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Brain injury blog, concussion blog

The Cognitive FX Blog

Your source for everything you need to know about traumatic brain injury and concussions.

Dr. Jaycie Loewen

Dr. Jaycie Loewen is a Clinical Neuroscientist who received her Doctorate of Neuroscience at the University of Utah. Her background includes the study of basic and clinical brain injury, including the publication of research regarding mechanisms of epilepsy pathophysiology. Her work has elucidated the role of glial and neuronal cell profiles in viral-induced brain injury and acute seizures. Dr. Loewen is further a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar, with a Master's in Clinical Investigation awarded in 2018, as well as a recipient of the Higher Education Teaching Specialist Certificate. Through these degrees, she obtained experience with patient care and education as well as an understanding of the necessity of respecting patient experience and symptoms. Dr. Loewen’s focus is firstly patient care and education. She also provides literature analysis and aids in the publication of Cognitive FX’s research. Her goal is to improve Cognitive Fx’s ability to help patients through equal interaction and communication, as well as the furthering of concussion and mild traumatic brain injury treatment and science.

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Brain Safety & Care

Memory Loss after COVID-19: Causes and Treatment

Memory and attention problems are common in long COVID patients: A recent study showed that 70% of COVID long haulers experience memory and concentration difficulties for months after their initial disease. If you’re one of them, you might struggle to focus on work, forget where you left your keys, struggle to remember an acquaintance’s name, or space out unintentionally during a conversation. 

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources

Mild COVID Linked to Brain Damage: What That Means for You

COVID-19 can cause cognitive symptoms in some patients, such as short-term memory loss, difficulties concentrating, problems recalling words, and brain fog (a condition known as long COVID). While most initial studies focused on patients hospitalized with severe COVID symptoms, it became apparent that most long COVID patients developed their condition after only a mild case of COVID. 

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Concussions  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Post-Traumatic Headaches: Causes and Treatment Options

Headache pain is the most common symptom after a traumatic brain injury, with up to 90% of patients experiencing this symptom for at least a few days after suffering a concussion. These headaches can also develop after other causes of head trauma, such as bacterial and viral brain infections, carbon monoxide poisoning, “chemo” brain, transient ischemic attack, and COVID-19. 

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Education & Resources

Natural Treatment for COVID Long-Haulers: Know Your Options

More than 20 million Americans have lingering symptoms that can be described as long COVID (or “post-COVID conditions”), but doctors and scientists are still researching why it develops. As a result, these patients often struggle to get a diagnosis and find a suitable treatment for their condition. 

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Long COVID Headache Treatments (Beyond Medication)

If you’ve been experiencing headaches for weeks, or even months, after your initial COVID infection, you are not alone. Headaches are one of the most common neurological symptoms being experienced by COVID-19 long-haulers, and some patients even experience daily, persistent headaches. But they’re often just one of many symptoms long COVID patients report. Other common symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, gastrointestinal issues, and more. 

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources  |  Youth

Long COVID in Children is Real and It Can Be Treated

When the pandemic started, we were told that children wouldn’t be seriously affected by the virus. And while most children only experience a mild version of the disease, evidence shows that some children are at risk of developing persistent symptoms after their initial COVID-19 infection. 

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Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Head Injury Treatment: Diagnosis, Symptoms, and Recovery

Head injuries vary wildly in severity. You could suffer anything from debilitating brain damage to a few days of feeling “off” before returning to normal. You might suffer a moderate traumatic brain injury and feel no lasting effects, or suffer from persistent symptoms after “just” a mild TBI. 

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources

Post-COVID Skin Rashes, Weight Gain, Body Odor, and More

More than two years since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the list of symptoms caused by the virus keeps getting longer. In addition to the most common symptoms of a persistent dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath, many patients experience an array of seemingly random body changes both during and after the acute phase of the disease. We’ll discuss a number of them, including but not limited to:

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Concussions  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Yes, a Concussion Can Cause Difficulty Breathing (and More)

Have you ever caught yourself holding your breath while doing something challenging? Or feeling lightheaded and breathing faster when you stand up after sitting for a long time? Maybe you often have rosy cheeks without a reasonable cause, like exercise.

