CONCUSSION, POST-CONCUSSIVE SYNDROME AND TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI)
CONCUSSION AND TBI FACTS
HOW SERIOUS ARE CONCUSSIONS?
The Centers for Disease Control estimate that there are up to 3.8 million concussions sustained each year.
One out of every 10 athletes will experience a concussion during any given sport season.
Less than 10% of concussions result in a loss of consciousness (seeing stars, blacking out, etc.).
78% of all concussions occur during games, as opposed to taking place during practices.
One out of 2 athletes DO NOT report feeling ANY symptoms after receiving a concussion.
The consequences of living life with undiagnosed and untreated concussions can range from suboptimal performance to the development of Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy.)
WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?
A concussion causes damage to the brain. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury. It changes the way that a brain functions. Concussions are relatively common, particularly for individuals who play a sport that involves contact with another person or object, such as football or hockey. Though concussions often result from a blow to the head, they can also result from severe shaking of the head and upper body. Since every concussion causes at least some injury to the brain, it requires time and rest to heal properly. Most concussions are mild, and people usually recover fully. Sometimes a concussion is not obvious at the time it occurs, so people don’t realize that they have experienced it until much later, if at all.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF CONCUSSION
The effects of a concussion are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. Because a healthy brain is necessary to so many areas of a person’s functioning, a more serious or lasting concussion injury may affect an individuals’ eye movements, balance, spatial orientation, speed, accuracy, endurance, reaction time, thoughts, emotions, and overall health.
Common symptoms after a concussive traumatic brain injury are headache, loss of memory (amnesia) and confusion. The amnesia, which may or may not follow a loss of consciousness, usually involves the loss of memory of the event that caused the concussion.
Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:
- Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
- Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
- Dizziness or “seeing stars”
- Ringing in the ears
- Slurred speech
- Delayed response to questions
- Appearing dazed
- Some symptoms of concussions may be immediate or delayed in onset by hours or days after injury:
- Concentration and memory complaints
- Irritability and other personality changes
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Sleep disturbances
- Psychological adjustment problems and depression
- Disorders of taste and smell
Treating the root cause of your condition, not just your symptoms, is the fastest way to recovery and is the best way to obtain optimal health and wellness.
THOROUGH NEUROLOGICAL EXAMINATION
At Southwest Brain Performance Centers, we will insist on a complete neurological examination. To determine the underlying cause of your health issues, extensive and thorough testing is critical. A thorough Neurological Examination typically takes 1 to 1.5 hours to complete. In addition, blood, stool, and salivary testing may be required.
To accurately assess the damage caused by the injury, robust testing should be performed to establish your baseline in each of the following domains:
Motor Coordination and Reaction Time
qEEG Brain Mapping and neurofeedback
Once the above critical function areas have been evaluated and measured with the latest in diagnostic tools, all results of the testing will be analyzed through the lens of the Carrick Institute’s functional model in order to discover patterns that have begun to develop and to work with them before a more serious problem develops.
INDIVIDUAL TREATMENT PLAN WITH CUTTING-EDGE THERAPIES
Once the root cause of your condition is discovered, an individualized treatment plan can be implemented.
The vibrant field of concussion and head injury treatment is constantly changing and evolving. It's essential to ensure that you are receiving access tp the most up-to-date, comprehensive and customized tools and therapies needed to restore full brain function.
At Southwest Brain Performance Centers, we will measure your progress and communicate that progress to you effectively throughout your treatment process.
After an initial exam, we will be able to tell you where you currently are in your healing process, in a number of specific ways. Your treatment plan should be specifically tailored to meet your needs. At a minimum, you should be provided with an objective measurement of your vestibular and visual reflexes on a regular basis. Not only should we be able to tell you if you are improving, we should be able to anticipate potential setbacks and understand when to change therapies to offer improvements.
The brain controls our body, and our gut provides critical information and feedback to the brain. When this relationship breaks down, so can your health. It is not uncommon to develop GI (gastrointestinal) issues after a concussion, as a result of the communication between the brain and gut misfiring. This is why it is vital that we evaluate the brain gut connection--also referred to as the Brain Gut Axis--because it is very difficult to fully comprehend the potential degree of dysfunction within a person’s entire body without also considering this connection. In other words, if your GI system is inflamed, your brain will also be inflamed. If the Brain Gut Axis is not evaluated along with the rest of your functioning, it can be very challenging for you to progress as expected.
We will integrate our understanding of the Brain Gut Axis with functional neurology, immunology, and endocrinology, to recommend the appropriate therapies to improve not only your brain health but your overall health.
This comprehensive perspective will result in faster and more powerful healing to your brain and body.
CHALLENGES AND COMPLEXITIES OF CONCUSSIONS AND BRAIN INJURIES
We understand that each patient is unique. In each case, a variety of approaches and different types of therapies must be engaged in order to achieve the desired results. We are also equipped to identify and treat symptoms long after the original injury occurred.
In addition to the Brain-Gut Axis previously mentioned, we are trained to know when to incorporate cognitive behavioral therapy to address underlying social and stress responses associated with concussions and brain injuries. We are also trained to test for underlying metabolic issues such as anemia, gut infections, dysglycemia, thyroid disorders, etc. These issues can exacerbate the inflammatory cascade, which is occurring in the healing brain.