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Blog-The Seriousness of Concussions & TBI

The Seriousness of Concussions & TBI

At Amen Clinics, we knew about the NFL concussion problem 25 years ago, simply because we were looking at brains. We quickly learned these tragic facts: even mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) can ruin someone’s life, and the underlying impact of TBI on mental health problems is missed because most doctors don’t look at the brain.

Undiagnosed concussions and TBIs are a very serious problem.

They are a major cause of psychiatric disorders including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and panic disorder along with homelessness, domestic violence, divorce, and suicide. Furthermore, untreated brain injuries can lead to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Although we have heard about the NFL concussion crisis in the media over the past several years, this issue was brought into the spotlight when the movie, Concussion, starring Will Smith, was released. The story features the work of Dr. Bennet Omalu, who more than a decade ago, identified the physical brain pathology of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Dr. Daniel Amen was a consultant on this very important film and highly recommends seeing it because it will really help you understand the devastating, long-term impact that head trauma has on the individuals who suffer from its consequences.

How Do You Know Unless You Look?

Because we look at the brain using brain SPECT imaging, many people with a history of TBI come to Amen Clinics for evaluation, including professional athletes. In fact, Dr. Amen is the lead researcher on the first and largest brain imaging and rehabilitation study on NFL players. This research not only demonstrated high levels of brain damage in players, but also showed the possibility of significant recovery for many of them using the principles that underlie our work, including nutrition, supplementation, and exercise.

We apply these same principles for brain health to all patients with TBI. As inferred above, one of the most prevalent conditions we identify with SPECT is previously undiagnosed TBI. All too often concussions are not taken very seriously unless a person has noticeable symptoms shortly after one occurs. Many times, clinicians do not know to ask their patients about a past history of head injuries. However, we think it is very important to ask them multiple times in multiple ways because people often forget or dismiss such incidents as inconsequential, but they all matter – even sub-concussive events.

If you don’t already have your own set of questions for assessing a history of head injury, consider using ones like these:

  • Have you ever been knocked unconscious? If so, for how long?
  • Have you ever temporarily “blacked out?”
  • Have you ever gotten your “bell rung?”
  • Have you ever fallen down or been hit and felt disoriented, confused or nauseous afterward?
  • Did you play sports such as football, rugby, soccer, lacrosse or ice hockey?
  • Have you ever crashed while skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, cycling, or skating?
  • When you were a child, did you ever fall out of a tree, off the jungle gym, off a porch, or out of a window?
  • Have you ever been in a car accident, even a minor one and even if you didn’t hit your head? If so, how many?

Given the magnitude of people suffering from known TBIs as well as undiagnosed concussions, it is really important to take the time to assess for them. With the proper treatment, people can get better and live more balanced and productive lives. Contact us today at 888-288-9834 to see how we may help, or schedule a visit today.

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COMMENTS

  1. charlotte barfield, thank you and thank you for the PBS programs. says:

    Thank you and thank you for your program on PBS, it was very informative, interesting and helpful.

  2. Tanya says:

    WoW!!!!!
    When I saw the movie Concussion, I knew
    Dr. Amen had to have been a consultant!
    I woke up this morning (yeah) to find this article in my e-mail. I am happy to say that
    I have many books the Dr. Amen has written. Also, I have This Is Your Brain On
    Happy, written by Dr. Earl Henslin. (I Love It)
    I Absolutely ADMIRE Dr. Amen!!! I watch
    his shows on PBS!
    Thank you so much Dr. Amen ❤️☺️

  3. Fred Hubler says:

    The “tragic facts” referenced in this article have played out in my own life in one form or another from late childhood until my mid-40s. There were three significant impacts to the head that immediately come to mind, with a number of others along the way. Had I not come across Tana Amen’s book, The Omni Diet, and taken the advice, I likely wouldn’t be here today. It would be difficult to overstate the significance of the role of nutrition & supplementation in brain health. I can’t thank you enough for your contribution to improving the quality of people’s live through your work!!

