalized.

Since the attack six weeks ago, the man is still in critical condition and has not regained consciousness. His family is hopeful that he will wake up soon. Hospital officials are uncertain as to how his recovery will go; his loved ones have noted that he is responding to certain stimuli. But brain injury victims have a tough road to recovery.

The man is being moved to a medical center closer to his home and ultimately will be moved to a rehabilitation center. But thus far, hospital officials are just trying to make sure that he remains in a stable condition during the first move.

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