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The Cognitive FX Blog

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

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

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

Image of Dr. Jaycie Loewen Ph. D.
Dr. Jaycie Loewen Ph. D.

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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Cognitive Therapy for Brain Injury: What It Is and How It Can Help with Severe TBI or Concussion

Cognitive Therapy for Brain Injury: What It Is and How It Can Help with Severe TBI or Concussion

Image of Michelle Huish
Michelle Huish

If you’ve had a severe or mild traumatic brain injury (severe TBI or mild TBI) that’s left you with post-concussion syndrome (PCS), just thinking can be taxing. Cognitive health is “the ability to clearly think, learn, and remember,” but a brain injury can disrupt these processes, either temporarily or in the long term. This can make day-to-day functioning a challenge, to say the least. 

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Navigating Mental Health After Severe TBI and Concussion

Mental Health After TBI or Concussion: Recovery Is Possible

Image of Dr. Alina Fong Ph. D.
Dr. Alina Fong Ph. D.

Mild or severe traumatic brain injury (concussion and TBI) can cause upsetting changes to your mental health. Brain injury can worsen pre-existing mental illness or cause new symptoms —  such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, anger, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. Don’t give up hope: There are good treatment programs that can help you recover.

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Family & Friends: How to Help Someone with a Concussion or TBI

Family & Friends: How to Help Someone with a Concussion or TBI

Image of Kathryn Severs BSN, RN
Kathryn Severs BSN, RN

If someone you love breaks their wrist, it’s easy to know what’s next. A doctor will tell you how long the injury needs to heal, what to do, and what not to do. Helping out could mean braiding hair or carrying books. While it’s not a fun experience for anyone involved (and you might tire of being on dish duty every night), there’s always an end in sight. No one struggles to understand why they’re in pain from a broken wrist.

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

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

Image of Dr. Jaycie Loewen Ph. D.
Dr. Jaycie Loewen Ph. D.

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

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

Image of Dr. Jaycie Loewen Ph. D.
Dr. Jaycie Loewen Ph. D.

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

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

Image of Dr. Jaycie Loewen Ph. D.
Dr. Jaycie Loewen Ph. D.

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

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

Image of Dr. Jaycie Loewen Ph. D.
Dr. Jaycie Loewen Ph. D.

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

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

Image of Dr. Jaycie Loewen Ph. D.
Dr. Jaycie Loewen Ph. D.

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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