Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
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#5Thoughts Friday

And now...just to recap in cased you missed it.

A PSA from our Viking friends at the Danish Road Safety Council reminding us all to wear our helmet when bicycling this summer (even if we are a careful driver).

CLICK HERE or the Picture to the Left. Enjoy!
Photo by Victor Garcia on Unsplash
In the 1930s, neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield pioneered a daring new kind of cartography. As a stenographer took notes, he delicately touched an electrode to the exposed brains of his awake, consenting patients and asked what they felt as electrical current hit different areas.

Penfield wanted to better predict which brain functions would be threatened when surgeons had to remove tumors or chunks of tissue that were triggering epileptic seizures. Stimulating adjacent brain regions, he found, produced sensations in corresponding body parts: hand, forearm, elbow. The result of his mapping was the iconic “homunculus”: a map on the brain’s wrinkled outer layer representing the surface of the body.

Penfield then ventured into more mysterious territory. When he probed the insula, a deep fold of cortex, some patients felt nauseated or gassy; others belched or vomited. “My stomach is upset and I smell something like medicine,” one said.

Penfield found those visceral signals harder to decipher than the brain’s map of the body’s surface. Brain regions responsible for different internal sensations seemed to overlap. Sensory regions were hard to distinguish from those that sent motor instructions such as telling the intestines to contract. Penfield once asked participants to swallow an electrode to detect changes in gut contractions while he stimulated their brains. But his map of the inner organs was blurry and ambiguous—and stayed that way for most of the next century.

Decades later, scientists are starting to unravel how our wet, spongy, slippery organs talk to the brain and how the brain talks back. That two-way communication, known as interoception, encompasses a complex, bodywide system of nerves and hormones. Much recent exploration has focused on the vagus nerve: a massive, meandering network of more than 100,000 fibers that travel from nearly every internal organ to the base of the brain and back again.

CLICK HERE to learn more about these amazing pathways.

June 24: Grief in the Workplace
Beth Hewett, PhD. Moderator: Chaplain Dennis DuPont - Sponsored by MDH, BHA, and MedChi
Register for this webinar at this link:

June 24: 10 a.m. All things ABLE
Kelly Nelson, Outreach Manager, Maryland ABLE Trust Accounts for Individuals with Disabilities - Sponsored by Elville & Associates
Register at this Link:

July 8: Relaxation Techniques
Hinda Dubin, MD and Amanda Robinson, M - Sponsored by MDH, BHA, and MedChiRegister for this webinar at this link:

Employment Opportunity: 
The Brain Injury Association is Hiring!

Support Services Case Manager/Membership Coordinator

The Brain Injury Association of Maryland (BIAMD) is currently seeking a new Support Services Case Manager which will report directly to the Associate Director in the administration of BIAMD’s Maryland TBI Waiver Contract, The Maryland TBI Advisory Board, BIAMD 's Support Services, and BIAMD’s Member services and outreach. This is an exciting position with lots of growth potential for the right person.

For more details and how to apply please CLICK HERE.
Photo by ERNEST TARASOV on Unsplash
Scientists have revealed a potential mechanism for how traumatic brain injury leads to neurodegenerative diseases, according to a study in fruit flies, and rat and human brain tissue, published today in eLife.
The results could aid the development of treatments that halt the progression of cell damage after brain injury, which can otherwise lead to neurological diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Repeated head trauma is linked to a progressive neurodegenerative syndrome called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Postmortem tissues from patients with CTE show dysfunctional levels of a molecule called TDP-43, which is also found in ALS, Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia.

"Although TDP-43 is a known indicator of neurodegeneration, it was not clear how repeated trauma promotes the build-up of TDP-43 in the brain," explains first author Eric Anderson, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US. "We have shown that repetitive brain trauma in fruit flies leads to a build-up of TDP-43. In this study we measured the changes of proteins in the fruit fly brain post injury to identify the molecular pathways that cause this."

From an analysis of 2,000 proteins, the team identified 361 that significantly changed in response to injury. These included components of the nuclear pore complex (NPC) involved in nucleocytoplasmic transport -- the shuttling of important cargoes between the cell nucleus and the rest of the cell.

CLICK HERE for more on this brain injury link.

Free Counseling, Stress Management and
Crisis Support
for Long-term Care Staff

Counseling Stress Management and crisis support is available for staff at assisted living facilities, group homes, as well as nursing homes. The Maryland COVID-19 Crisis Support Program offers free, confidential counseling support to ALL employees of Maryland’s long-term health care facilities impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Services are also available in Spanish.

