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NEWS
December 17, 2014 | By Michael Vitez, Inquirer Staff Writer
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. - Calling it "a boorish, brazen, savage intrusion," Columbia County Court Judge Gary E. Norton sentenced Angel Cruz to 22 to 36 months in prison Monday for the Feb. 23 punch that devastated Jackie Lithgow's life. Cruz, 22, was one of four Kutztown University football players who crashed a fraternity party at Bloomsburg University, starting a fight when they refused to leave. When Lithgow, then 18, a Bloomsburg freshman, tried to make peace, Cruz hit Lithgow, who fell back, his head hitting the pavement, and sustained severe brain injury.
NEWS
December 7, 2014 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
For decades, researchers have been seeking a blood test that could diagnose a concussion and tell whether it is severe enough to cause lasting brain damage. In a big step toward that holy grail, University of Pennsylvania scientists have found that a blood protein called SNTF surged and stayed elevated in professional hockey players with persistent concussion symptoms, but not in players who recovered within a few days. "These results show that SNTF has promise as a blood biomarker for sports-related concussion," said Robert Siman, a research professor of neurosurgery at Penn and lead author of the study in last month's Journal of Neurotrauma.
NEWS
October 24, 2014 | By Michael Vitez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Is she dead or isn't she? Jahi McMath, 13, was declared brain-dead in December after her heart temporarily stopped during a tonsillectomy in Oakland, Calif. The tragedy drew national attention when the girl's mother, Nailah Winkfield, persuaded a judge in January to allow her to remove the body from the hospital, still on life support. The mother brought the girl to New Jersey, where the law allows a family to refuse to remove life support from brain-dead patients for religious reasons.
NEWS
October 3, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Tracy Morgan's future bleak? The brain injury that comic Tracy Morgan , 45, suffered as a result of a June 7 crash with a Walmart tractor-trailer may leave him unable to work. Morgan is in a wheelchair and may not be able to walk for several months, his doctors have said. His lawyer, Benedict Morelli , tells the New York Post that Morgan has been working hard to rehab his body and mind - and has a good deal of work to do on his cognitive and linguistic faculties. Will he ever perform again?
NEWS
September 18, 2014 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
"Are you sure you have the right person?" Danielle S. Bassett asked. The University of Pennsylvania brain researcher is just 32, one year into her first faculty position. So when the MacArthur Foundation people called her last week, Bassett figured they were planning to award one of their coveted $625,000 grants to an older colleague, and wanted to ask her opinion. No, they wanted Bassett. The foundation named her and 20 others Wednesday as the winners of its annual fellowships, informally dubbed the "genius grants" by the media in 1981, the first year they were awarded.
NEWS
July 10, 2014 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
In an accelerated project announced Wednesday by the research arm of the Pentagon, University of Pennsylvania scientists will lead a complex national effort to treat memory impairment by delivering very small doses of electricity to the brain. The agency is funding the $22.5 million, four-year effort to seek treatments for the thousands of returning veterans who have suffered traumatic brain injury. A similar $15 million project is to be led by the University of California, Los Angeles.
SPORTS
June 4, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Dan Marino, the Hall of Fame quarterback for the Miami Dolphins and one of the NFL's highest-profile alums, has joined the ranks of former players suing the league over concussion-related injuries. In court filings late last week, Marino, 52, claimed that league officials had long been aware of the long-term effects of repeated hits to the head but chose to ignore those warnings and put players' health at risk. But unlike some of the more than 5,000 ex-players who have filed suit in federal court in Philadelphia, Marino did not specify any explicit condition with which he has struggled in his post-football career.
SPORTS
May 14, 2014 | By Mike Jensen, Inquirer Columnist
Libby Nichols, then 10 years old, wasn't considering future implications of what she was feeling after she fell at soccer practice. She just knew her head hurt. "I didn't know what all happened. I was seeing dots," Nichols said. "I continued to play. I shouldn't have. We did a heading drill right after I fell. " By that night, she was vomiting. A trip to the emergency room confirmed she'd suffered a mild concussion. As far as Nichols knows, that's the only concussion she ever suffered.
NEWS
April 23, 2014
A year ago, the Boston Marathon became a terrorist target chosen with what seemed like horrible precision. The bombing killed three, injured hundreds, and marred an iconic sporting event that resists security by its sprawling nature. The life of a metropolis was paralyzed as the perpetrators were hunted down. A year later, however, the marathon stands as a fortress of civic will. Athletes who train to run 26.2 miles heedless of typical human limitations - and, this being the Boston Marathon, some of the best among them - are not easily cowed by one more obstacle.
NEWS
April 14, 2014 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
Donna didn't expect that things would be easy after her husband Richard suffered the double whammy of a blood infection and a stroke a year ago. But it was a surprise that the emotional damage from the stroke was more disturbing than his physical disabilities. He could no longer plan his days and didn't fully understand his limitations. What hurt her most, though, was that her feelings seemed to mean nothing to him. "I think a 5-year-old probably had more empathy than he did," said Donna, 56, of Rosemont.
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