The Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania Download

29:33 Download January 2nd

Monica Vaccaro, Director of Programs, and Dr. Drew Nagele, Neuro-psychologist and research site investigator, discussed the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania.  We talked about the types of brain injuries, from the common blow to the head that makes you see stars, traumatic injury from accidents, and now, the rising number of brain impairment from Opioids misuse.  

The Vision of the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania is a world in which all people with brain injuries and their supporters are leading fulfilling lives and are empowered to participate in their communities.  

They spoke of the Intersection of Brain Injury and Opioids Misuse; persons who have sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are more likely to misuse substances because of their brain injury, while persons with opioid use disorder are more likely to sustain a brain injury as a result of their opioid use.  In both cases the ability to seek and follow treatment is impaired; what might look like lack of motivation, poor performance in treatment, or a mental health disorder might be untreated brain injury.  They spoke of the need for healthcare professionals to be more aggressive in screening for injury and to approach treatment geared to the impairment.   

We also spoke of the work Dr Nagele is monitoring – researching and screening persons incarcerated for brain injury, the numbers are greater than expected and impact the individual’s success after release. 

For more information on PIA programming for caregivers, persons with brain injury and their advocacy work, go to BIAPA.ORG or call the Brain Injury Resource Line: 800-444-6443

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