Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries
We get bumps on the head all the time. Someone might open the car door and hit you on your head. You might slip on the ice while shoveling. Playing sports we might dive for a ball and fall awkwardly, hitting our head. How many tumbles have we taken as children, trying to learn how to ride a bike, climbing trees, or just running into things? Many of us have minor car accidents as well without even having hit our head in the process causing our brain to rattle inside our skull. Having our chair pulled from underneath us as a prank and hitting our head as we fall. The number of ways that we have had our heads hit over the years are too numerous to list.
The consequences of these hits to the head are becoming hauntingly apparent as we continue to learn more about the brain and how to evaluate brain function. The cascade of symptoms that follow a hit to the head are numerous and often overlooked or attributed to other causes.
Frustrations that come from having a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI):
1. People with a traumatic brain injury are very frequently misdiagnosed, often by multiple doctors
a) This alone becomes very frustrating since nobody is able to pinpoint what is wrong with you and causes other symptoms to occur like depression, anxiety and mood disorders
b) The list of doctors and therapists are very small in regards to their being able to test, evaluate, and refer for proper studies and specific treatments
c) The symptoms that occur following a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) overlap considerably with many common psychiatric disorders (anxiety, depression, PTSD, emotional control issues, cognitive dysfunction, conversion disorder,
2. Regular CAT scans and MRI’s usually have normal findings and are not sensitive enough to show abnormal results.
3. Friends and family do not understand you anymore. You don’t look injured. You seem fine to go out and resume your previous activities. What they don’t have is the ability to place themselves in your shoes and the frustration that comes with the daily headaches, nausea, emotional issues, and constantly searching for words. They don’t understand that an evening out in a loud restaurant and a movie might set you back with terrible symptoms for three days.
Having an ability to “see” the brain injury with imaging is the most objective way to determine what was caused by a TBI and what was caused by something else (PTSD, malingering, metabolic disorders). Quantitative EEG (QEEG) or brain mapping is a process that can not only determine which areas that are not communicating properly, are asymmetrical, or are simply over or underfiring. With this data, a proper treatment plan can be put in place.
Advanced MR imaging techniques, including susceptibility-weighted (SWI), diffusion tensor (DTI) and MR spectroscopy (MRSI) are able to reveal brain injuries where CT scans and conventional MRI appear normal. Having more advanced testing performed like these only add to the effectiveness of the treatment plan.
Having a team of well trained doctors and therapists working together, that understand how to treat a Traumatic Brain Injury, is considered the gold standard of care. Having this experienced cohesive team working for you is the most efficient way of helping you through the frustrations in your time of need. We work with Functional Neurologists, Neuropsychologists, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Cognitive Therapists, Psychologists, Counselors, Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, that all work as a team that is determined to provide the best treatment for your particular needs.