CONCUSSIONS: What is a Concussion?


So for years, we used to think that a concussion
was a brain bruise. Or some kind of physical trauma to the brain, where there was some physical damage. What we’ve learned, at least our understanding
now, is a concussion is not structural damage to the
brain. We reserve that for a different category known as
TBI (or Traumatic Brain Injury). In TBI, you can have some brain damage. A concussion is an injury to the brain, that
doesn’t require impact. So it can be that you’re spun around real fast and
the rotational forces cause it, where it changes the way that part of your brain
works. There’s not a complete answer to say, “This is
what a concussion is.” I think once we have that answer, we’ll figure out
how to diagnose it better, and how to treat it better—treat it more
efficiently. Get you on the proper rehab or medication or
supplements to help you heal. But right now there’s a lot of thinking that it at least means a change in metabolism in the
brain. The way our brain processes to sugar, glucose,
oxygen… calcium, potassium, and sodium, that changes and when you feel normal again, all those metabolic processes have gone back to
normal. There’s also something called a Vestibular
Concussion or a concussion that affects your inner ear or
balance center. Those kind of concussions really change our
treatment. Certain short-term medication, certain supplements
can help you heal quicker, feel better, quicker without masking your
symptoms. There is such a thing as Vestibular Rehab, where just like we would with somebody that has
bad vertigo we do actual physical therapy to help resolve your
symptoms. Get you back in the classroom quicker and then get
you back in school quicker.

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