Top Brain Injury Stories of 2011

Over the course of a year, we write hundreds of blogs. In case you missed some, here is a round-up of the most important traumatic brain injury (TBI) stories of the year. (To read any of the blogs, click on the title and you’ll be taken directly to the story.)

U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords

The year did not start off well. On January 8, 2011, a man went on a shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona. Six people were killed, 13 were injured, including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head. The rapid response of the medical team saved the lives of a dozen people shot in the rampage, including Giffords’. Over the course of the year, her recovery has been better than anyone could have predicted, a tribute to the medical advances in brain injury treatment.

Long-Term Effect of Concussion

The biggest brain injury story by far is about the long-term effects of concussion, especially in athletes. This year, scientists linked multiple concussions to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a kind of central nervous system damage that happens when people suffer repeated head injuries, typically soldiers or athletes in high impact sports, such as football or ice hockey. Early symptoms of CTE include memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and disorientation. As the disease progresses, people with CTE show behavioral problems—poor judgment, aggression, sexual compulsiveness, erratic behavior, and drug and alcohol abuse—as well as increasing nervous system symptoms, including tremors, staggering gait, deafness, and dementia. Unfortunately, the only way to definitely diagnose CTE is to examine the brain of the affected individual during an autopsy. From kids to football players to hockey teams, concussion has been the biggest TBI story of the year.

Cheer Safety

What do you call an activity requires strength, stamina, flexibility, agility, planning, and coordination with team members?  What if the participants were required to train with weight-training and aerobic exercises?  And what if that activity was performed in gymnasiums, in stadiums, and on outdoor fields?  And what if teams competed regionally and nationally? Sounds like a sport, right? Well, not to sports authorities. Cheer (what used to be called “cheerleading”) injures participants like a sport, including some devastating head injuries. That’s why we wrote a 3-part series on cheer as a sport.

How to Hire an Experienced Brain Injury Lawyer

TBI is a difficult, complex injury for doctors to treat…and for lawyers to pursue. If you are considering pursuing a legal case, it’s important to choose an attorney who knows the complicated ins and outs of brain injury. That’s why we’ve provided this guide:


In addition to blogs, we also create videos about important health, medical, and legal topics. To see all of our available videos, please visit our YouTube channel here:  HensonFuerst YouTube Channel

Here are links to some of our brain injury videos:

Symptoms of Concussion

Epidemic of Concussion in Youth Sports

Hiring an Experienced Brain Injury Lawyer

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