Concussion: Effects of Concussion and Treatment for Concussion

What Is A Concussion?

A concussion is one of the milder forms of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), but it is still a brain injury and should be treated accordingly. A concussion is caused by a sudden bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Although the brain is cushioned by protective fluid within the confines of the skull, a violent head injury can actually cause the brain to move within the head. Traumatic brain injuries such as concussions can cause bruising to the brain and damage to the blood vessels and nerves.

Concussions happen so frequently in sports and accidents that we may think they’re not a big deal. But this is a brain injury and is absolutely a big deal.

What Are the Symptoms or the Effects of Concussion?

Immediately following a blow to the head causing a concussion, the concussed person may experience a loss of balance and dizziness, impaired vision, or they may even lose consciousness. The brain is injured and confused, and it does not work properly. Immediately following an accident, to assess the severity of an injury and begin to diagnose and plan for treatment for concussion, a health care professional may ask the concussed individual to answer simple questions, such as “What day is today?” and “Who is the president?” Difficulty answering questions such as these is the first sign of a possible concussion.

Concussion symptoms may appear quickly, within a few days of the injury, or over a period of weeks or months. Effects of concussion can include:

These may be exacerbated if the concussed person tries to resume normal activities too quickly. The brain has been injured and needs to heal. It is also very, very important to avoid any activities that could potentially lead to a second concussion before the first has healed.

What About Long-Term Effects of a Concussion?

For weeks or months after a concussion, the concussed person may experience Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS). Some of the same symptoms that usually appear soon after the injury may persist, or sometimes, they may take time to emerge. These can include irritability, problems with memory or focus, long-lasting nausea, drowsiness, headache, loss of balance, and even anxiety and depression. It is theorized that the recent suicide of Junior Seau, who had sustained numerous concussions during his NFL career, could be linked to the lingering effects of PCS in the form of depression. Many times PCS lessens and disappears over time…but sometimes not.

What Can Be Done About Lasting Concussion Symptoms?

There is no medication specifically targeting PCS, although anti-depressants and related medications can be used just as they are in depression and anxiety not caused by brain injuries. Psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy can be useful, particularly if the concussion has exacerbated psychological issues that were already present — but it only works for some TBI victims, and doesn’t help the brain function problems associated with PCS.

Neurofeedback can be a very effective treatment for concussion and lingering post-concussion issues. The qEEG, or brain map, can often identify the areas affected much better than MRI and CT scans. Injuries to the brain alter the brainwaves and may have a significant effect on brain function. The qEEG picks up on those brainwave changes so they can be re-trained to behave normally again. Re-training the brainwaves affected by the injury helps to restore the body to normal functioning and health.

Brain Changers works with clients who have suffered concussions and other Traumatic Brain Injuries. Treatment is quite extensive for these clients, but the long-term results are worth the time invested. Barring another concussion or trauma, clients experience ongoing improvements in the areas affected by the injury.

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