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources

Yes, Long COVID Can Cause POTS and Dysautonomia

Your heart races when you stand. You hate the dizzy spells. Your head hurts, you’re exhausted, and you can’t think clearly like you used to. 

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources

How Long Fatigue Lasts after COVID and How to Recover | Cognitive FX

Fatigue is a common symptom of viral infection, and having fatigue with a COVID-19 infection is no exception. But the severity and longevity of that fatigue is what sets COVID-19 apart from the common cold or even the flu. You might…

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Concussions  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Do CT Scans Show Concussions or Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Diagnosing a concussion can be a challenging process. There is no definitive test to confirm the diagnosis with 100% certainty. Instead, doctors often rely on subjective descriptions of symptoms and simple neurological examinations to check systems such as vision, balance, and cognition. 

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Education & Resources

What to Do When Long COVID Causes Erectile Dysfunction

Many patients have heard of the most common long-term effects of COVID-19: symptoms such as breathing issues, brain fog, and constant fatigue. But there is mounting evidence that COVID-19 may also affect sexual health negatively in both men and women. Men who hadn’t previously had problems of this nature have started developing erectile dysfunction (ED) after their COVID-19 infection. 

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Education & Resources

How Long COVID Shortness of Breath Lasts & What to Do about It

While recovering from COVID-19, you may find yourself getting breathless easily from activities that didn’t used to tire you, like carrying laundry or walking up the stairs. 

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources

Post COVID Brain Fog Treatment: How to Think Clearly Again

If you’ve been feeling fuzzy-headed and have been struggling to concentrate since you’ve had COVID-19, you’re not alone. Even months after the disease, some patients still can’t shake the feeling that their brain is lost in a maze. Many describe it as walking through a fog, unable to see where they’re going. 

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources  |  Patient Stories

How We Found a Viable Treatment for COVID-19 Long-Haulers

Even after you've recovered from the acute symptoms of COVID-19, you might find yourself struggling with short-term memory loss, concentration issues, and other cognitive symptoms. If it's been weeks (or even months) since you had COVID-19, it can feel like there is no reason why you should still feel this way. These lingering symptoms after initial recovery from COVID-19 have become known as “Long COVID” and can have a debilitating effect on your life. 

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Post-Concussion Menstrual Cycle Changes? You’re Not Alone

 

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Brain Injury and Exercise: How Cardio Intervals Help Patients Recover

If you’ve been struggling with lingering symptoms after a brain injury and even a mild jog is enough to trigger misery, then you might flinch at the idea of high-intensity interval training as a recovery method. But there is a way to exercise while keeping your symptom levels down.

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Brain Safety & Care  |  Concussions  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Post-Concussion Syndrome Neck Pain: Causes & Treatment Options

Many people have neck pain after a concussion or whiplash injury. It may show up immediately after your injury or weeks to months afterward. That pain may involve stiffness, tension, sharp pain, and pain associated with certain movements or behaviors (e.g., looking at your phone). The pain may feel deep or superficial.

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Why Post-Concussion Syndrome Causes Tingling Hands (And What to Do)

Tingling hands following a concussion (mild traumatic brain injury, or mTBI) might sound relatively minor, but for anyone who’s had the misfortune to experience this symptom, it can be painful, puzzling, and disruptive to daily activities.

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Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Healthy Food & Habits  |  Post Concussion Treatment

The Best Natural Remedies for Post-Concussion Syndrome Symptoms

Many doctors’ first response to a concussion is to recommend resting in a dark room until symptoms go away. And if that doesn’t work (and it won’t for up to 30% of post-concussion patients), their next step is often to prescribe medications for the symptoms that haven’t gone away.

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Concussions  |  Post Concussion Treatment

37 Symptoms of Old Head Injury and How to Treat Them

Any head injury — including concussion — can cause symptoms that last for years after the injury. Up to 30% of post-concussion patients experience symptoms beyond the expected three-month recovery window. Other types of brain injury, such as severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), transient ischemic attack (TIA), certain viral or bacterial illnesses, carbon monoxide poisoning, surgery, and chemical exposure can result in lingering symptoms, too.

