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Did Your Symptoms Start After a Head Injury?

Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to be in a car accident or get concussed on a football field to injure your brain. A brain injury may result from a hit to the head from a seemingly innocuous fall. Brain injuries can also occur from the sudden, jarring movement of the head and neck (like whiplash).

This is Your Brain

Your brain is incredibly soft and is housed in a really hard skull with multiple sharp bony ridges, making it easy to injure. Think of a consistency between Jell-O and egg whites on the softness spectrum – that’s your brain. Jolting motions and hitting your head can cause the brain to slam into the hard interior of the skull. Such hits to the head can force brain cells to twist and stretch – resulting in brain injuries that can ruin lives.

Ask the Right Questions

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

Undiagnosed Head Injuries

It’s estimated that there are about 2 million emergency room visits for traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the U.S. each year, in addition to hundreds of thousands of unreported incidents of head trauma, including undiagnosed concussions.

Often, brain injuries that don’t result in a loss of consciousness go unnoticed and are never treated. Research shows that undiagnosed brain injuries are a major cause of ADD/ADHD, depression, panic attacks, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, divorce, homelessness and suicide. Untreated brain injuries can also lead to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Other Symptoms

Some symptoms of TBI overlap with those of other conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) where sleep problems, irritability or anger, concentration problems and social isolation are commonly found in both. Because of this, people can be misdiagnosed and given the wrong type of treatment if no one actually looks at their brain.

Two research studies published in 2015 by the research team at Amen Clinics, in collaboration with scientists from UCLA, Thomas Jefferson University, and the University of British Columbia, were able to differentiate PTSD from TBI with high accuracy using SPECT imaging. This achievement was recognized by Discover Magazine as #19 of the top 100 science stories of 2015. This research paves the way for people suffering with one or both of these conditions to get the correct treatment.

And the good news is that it’s possible to rehabilitate the brain! You truly are not stuck with the brain you have.

If you or a child have suffered a concussion or TBI, don’t delay in implementing these 3 tips for protecting your brain:

Practice Brain Safety

Always wear a helmet and make sure your children wear helmets during contact sports, bike riding, horseback riding, skateboarding, snowmobiling, skiing or snowboarding. Also, to reduce the risk of head injury, wear a seat belt in vehicles, don’t climb ladders, stay off the roof and don’t text while driving or walking.

Balance Your Blood Sugar

Keep your blood sugar balanced throughout the day with healthy snacks, green tea, and the vitamins and nutrients you need. Low blood sugar levels are associated with lower overall blood flow to the brain, poor impulse control, irritability, and bad decisions.

Take a Look

How can you really know if you have a head injury unless you get an image of your brain? Brain SPECT imaging is the best tool for determining if your brain has suffered functional damage from a concussion or TBI.

Brain SPECT imaging can:

• Help identify if there has been brain trauma
• Show brain blood flow deficits NOT visible in anatomical studies, such as CT or MRI
• Identify affected brain systems
• Help determine if there could be co-occurring conditions that need treatment
• Increase treatment compliance by showing pictures of results
• Provide scientific documentation that may help with special services or legal issues

Our Full Evaluation includes two SPECT images (concentrating and resting states), a detailed clinical history, neuropsychological testing and comprehensive evaluation with one of our doctors to target treatment specifically to your brain, using the least toxic, most effective means.

If you or a loved one have suffered a concussion or TBI and are experiencing anxiety, depression, aggressive behaviors, or memory loss, call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit us online to schedule a visit.

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COMMENTS

  1. adam struben says:

    We have the same issues with rugby in South Africa. While maybe not experiencing quite the forces generated in American football, rugby players compensate by wearing no protective gear! As a neuro psychologist it is beyond me why any responsible parent would voluntarily subject their child to this level of risk.

  2. Chris McElroy says:

    Well written article. Having had a bike accident I look forward to working with the AMEN Clinic at the advice of my daughter Megan who practices functional medicine in Austin, Texas. I look forward to being able to say “Thank You” to her…

  3. Patricia Lundquist says:

    When I was 18, I was in a very serious car accident, in which my skull was cleanly fractured in two, along with numerous other injuries. I was unconscious for 8 days. Although I was blessed with full physically, your information has helped me recognize why I experienced such a drastic change behavioural changes. I am now 55 and feel that much has settled/returned to “normal”, but it definitely impacted my life, and possibly still is. I am very interested in having the SPECT imaging done, however I live in the Greater Vancouver area of B.C. Does the UBC offer SPECT imaging to the general public, and if so, would you please send me the information?
    Thank you very much,
    Patricia

  4. Donna Bleau says:

    Thank you this is what I have said all along about my daughters problems come from. She has had 3 major head injuries. 2 she was in unconscious in 2 of the them plus she had seizures when she was pregnant. The seizure have stopped but the depression anger memory loss and all is ruining her life. But she doesn’t think anything is wrong with her. So how do I get her help??????

  5. Carol says:

    I fell off of a swing that was hung in the garage door opening and I hit my head on the concrete. I was about 7-8 yrs old. I was taken to the hospital and they clamped it shut. It was on the back right
    Near the top of my skull. I was not unconscious and even rode my little bike home about a block.
    As a child I experienced what I would call nighttime shakes very often and have experienced anxiety on and off as well as depression sometimes. I also was in a car accident where I hit my head on the steering well and had to be hospitalized and stitched up. Could this perhaps be part of the problems? Carol

  6. Tammy says:

    This is probably a topic most people cannot handle, but after being drugged with date-rape cocktail that blacked me out and gave me what felt like seizures and convulsions, I felt like my brain had been harmed.
    Not only is there ptsd after a rape, but there is also the effects of a mind that has been shut off by someone else’s drugs. Anyways, I may never be able to afford a brain scan, but it sure would be amazing if victims of rape could have scans after drugs are used on them…sadly, the local authorities wouldn’t even test me for drugs or look into what he used. Concussion is also possible considering

  7. BILL says:

    HAVE HAD A COUPLE BAD HEAD INJURIES ,,FALL AT WORK ,,CAR ACCIDENT AT WORK ,,,,,OF COURSE NOTHING WRONG ,,,TAKE A FEW PILLS ,BYE .. TROUBLE WRITING , READING ,,LOTS OF THINGS SINCE

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