Learn more about receiving support services for yourself or your organization. Fill out this form or, for urgent requests, call 1-800-648-3001.

For questions, email
June is PRIDE Month
While BIAMD celebrates and supports the diverse LGBTQIA+ community at all times throughout the year, Pride Month, is an opportunity to increase awareness and talk about what can be improved even further. June was selected to commemorate a tipping point in queer history — the Stonewall Uprising, which lasted 6 days in Manhattan in June 1969 as police clashed with LGBTQ protesters.

Unfortunately, the brain injury community is very familiar with stigma and discrimination and is able to relate to the challenges of being perceived as different and apart. In addition, there are thousands of members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their families wrestling with the challenges of brain injury every day. We acknowledge and celebrate them all, particularly during this special month.
"I had the weirdest dream last night."

It's a common refrain made by people whose sleeping experiences have taken them to places that surpass the waking imagination. And that's for good reason, says neuroscientist Erik Hoel, PhD, from Tufts University in Medford, MA.

Strange dreams serve an important purpose, he says, and help our brains understand day-to-day experiences in a way that enables deeper learning. Humans, he suggests in a recent study, actually expand their brain power in much the same way that artificial intelligence systems are trained to become smarter.

In fact, scientists are using deep-learning neural networks to train AI systems.

But when an AI system becomes too familiar with data, it can oversimplify its analysis, becoming an "overfitted brain" that assumes what it sees is a perfect representation of what it will encounter in future.

To counter that problem, scientists introduce a degree of chaos and randomization into their data to deepen machine learning and improve the accuracy of AI systems.

In much the same way, "our brains are so good at learning that we're always in danger of being overfitted," warns Hoel. That can lead to overly simplistic and too-familiar perceptions of the world around us. As a prompt, just like in AI training, our brains introduce chaos as we sleep, which often takes the form of outlandish dreams.
CLICK HERE for more. I wonder if naps count, too?

How Would you Like to Tell Your Story and Have it Published?

This May Be Your Chance!

Project Description: HobbleJog Foundation is collaborating with Green Heart Living Press to bring together 20 authors to share their stories of triumphant, long-term recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

We are seeking authors from across the United States who are willing to share their personal stories with TBI, including the resources that made long-term recovery possible. We are also interested in the stories of people caring for those with TBI.

To be invited to submit a chapter, you must first apply. Your application must: 1) align with the missions of HJF and Green Heart, 2) offer an inspiring perspective/experience, 3) include resources that helped make recovery possible.

We are now accepting author applications until July 31st or until we have reached our maximum number of desired authors. If you are accepted as an author, we will contact you directly no later than the second week of August, 2021.

You will be expected to submit a chapter word count of no more than 2,000 – 2,200. Editing assistance will be provided for the selected authors. The rough draft is due on Sept 30, 2021 with the final draft due on Oct 31, 2021.

Click on the link to complete and submit your application.
2) What We are Reading This Week
A.W. Bailey
Fall Back Up - Surviving Traumatic Brain Injury is the story of a family's struggle to cope with their teenage son's head injury.

Written in free verse, the book takes the reader through Luke's initial injury and coma to his miraculous recovery and rehabilitation.

The reader is invited to share this journey as told by his mother in poetry.

CLICK HERE to see more.


Just send an email to with your

  • Name,
  • Mailing Address,
  • Phone number and
  • the SUBJECT LINE: I Like to Read!

One lucky email will be chosen and
the winner will be mailed this week's book!

Watch for more Book Giveaways in upcoming #5Thoughts Fridays this summer
thanks for being a #5Thoughts Fanatic!

If you decide to buy anything mentioned in #5ThoughtsFriday, don't forget to use 
Amazon Smile and select the 
donation beneficiary.
We receive 0.5% of the purchase price and you receive the same great service, no extra charge! 
1) Quote We are Contemplating
“You look ridiculous if you dance
You Look ridiculous if you don't dance
So you might as well dance” (Three Lives)

Looking for Something fun to do in Maryland this weekend?

Click the picture below and discover a world of possibilities!
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash


Did you enjoy #5ThoughtsFriday? If so, please forward this email to a friend! 

This blog is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement of treatments, individuals, or programs which appear herein. Any external links on the website are provided for the visitor’s convenience; once you click on any of these links you are leaving BIAMD's #5ThoughtsFriday blog post. BIAMD has no control over and is not responsible for the nature, content, and availability of those sites. 

 Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.