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Adult  |  Car Accident  |  Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories  |  Post Concussion Treatment

TBI Brain Injury Recovery Stories: Lessons from 5 Patients

If you’ve ever felt like you were suffering alone with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), you may find it reassuring to learn you’re definitely not alone.

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Post-Concussion Stomach Problems: Loss of Appetite, Food Sensitivity, Acid Reflux, and More

When people think of concussion symptoms, they often think of the obvious ones: headaches, drowsiness, fogginess. What they don’t expect are gastrointestinal issues.

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Concussions  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Feeling Cold, Hot, or Fevered After a Head Injury: Why It Happens and What You Can Do

If you’ve experienced a concussion or traumatic brain injury, you may already know that a bewildering array of symptoms can occur days, months, and even years after the injury. 

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Why Concussion Can Lead to Blood Pressure Changes and POTS

Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), concussion (mild traumatic brain injury or mTBI), and other head trauma can cause high blood pressure, low blood pressure, and other circulatory system changes. Head injury may lead to dysfunction in the autonomic nervous system (a condition known as dysautonomia), which in turn can cause blood pressure dysfunction and other symptoms to persist for months or years after the injury. Some patients experience a particular type of dysautonomia known as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), which we discuss further in the post.

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Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

The Patient’s Guide to Post-Concussion Heart Rate Increase, Heart Palpitations, and More

Perhaps this sounds familiar: You wake up from a relaxing nap expecting to feel refreshed, but instead, your heart is pounding for no reason. Or you stand up after a few hours on the couch and feel lightheaded and unstable. Maybe your resting heart rate is now 90, even though it used to be 65.

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources  |  Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

How to Reverse Chemo Brain: Treatment for Cognitive Symptoms after Cancer

The fight with cancer is difficult enough, so it’s understandable if you’re frustrated and confused by the cognitive symptoms that can crop up after chemotherapy. Memory problems? Clouded thinking? Fatigue? No thanks!

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Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Female Concussion Patient? How to Navigate Hurdles on the Road to Recovery

Recovering from a head injury is an emotional, difficult journey whether you’re male or female. On that journey, women face a few hurdles that men do not. Today, we’d like to talk about those hurdles and a few ways you can handle them as they come.

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Emotions, Memory, and More: The After Effects of Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA or Mini-Stroke)

Here’s something you probably won’t hear in the emergency room: A transient ischemic attack (TIA, or mini-stroke) can have symptoms that last for months or years afterward. Many healthcare providers think these symptoms are rare or at least short term, but a 2013 survey from the UK Stroke Association showed otherwise. Seventy percent of respondents reported long-term after effects such as cognitive difficulties or poor mobility. And sixty percent had emotional changes after the incident.

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Brain Safety & Care  |  Healthy Food & Habits  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Nutrition for Post-Concussion Syndrome: How to Plan for Recovery

What you eat affects your health, whether you’ve sustained a traumatic brain injury or are in perfect health. But nutrition is especially important after a brain injury. Diet can be the difference between your brain getting “just enough to squeak by” vs. being powered up for healing.

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Hormone Imbalance (Including After Head Injury)

At our post-concussion treatment clinic, patients sometimes present with short- or long-term hormone dysfunction after brain injury. While we don’t treat hormonal imbalance at our clinic, we often make referrals for it and communicate with our patients’ physicians about their condition.

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Brain Safety & Care  |  Concussions  |  Education & Resources

How a Brain Injury Can Cause Hormone Dysregulation (And What to Do About It)

Low energy, difficulty concentrating, brain fog, anxiety, depression, memory problems...

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Healthy Food & Habits

The Truth About Alcohol, Caffeine, and Post-Concussion Recovery

Some doctors say it’s absolutely unsafe to drink liquor when you’re recovering from a concussion. Others say it’s safe, but it might set back your recovery. Still others say, “Why not substitute a fancy coffee for your favorite cocktail on your next night out?” (Please don’t do this. We’ll explain why later in this post.)

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Brain Safety & Care  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

The Patient’s Guide to Post-Concussion Autonomic Dysfunction (Dysautonomia)

Persistent symptoms after a head injury (post-concussion syndrome) can be confusing. They don’t always seem like problems an injured brain should cause. Symptoms like memory problems, trouble reading, or light sensitivity make sense; your brain is closely involved in those processes.

