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TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
A “header” in a high school soccer game, a whiplash from a car accident, a bomb exploding on a battlefield, all of these experiences can lead to the same result…a traumatic brain injury. For years, many individuals suffering from TBI have been misdiagnosed as malingerers or treated for depression and are prescribed medications that can aggravate their condition.
How prevalent is traumatic brain injury or TBI?
- TBI is a lot more common than people think
- Patients have included everyone from Iraq war vets to cheerleaders and football players
- Anyone that has suffered a cerebral concussion, amnesia or seizures as a result of a head trauma should be closely monitored up to one year after the incident for long-term symptoms of TBI
What are some of the symptoms of TBI?
- Common symptoms of TBI are profound fatigue, disordered sleep patterns, headaches, vertigo or dizziness, irritability or aggression, anxiety and depression, changes in personality, social or sexual inappropriateness and apathy or lack of spontaneity.
Why don’t traditional medications help TBI?
- First off, they are often misdiagnosed as just being depressed. Although they may indeed be depressed, their depression is usually secondary to their TBI.
- In many cases, physicians are concerned but perplexed by the patient’s presentation and end up trying them out on various medications many of which, unfortunately, can make their symptoms worse.
- On top of this, the patient’s life is beginning to unravel and they can sometimes lose their jobs, family and even their sense of self.
- The first thing we do is a brain map… Brain mapping is a procedure that reads the electrical impulses the brain produces (EEG) in order to identify areas of the brain that have been compromised.
- Commonly, we find electrical disruption in the frontal lobes of the TBI patient’s brain- these are the areas that deal with planning, problem-solving, decision-making, impulse control, in other words, the patient’s overall executive functioning.
- Once the compromised areas of the brain are identified, we then use neurofeedback training, which targets the disrupted areas and actually restores and strengthens them through the use of game-like displays on a computer monitor.
How long is your typical treatment path for a TBI patient?
- Can range from three to six months.
What is the outcome?
- Combination of brain mapping and neurofeedback re-regulates the brain, which restores the patient’s ability to manage their life again.
- Patients experience improved brain function individually, restored harmony in their family life and smooth re-entry back into the workforce.
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