Every year nearly 500,000 children (14 and under) are rushed to the emergency room with some sort of traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to the Center for Disease Control. One of the most common TBIs is the mild traumatic brain injury, also known as a concussion.
Although concussions are frequently associated with athletics they can happen just as easily off the field.
“Concussions are a widely recognized sports injury, but they are more common – and subtle – than people might think,” pediatric neurosurgeon, Laurence Kleiner, MD, tells brainline.org.
Increased public awareness concerning the acute and chronic issues that arise from concussions has resulted in a higher number of patients seeking treatment. Advancements in understanding the impact concussions have on different neurological systems has given rise to new approaches for treating concussions versus “just take it easy for two weeks.” Effective treatments are highly specific to rehabilitate compromised neurological systems and therefore require detailed examination and diagnostics versus just reviewing a symptom log. Carolina Brain Center’s Dr. Darcy Dane explains, “the cookie-cutter approach does not work for concussion rehabilitation.”
So, what makes concussions so severe?
The CDC defines a concussion as a “type of traumatic brain injury – or TBI – caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or hit to the body that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.” People affected by head trauma are dealing with long-term or permanent effects such as pain, memory loss, changes in mood, balance, and more.
Concussion treatment is especially complicated due to the fragile nature of the brain. Concussion patients are usually in a delicate state and doctors are required to work quickly and strategically to come up with an accurate diagnosis and plan of action. The nimble process is one of the reasons medical professionals are constantly exploring alternative treatment options. Dr. Dane is one of the experts leading the charge in the battle against brain injuries.
Examining a patient with a concussion requires doctors to compare subjective findings, such as symptom information gathered from the patient, with neurological exam findings (cerebellar, cranial, nerve, cortical). In addition to those findings doctors also gather information through a patient’s unintentional behaviors related to vision, balance, and coordination.
The complicated process is one of the things inspiring Dr. Dane to build a more effective treatment precedent for concussed patients. Carolina Brain Center utilizes functional neurology (FN) to diagnose patients and come up with a treatment plan. FN is performed through a series of tests that help pinpoint the affected part of the brain. You can read more about Dr. Dane’s background in functional neurology and CBC’s concussion treatment here.
The medical community has praised FN in recent years for its ability to treat a wide variety of neurological disorders. In addition to concussions, Dr. Dane says she treats a lot of people who are suffering from feelings of dizziness, vertigo, or feeling like they are on a boat, that have not had a concussion. Dizziness can occur when something happens to one or more of the systems that control balance and vision. Whether due to concussion or not, it’s not always easy to pinpoint the affected area which is why many patients are turning to clinics like Carolina Brain Center.
The Carolina Brain Center Location
6404 Falls of Neuse Rd. (Suite 201)
Raleigh, NC 27615
Office Phone: (919)-703-0207
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