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Studies Inconsistent On When Concussed Students Should Return To Learn, Policies And Protocols May Be Needed

Youth who have sustained one or more concussions may experience challenges when they return to the classroom and integrate back into active learning. Investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Children’s of Alabama have reviewed literature and studies focused on returning to academics postconcussion to identify a full range of themes and gaps in research that need to be addressed.

“Research surrounding concussed students’ returning to learn is noticeably lacking compared to that focused on return-to-play issues,” said Laura Dreer, PhD, director of the UAB Psychological and Neuropsychological Clinical Research Services.

“Parents, educators and pediatricians often struggle with how much cognitive rest is needed to let the brain heal, and how and when to safely integrate students back into the classroom without exacerbating symptoms, like headaches.”

Other questions p

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Penn First In World To Treat Patient With New Radiation Technology

Doctors at Penn Medicine have become the first in the world to treat a patient with a new treatment platform designed to streamline the way therapeutic radiation is delivered to cancer patients. The Varian Halcyon system has the ability to shorten the amount of time patients spend in treatment, and in some cases cut the length of each session by more than half. It was also designed to offer a more user-friendly approach for experts administering the treatment with the goal of making it easier to train new therapists. The first treatment was administered to a patient with head and neck cancer this month.

“This is a next-generation technology, and Penn is proud not only to have helped with its development, but also to build on our long history as radiation oncology innovators and be the first in the world to bring the new option to patients, as part of our continued pursuit to offer patie

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PET Imaging Tracks Zika Virus Infection, Disease Progression In Mouse Model

For the first time, scientists have used Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging to study brain inflammation following Zika virus infection in mice, according to a study recently published online in the journal Molecular Imaging and Biology. The technology has the added benefit of allowing investigators to study the progression of the disease over time.

Small-animal imaging has become an important research tool for preclinical studies of infectious diseases, according to senior author Thomas M. Bocan, PhD, of the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).

"Traditional methods of infectious disease research using animal models have provided limited information about disease progression until the study's endpoint, when investigators could analyze tissues from those animals," he said. "Imaging studies allow us to gather enhanced information through longitudin

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ScanSmart: New Patient Safety Initiative Calls For Cool Heads When Using CT Scans On Kids

As young athletes head onto the football field or soccer pitch this fall, there's greater awareness about the risk of concussions and other head injuries. In New Jersey hospitals and health systems, there's also a growing discussion about using CT scans to assess those injuries in young athletes.

Medical professionals worry that overuse of these scans are exposing youngsters to a new risk – an increased potential for cancer due to radiation.

"Diagnostic radiation is very, very useful when used appropriately. But if it's not used appropriately, it can be dangerous," said Dr. Ernest Leva, an associate professor and director of the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Dr. Leva is physician chair of the NJ Council of Children's Hospitals, which partnered with the Institute for Quality and Patient Safety at the New Jersey Hospital Associat

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