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Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)
Concussions and other forms of mild traumatic brain injuries, especially those resulting from traditional contact sports have been the subject of increasingly intense attention from many parent, media, and medical groups; and for good reason. Research from leading experts in the field of traumatic brain injury consistently produce evidence of the alarming, and even potentially life threatening, long-term results of chronic or repeated mild injury to the brain or head.
Brain Hub in Sydney focuses on progressive vestibular rehabilitation and brain-based therapy (supporting medical and clinical neuroscience research on the management of these conditions with vestibular rehabilitation is provided within the website) for people suffering from:
- Dizziness and balance disorders
- BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo)
- mTBI (mild traumatic brain injury)
- ABI (acquired brain injury)
Understanding Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)
Concussions are the most common form of mild traumatic brain injury. Often the result of being struck or bumped or in the head, concussions cause a temporary disruption in brain function that may or may not result in immediate physical or mental symptoms.
While most people commonly associate a concussion with being “knocked out”; nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, research indicates that nearly 90% of concussions occur without the loss of conscious.
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LEARN HOW TO DECREASE YOUR CHILD’S RISK OF CONCUSSION AND MTBI
Common Causes of Concussion and mTBI
Mild traumatic brain injuries can occur anytime something causes the brain to jolt against the skull. The CDC estimates one concussion occurs every 21 seconds1 . The most common causes of mild traumatic brain injury and concussion include:
- Car Accidents
- Horseback Riding Injuries
- Falls (most occurring in the elderly)
- Playground Injuries
- Sports-Related Injuries (especially in rugby, American football, hockey, cycling, MMA, boxing, skiing and snowboarding).
Concussion and mTBI Statistics
Males are twice as likely as females to sustain a brain injury
Males between the ages of 15 & 24 are at the highest risk
Other alarming statistics related to concussion and mTBI include:
Of the nearly
annual traumatic brain injury related events, between 75% and 90% are the result of concussion or other types of mTBI
Up to an estimated
sports-related traumatic brain injuries occur each year in the United States alone. Most injuries related to traumatic brain injury and concussion are never treated by a physician.
children suffer a concussion each year worldwide; perhaps more alarming is that over 30,000 of these children sustain long-term injuries or disabilities as a result of the concussion or traumatic brain injury.
Of particular concern is the fact that in Australia alone, sports-related concussions occurring in children have increased by over 60% in the last 10 years 4. Adding to the concern with sports-related mTBI is the fact that athletes suffering a concussion are 40% to 60% more likely to suffer a second concussion. Research clearly demonstrates that young athletes suffering concussions are early concussions are at a significantly increased risk to suffer debilitating physical and mental decline up 3 decades later.
Basic Concussion Neuroscience
Concussions are caused by a sudden blow to the head that leads to a temporary disruption in brain activity. Symptoms in the minutes and hours following a concussion can range from a temporary loss of consciousness and general disorientation to dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. With rest, these symptoms generally subside within several days. But for some, persistent headaches sleep disturbances, memory problems, and difficulties concentrating will continue for weeks or longer.
Concussions and mTBI occur when the brain is slammed against the skull with enough force to stretch, tear, or damage the cells of the brain.
Once injured, electrical and chemical function of the brain cell is impeded; to compensate for the injury, the brain focuses on repairing the injury, shutting down the injured-portion of the brain as it heals.
While most of the damage caused during a first-time concussion is temporary, some result in permanent damage; repeated concussions, and especially those occurring before the brain has completely healed can result in long-term changes in the brain resulting in a degenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Preseason Baseline Concussion Testing
We highly recommend that all competitive athletes, regardless of age, undergo a preseason baseline concussion test prior to participating in practices or competition.
Our Preseason Baseline Concussion Testing program is completed in under 30 minutes and assesses athletes’ pre-concussion cognitive performance in a number of important areas, including:
- Eye-Movement Recordings
- Reaction Time
- Problem Solving
- Short and Long-Term Memory
- Potential Pre-Existing Concussion Symptoms
Our preseason data is then used to compare athletes’ performance on the test after a concussion has occurred. Our highly trained medical staff uses this data to develop a personalized “return to play” recovery plan for each of our athletes. Click here to learn more about Preseason Baseline Concussion Testing
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Symptoms of Concussions
While a bump on the head may not seem that big of a deal to the young athlete, the long-term effects of a concussion, especially multiple concussions, can be dire and have been observed to mimic the symptoms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the Mayo Clinic, complications of concussion may include5 :
- Epilepsy the chance of developing epilepsy is double during the first 5 years following a concussion.
- Post-concussion syndrome often occurring days after the initial concussion, symptoms included headache, dizziness and balance issues, and cognitive processing issues, post-concussion syndrome has been observed to last weeks and even a few months after initial concussion, post-traumatic headaches.
- Post-traumatic vertigo mild traumatic brain injuries can cause a constant feeling of dizziness, spinning and loss of balance that lasts days, a few weeks, or even several months.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
Perhaps the most significant condition associated with concussion and mild traumatic brain injury is a condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). This progressive, irreversible result of chronic, recurrent brain injuries – including concussions – is often a result of brain injuries, including concussions, with symptoms showing a few years to decades after participation in sports.
CTE is a condition where the brain deteriorates as a result of an excess build up of the protein tau. Progressive over time, CTE results in debilitating mental and physical conditions, including confusion, impaired judgment and impulse control, aggression, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and eventually results in progressive dementia 6.
Solution for Concussion & mTBI
Reference (medical and clinical neuroscience research) SUPPORTING the use of VESTIBULAR REHABILITATION for the management of CONCUSSIONS is included above
• Physical examination
• Neurological testing
• Metabolic and nutritional
• History questionnaires
• Report of findings
• Clear answers
• Options for treatment
• Solution recommended
Physical therapy and exercises
Neurological and brain-based therapy
Vestibular (balance) rehabilitation
Metabolic and dietary