November 22, 2023 The Sun Bay Paper Page 10 The Pervasiveness and Complexity of Concussions number of concussions go undetected, as they may lack visible tissue damage on brain images, making them even more insidious. The misconception that consciousness loss is the sole indicator further complicates matters. Confusion, sensitivity to stimuli, and changes in sleep and mood are telltale signs. Post-concussive syndrome, aff ecting around 10% of those who suff er a concussion, extends recovery beyond the typical three months. The lingering question of how concussions aff ect the brain over time remains unanswered. The link between concussions and conditions such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) or later-life brain diseases is still unclear. Nonetheless, this uncertainty should not hinder proactive steps toward brain health. Post-injury, understanding how to minimize further risks becomes paramount, given the heightened susceptibility of previously injured brains. Neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to rewire itself, becomes a beacon of hope. This cellular-level change allows the brain to fi nd new pathways or detours to restore function, emphasizing the uniqueness of each brain injury. Maintaining cognitive reserves emerges as a crucial factor in both pre- and post-concussion scenarios. Studies indicate that higher cognitive reserves correlate with reduced risk of prolonged problems after a concussion. Factors such as bilingualism, an active social life, and engagement with intellectual pursuits contribute to healthier brain connections. While there is no one-sizefi ts-all approach to brain health or injury, the importance of maintaining cognitive reserves and a dynamic lifestyle cannot be overstated. Though advanced imaging for concussion detection remains elusive in standard clinical settings, optimizing sleep, abstaining from harmful substances, and leading an active life are fundamental tenets of brain health. Understanding that the brain is intricately connected to the overall health of the body, addressing medical conditions that directly impact brain health becomes imperative. High blood pressure, sleep apnea, migraines, and even hearing loss are factors that necessitate attention for comprehensive brain care. In the realm of brain health, there is no universal prescription. Individualized strategies, tailored to specifi c symptoms and risks, are paramount. Yet, the overarching principle of maintaining an active lifestyle—physically, mentally, and socially—drives neuroplasticity and preserves cognitive reserve. Research underscores the profound impact of daily activities on the brain, reinforcing the notion that every action matters in shaping our neurological well-being. As we continue to unravel the mysteries of the brain, one thing remains certain: the capacity for the brain to reshape and adapt throughout life is a profound reality. Armed with this knowledge, a more conscientious approach to brain care becomes not just a choice but a responsibility. “The County has riparian rights up to one thousand feet so that a new pier could be that long,” Shanosky says. His months of pier research tell us that if the width is rebuilt to 22 feet, the pier can accommodate between 500 and 600 people at capacity, likely sunsets. In his opinion, the price tag for a “world-class” pier is about $18 million, meaning the shortfall is between $4 and $6 million to build a new pier for a “new” Fort Myers Beach. Our state and local electeds have touted how they’ve gone to Tallahassee with hat in hand and have brought home the bacon post-Ian. Tourism is the lifeblood of FMB and Lee County. Armed with the Governor’s numbers taken directly from Visit Florida, the state’s offi cial website, our representatives have the perfect case for an investment in our town, county, and state that will pay dividends for decades. And two-thirds of the survey respondents are willing to pay higher costs elsewhere to fi nance a robust new pier. Some say the primary factor should be the speed at which the pier is rebuilt. That is a misconception. The county could quickly rebuild the old pier well under the 4.9-year average. And with that will come its problems – rangers regularly telling beach denizens that the pier is “too full” for them to watch the coming sunset and higher susceptibility to future storms because new materials and building techniques are not fully exploited. The pier should attract, not discourage, throngs of visitors – and the related economic benefi ts could number in the billions over the life of the new structure. Our community has already spoken. At the ribbon-cutting of the new pier, we don’t just want to say that we are back. FMB intends to announce to the world that we’re back and better than ever – as a premier place to visit and an even better place to live and work. Richard Luthmann Editorial Thanksgiving Feast & GiveAway Ceremony The Church of Spiritual Light presents the 2023 Fifthteenth Annual Thanksgiving Feast and Giveaway Ceremony. All are welcome to this annual event that celebrates the Potlach festival. Please bring your favorite holiday dish to share, as well as a small gift which will be given away to honor a very special sacred ancient ritual to show gratitude for our blessings. The gift should be something that has meaning to you, and you feel ready to pass along. It can include sacred objects from your past, feathers, stones, figurines or anything that has held meaning for you. In order to honor the energy it should be something that you love, and not a cast off item. The potlatch is a festival or ceremony practiced among Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest most prominently. The main purpose of the potlatch is the re-distribution and reciprocity of wealth. The word potlatch comes from the Chinook jargon, meaning “to give away” or “a gift”. Dinner it at 3pm and the church provides the turkey, mashed potatoes and dinnerware. All are welcome! Church of Spiritual Light 1939 Park Meadows Dr. #1, Fort Myers, FL 33907 ALL ARE WELCOME! Cont from pg 1 Cont from pg 4