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Author Archive | Michael Mason
Ernest Hemingway

Throwing Darts at ECT

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Take a look at the familiar names that appear in Wikipedia’s “List of people who have undergone electroconvulsive therapy [ECT]” and you’ll see names of people you probably recognize: Carrie Fisher, Lou Reed, Judy Garland. As a reader, I honed in on two names in particular: Ernest Hemingway and David Foster Wallace. Both men are […]

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Blasts and Brute Force May Be Same to Brain

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A recent report from the New York Times suggests that blast-related brain injuries may share some similarities with the repeated concussions suffered by athletes in high-contact sports: “If protein deposits and tangles appear in the hippocampus area of the brain, for instance, then they would affect short-term memory; appearance in the frontal lobes could impair […]

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Real Reporting from a Brain Injured Journalist

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One of the frustrating things about the media is how it depicts brain injury. Usually the reporting is sentimentalized, dumbed-down, and heartbreakingly disingenuous. But it’s the kind of reporting that garners lots of attention. In this post, I’d like to give you an inside peek into a report that isn’t getting national acclaim, but offers […]

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Is it a Brain Injury or Isn’t It?

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Recently a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine has caused something of a furor in brain injury circles. In “Care of War Veterans with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury — Flawed Perspectives,” the authors argue that vets are being misdiagnosed with mild brain injury. While the article makes strong attempts to be scientifically […]

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Expanding on “Keeping Our Heads”

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Today, the New York Times ran my op-ed, “Keeping Our Heads,” which I wrote in response to Natasha Richardson’s death. I wrote the article in order to highlight the terrible gaps in our healthcare system that don’t appropriately address brain injury, but I feel that it’s necessary to clarify a couple of matters: 1) I […]

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Natasha Richardson TBI Promotes Prevention

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In the wake of the horrible news about actress Natasha Richardson’s TBI, the NY Times’ Liz Robbins has written a snapshot account of brain injury prevention on the slopes: “Helmets, once rarely seen on recreational skiers, are becoming increasingly popular. According to the National Ski Areas Association, 43 percent of all skiers and snowboarders surveyed […]

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Liveblogging the IA BIA Conference

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I’m currently at the IA Brain Injury Association Conference in Des Moines, IA, where at least 300 registrees are finding out more about brain injury treatment and advocacy. It’s an exciting atmosphere. Later today, Brookhaven’s own Ron Broughton will be speaking about what happens when a brain injury patient shows up in a psychiatric setting […]

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The Feeling Brain

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The University at Buffalo has recently received a grant to study an under-reported aspect of brain injury: the emotional life of survivors. According to the article, researchers have determined that many people with brain injury have difficulty interpreting the emotions of others. It’s a problem that, in theory, can be addressed through cognitive therapy. Additionally, […]

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Over 1,000 Football Related Deaths Since 1933

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The National Center for Catastrophic Injury Research isn’t a well known organization, but I thought it might be a good idea to pay it some attention in light of the recent news about NFL players suffering concussion. According to them, there have been over a thousand football-related deaths since 1933. I took a look at […]

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The Brain Injury Zeitgeist

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After recent trips to Washington DC and Iowa, I’m sharpening my eye on the most pressing issues in brain injury today. Based on a few conversations I’ve had with industry professionals (and at the TBI-ROC advisory group), I think we–as a nation–have some pretty serious gaping holes that we can now begin to address. One […]

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