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Prevent Long-Term Effects of Concussions

November 26, 2019

We have all learned about the consequences of repetitive concussive injuries sustained on the football field by professional athletes — cognitive decline, brain fog, anger, memory loss, personality changes, and more. You don’t have to be an NFL player to be at risk for a concussion because, in reality, we are all at risk for a concussive injury. Slips and falls, everyday play, car accidents; really, any activity where a head hit, or head injury takes place can result in a concussion. As a result of a sudden blow, jolt, or change of direction (e.g., whiplash), the brain suddenly shifts within the skull. This sudden brain shift within the head can result in torn nerve axons, bruising, and damage to blood vessels. If not treated properly, damage and inflammation can adversely affect brain function, even long after the initial injury.

Because children’s brains are still growing, they are especially vulnerable to the long-term effects of a concussion. Damage caused by a concussive injury can impede normal brain function and development. The customary advice given is to ‘wait and rest’ when your child sustains a head hit. However, if you observe that your child is experiencing headaches, light sensitivity, vision problems, difficulty concentrating, balance problems, dizziness, nausea, or fatigue, you need to take more aggressive action. Potential long-term effects of childhood concussions include abnormal brain activity that lasts for years, memory problems, attention deficits, difficulty handling anger, language impairment, personality changes, anxiety and depression, difficulty making decisions, “foggy” thinking, and more.

Fortunately, the more we learn about the brain, the better we can treat concussions and prevent adverse long-term effects. For patients that seek care close to the time of the concussive injury, we can take immediate steps to minimize damage. We aim to prevent further neuronal injury by reducing the inflammatory cascade that is set in motion after the initial brain injury occurs. The use of select anti-inflammatory nutrients and homeopathics is critical at this juncture. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is also a powerful tool that helps to reduce inflammation and speed the healing process.

Testing
Some of the testing involves brain imaging and neurocognitive testing. With the growing awareness of the ramifications associated with concussions, many schools and teams now encourage athletes of all ages to consider having a baseline brain neurocognitive assessment. Many adults also opt to evaluate their brain function. In today’s competitive work environment, adults want to stay on top of their “workplace game.” We employ a Baseline Brain Neurocognitive Assessment to assess brain function. Also, one of the most accurate tools to measure the functioning of the brain is an EEG (electroencephalogram). At our office, we use EEG with sLoreta to accurately image the brain and detect abnormal brainwave patterns. This cutting-edge sLoreta technology has capabilities to measure, in real-time, electrical function deep within the brain’s cortex. Using this advanced technology, we can evaluate whether an injury has occurred, as well as whether brainwave patterns associated with metabolic imbalances and overall brain dysregulation are present.

Neurotherapies
With the use of multiple neurotherapies, such as neurostimulation, neurofeedback, phototherapy/photobiomodulation, activated PRP, and more, we can enhance your brain’s ability to recover from traumatic brain injury and help to restore your brain function.

1. EEG Neurofeedback is a painless, non-invasive, and remarkably effective way to hone your brain’s performance. Neurofeedback training protocols are tailored to the patients’ needs and are guided by a detailed brain map from an initial baseline study. At each EEG neurofeedback session, electrode sensors are placed at specific sites on the scalp, or patients wear a special EEG cap. Typically, patients either watch a movie of their choice or play a simple computer game, such as flying an airplane or Pac-Man. There are also certain protocols in which patients lie down with their eyes closed while listening to gentle music. In addition to post-concussion symptoms, EEG neurofeedback is known to help many conditions, including ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, dyslexia, learning disabilities, migraines, post-stroke symptoms, PTSD, autism, fibromyalgia, OCD, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, tinnitus, epilepsy, and more.

2. Photobiomodulation. Experience healing at the speed of light. Here laser light phototherapy is absorbed by the brain cell’s mitochondria to increase ATP (the energy molecule of the cell) production, DNA and RNA synthesis, while decreasing inflammation.

3. Pulsed Magnetic and Transcranial Electrical Stimulation. Pulsed magnetic and transcranial electrical stimulation are noninvasive procedures that stimulate nerve cells and help correct imbalances in the brain, guided by advanced EEG brain mapping. These therapies can be used in conjunction with neurofeedback.

4. TBI and Brain Rejuvenation Program. We are the only clinic in the region offering this patented invention by Colorado physician Dr. John Hughes. PRP (platelet-rich plasma), IV Therapy, targeted nutrient support, HBOT, Cranial Osteopathy, Neurofeedback, photobiomodulation, and Transcranial electrical and magnetic stimulation work together to enhance brain function and healing. This procedure helps those suffering from traumatic brain injuries and helps to heal the injured brain and improve cognitive function and memory. Neurocognitive testing and brain imaging can show the areas of weakness, damage, and abnormal brain waves. With the use of multiple neurotherapies we can enhance your brain’s ability to recover from your TBI (traumatic brain injury) and help to restore your brain function.

Just because you are no longer a child, nor a professional athlete, if you suffer from any of the symptoms that are commonly associated with a concussive injury, it is prudent to undergo baseline testing as well as a neurocognitive evaluation to look for an old brain injury. Do you recall that slip on the ice where your head hit the frozen ground, the years ago “rear-ender” car accident when you sustained a whip lash, your big sister dropping you out of the crib, that “oh no” fall off the ladder from your gutter cleaning days? The accidental “golf club” head hit from your buddy when you were a professional miniature golf pro may still be lingering in your brain. (And, yes, we can “see” it). You owe it to your brain (and yourself) to be evaluated and treated.

Dr. Adam Breiner practices naturopathic medicine at Whole-Body Medicine in Fairfield, CT. Patients from Connecticut and surrounding states seek his care for Lyme Disease, Brain Injuries, such as stroke, concussions, TBI, as well as enhanced Brain Performance. View Dr. Breiner video lecture Concussions: New Hope and Insights in Traumatic Brain Injuries on his website. Visit the NeuroEdge Brain Performance Center at: www.wholebodymed.com or to schedule an appointment or consultation call 203-371-8258 ext. 2.

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