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

What Can a Neurologist Do for Post Concussion Syndrome?

What should you do when your concussion symptoms don’t go away?

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Encephalitis and Cytokines: When Viruses Like COVID-19 Have Long-Term Effects on the Brain

While the world wrestles with the COVID-19 pandemic, most news coverage is focused on what’s before us: death tolls, the emergence of new signs and symptoms, and the search for viable treatments. And this is as it should be. However, there’s something you should know that the news does not often emphasize: Of the many people who recover from COVID-19, a small percentage will have consequences of the disease that will outlast acute infection.

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Quiz: Do I Have a Concussion? (Plus What to Do About It)

Note: While this quiz will give you some insight into your current conditions, your results are only as good as your answers. It is not a substitute for seeing a doctor and is not official medical advice. If you’re experiencing any of the signs of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), seek medical attention immediately. Otherwise, feel free to use this quiz as a starting point to determine if you need further care. Also note that, while we may record your responses, it is not linked with any personally-identifying information.

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Flying with a Concussion: How to Travel Safely and Minimize Symptoms

[Note: This article was written during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We recommend that you check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for travel advisories and health information when making travel decisions.]

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Post-Concussion Nausea: Why You Feel Sick & What to Do About It

We can all agree that nausea is terrible. If it’s a one-time thing because you ate expired yogurt, well, it’s not the end of the world — you’ll be back to normal in a day or two. But nausea that lasts for days? Or comes back every time you exercise? It’s awful.

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Concussions  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Football Concussions: Prevention, Diagnosis, and Recovery

The topic of football concussions is a controversial one. If you’re a football player worried about the long-term health of your brain, it can be confusing to wade through all the information out there. Opinions range anywhere from people claiming that all the worry about football concussions is ruining the game to those who want to ban tackle football, at least for children, permanently. 

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Concussions  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Functional Neurology: What It Is and What Patients Need to Know

Modern traditional medicine has transformed the way we diagnose and treat disease and injury. And in most cases, it is extremely effective. But it doesn’t always provide the solutions patients need to improve their quality of life, especially when they suffer from poorly characterized ailments (such as unexplained chronic pain, fibromyalgia, or movement disorders).

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Post-Concussion Brain Fog: Why Your Brain Can’t Keep Up

Brain fog is one of the most common symptoms of a concussion. On lists of warning signs of a concussion, it might be listed as “trouble concentrating,” “slowness in thinking,” or even “difficulty remembering and learning new information.”

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

The Link Between Concussions and Attention Deficit Disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is difficult enough to handle alone. When you add concussions into the mix, it can feel overwhelming. The relationship between ADHD, concussions, and post-concussion syndrome is still being researched, but that doesn’t mean there’s no good info or treatment options for patients who need them.

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Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Light Sensitivity: What Causes It and What You Can Do About It (Especially if It’s Concussion Related)

Light sensitivity (photophobia) can manifest in different ways for different people. For example, you might:

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Soccer Concussions: Myths, Facts, Prevention, and Recovery

If you ask the average American which sport causes the most concussions, they’re probably going to say, “football.” It’s a contact sport with violent collisions on many plays. Football players take repeated hits to the head and often suffer concussions. 

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Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Post Concussion Syndrome & Sleep: Why You’re Suffering and What to Do About It

When you get a concussion, you may worry about when it’s safe to sleep. You might even have a friend or a family member wake you up every few hours. And while that is sometimes necessary (if you have a severe injury and have not yet received medical attention), most of the time, it’s better to sleep as much as you can while you heal.

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Post-Concussion Headaches: Causes & Treatment Options

“I feel like there’s a tight band around my head.” “My head feels like it’s blowing up like a balloon.” “I have a constant pressure headache.” “I feel like my head is being pulled apart between the eyes.”

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Medication for Post-Concussion Syndrome: Does It Work?

Many doctors aren’t aware that concussions can cause long-lasting symptoms, a condition commonly called post-concussion syndrome (PCS). As a result, they treat common symptoms rather than the underlying condition, which often involves prescription medications for each symptom. If you do manage to get a diagnosis, then the default treatment is often still medication — not because it’s the most effective option, but because many healthcare providers don’t have the connections or resources to offer other options.

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