Traumatic Brain Injury Blog

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Tagged with “Exercise”

January 17, 2017

“Rest Until Symptom Recovery” May Not be the Best Medicine for Children and Adolescents Recovering from Acute Concussion

In a study published in  the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on December 20, 2016, Canadian researchers found that children and adolescents who returned to exercise within seven days of experiencing a concussion had nearly half the rate of persistent post-concussive symptoms a month later. This finding challenges the current cornerstone of pediatric concussion management, which is physical and cognitive rest until acute symptoms have resolved. Read More

May 28, 2015

A New Paradigm for Understanding Incapacitating Post-Concussion Syndrome

In a study published in April 2015 in the medical journal Brain Behavior and Immunity, a team of Canadian researchers at McMaster University presents a new understanding of the cause of the wide-array of symptoms experienced by some patients following concussion, such as headaches, dizziness, sleep disturbance, fatigue, cognitive impairment and neuropsychiatric symptoms.

This new paradigm helps to explain why the same pattern of symptoms can be found in some non-head injury patients, such a patient who has experienced infections or a patient diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. It also helps to explain why some patients recover and others do not and why pre-accident experience can influence the course of post-accident recovery. Read More

May 27, 2014

Concussion as a Medical Diagnosis

Different symptom patterns of concussion depend on the precise nature of the damage to the brain

TBI-brain-image-150wMedical research is increasingly identifying the various ways a concussion can impact the brain and is providing explanations for why different symptoms persist in a subset of people diagnosed with concussion, based on the anatomy and physiology of the brain.

Much of this recent research has benefited from new techniques to “image” the brain, including various MRI techniques such as “diffusion tensor imaging” (“DTI”).  In a prior post, I discussed research concerning  the subset of concussed patients who experience persistent ocular (vision) and vestibular (balance) problems. A paper published online on April 15, 2014 in the journal Radiology reported that DTI imaging of patients with these symptoms revealed damage in the parts of the brain know to be associated with vision and balance. Read More

December 11, 2013

Functional Brain Imaging Helps Explain Post-Concussion Symptoms and Role of Exercise in Healing

Using functional brain imaging (fMRI) a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Buffalo have documented metabolic and physiologic changes in the brains of patients experiencing post-concussion symptoms. They found improvements in both imaging findings and in patient symptoms following a  controlled, progressive aerobic exercise program. The results have been published in both the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation   and in Current Sports Medicine Reports and are summarized in UB news releases. Read More

May 15, 2013

Reconciling “ Who I Am Now” with “Who I Used to Be”

The human brain is complex. Every brain injury is unique. But nearly every person who suffers a brain injury experiences that frightening feeling of  “I am not myself anymore.” In mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) cases, specifically, this feeling may recede over a period of weeks or months. But for others, it does not.

Whether the symptoms are permanent, improve, or get worse, the reasons for these differences are constantly researched—looking for ways to explain, prevent, and/or heal traumatic brain injuries. Several new studies on mild brain injury are examining factors ranging from genetic differences to differences in emotional make-up in order to understand why these differences exist. New research is leading to new approaches in treatment and rehabilitation, as well as prevention.

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