  4. susanne saltzman says:

    As a homeopathic physician, I have treated many people successfully for this condition. Find a classical homeopath in your area!
    I’m in Hartsdale, NY.

    • Susan N says:

      I would like to hear very much about methods of treatment a homeopath uses. We are in Milwaukee, Wi and my daughter has just been diagnosed with this condition. The conventional methods are working. We need help.
      If you have any good referrals we could certainly use some direction.
      Thank you.

  5. Florida Town says:

    Is this available in Canada?

  6. Richardson Elisabeth says:

    I am 82 yr old female. Fell like a flying squirrel from about 3ft. No broken bones. Very large knot on side of head. Been about 3 months. Still funny feeling there. Did not go to doctor. Should I.

    • Brenda says:

      Please go get a check up. Three years ago, my mom fell forward hitting her eye on a doorknob and then was knocked backward hitting her head on a hardwood floor. She refused to go see a doctor. She and my dad have the idea if I am able to sit up and talk, I must be okay. She now has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s/Dementia. It’s horrible and I wonder if this was brought on by her fall. She is 80 years old. Perhaps she would have had this diagnosis anyway, I don’t know but I have to wonder if she had treatment, would things be different. She saw a neurologist a couple of years ago and had an MRI but it didn’t show anything other than what they were expecting as far as Alzheimer’s. Do yourself a favor and please get checked.

  7. Tricia says:

    I suffered from a moderate TBi back in 2014. A car accident where I got my head and was unconscious for longer than is healthy. It’s a shame the Amen treatment protocol is so expensive and out of reach for someone of my means. I’m still suffering from the effects to this day.

  8. Fv says:

    Yes yes yes. I agree with Tricia above . A shame as I would be there yesterday if I could afford it .

  9. Karen says:

    I agree. The price is so out of reach for many people. If it could be made much more affordable, just the sheer mass of people coming to Amen Clinics would more than make up for the cost reduction and therefore Amen Clinics would make more money and think of all the people that would benefit. Think of how many more people could be helped. And, isn’t that the point? Keep up the great work you do, Dr. Amen. And, please consider reducing the cost of the brain spect so more people can be helped by your amazing work in this field!

  10. Leigh Letsinger says:

    I have a son, who rode dirt bikes for many years between ages 11-18. He had many concussions and two that landed him in the hospital. He has had many problems from them and now is 26. He won’t get help because he thinks he doesn’t need it. He goes from being fine to enraged and talks of suicide. It’s terrible to watch and heartbreaking. My question is: How do my husband and I get him the help that he needs? I don’t want to lose my son…..

    • Amen Clinics says:

      Hello Leigh, thank you for reaching out and sharing with us. We’d be happy to have a Care Coordinator reach out to you directly via email to discuss your son further and options that are available. If you’d like to reach us directly, please call 888-288-9834.

  11. Caralee says:

    It is worth every penny to go to Amen Clinic. I am from Canada so paid almost 25% more due to the currency exchange to attend the Bellvue WA clinic. Like most people I do not have unlimited funds, but chose to make my mental health a priority. I do not regret one dollar, they saved my life.
    If you have had a knock on the head and it is impacting your normal daily life, you absolutely should go!

  12. Caroline Corser says:

    I agree with Tricia and others who say that Spect imaging and your consultations are too costly for the average person. My son had multiple concussions when playing football and soccer in high school and soccer through and after college. He now has post concussive syndrome and can no longer work. Are your services covered by insurance?

    • Amen Clinics says:

      Hello Caroline, we are a fee-for-service clinic but we do work with our patients to get insurance coverage by providing CPT Insurance codes as well as putting patients in touch with our insurance specialist.

  13. Maryanna Bond says:

    I had a concussion from auto accident. Fortunately I was only unconscious for a few hours. The doctor was cold & heartless. He wouldn’t give me a doctors note for my employer. He was a disappointment to me, a disgrace to the medical profession!

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