|How many drug users who OD’d have brain damage?
The latest figures available from the Public Health Agency of Canada say over 9,000 people fatally overdosed across the country between January 2016 and June 2018. British Columbia’s coroners service recorded nearly a third of those deaths. But there are no comprehensive statistics for people who have survived the brain-damaging effects of opioids. Doctors say that information is imperative to understand the magnitude of the “forgotten” victims of the opioid crisis and to provide them with care and resources so they can become as functional as possible. Dr. Patricia Daly, chief medical health officer of Vancouver Coastal Health, called the lack of data on overdose-induced brain injuries “tragic” because neither patients nor their families get the support they need. “We focus on deaths but we forget that there’s another group of people who have been negatively impacted, some of them severely.”
|Explaining Why Concussions May Activate A Pituitary “Dimmer Switch”
For a number of years, researchers have described endocrine (glandular) problems in some people with a history of concussion. These endocrine problems can emerge months or even years after the concussive injury and can involve a puzzling constellation of multiple hormonal problems. It recently became apparent in the field that the underlying problem is under-performance of the pituitary gland. It is as if concussion in some people activates what amounts to a pituitary dimmer switch.