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The Cognitive FX Blog

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

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Education & Resources (6)

Understand the Differences Between Your Car Seat Options for Child Passenger Safety Week

Understand the Differences Between Your Car Seat Options for Child Passenger Safety Week

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Ashley van Biljon

This week is Child Passenger Safety Week, and we want to share more about ways to keep your kids safe in the car.  Car seats and boosters protect infants and children in a car accident, yet car crashes are a leading cause of death for children aged 1 to 13 years old. Car accidents often lead to traumatic brain injury for the driver and passengers, including children. The most important way to keep kids safe is by using the right car seat for them. Below are the different types of car seats on the market and the age recommendation for each type.

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Diagnosing Concussion with functional NeuroCognitive Imaging

Diagnosing Concussion with functional NeuroCognitive Imaging

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Cognitive FX Team

What imaging is used to diagnose a brain injury?

After a concussion or any hit to the head, you go to the doctor, and they tell you might have a concussion, but that it is no big deal because your symptoms will just go away with some rest right? Sometimes, but not usually. It would be nice to know exactly how you are feeling to provide the best overall treatment and a new imaging technology can do that. A Functional Magnetic Resonance Image (fMRI) is an imaging technique used to diagnose concussion and recognizes changes in the brain while you are asked to engage in cognitive tasks.

Most people have heard of an MRI and but fewer have heard of a functional MRI (fMRI). So what are they and what is the difference between them? MRI produces static images of the anatomy of the brain and a functional MRI produces images of what is going on inside the brain as it is working.  

Functional NeuroCognitive Imaging (fNCI) fNCI is a unique form of a fMRI that uses specific tests to measure how the brain is functioning. fNCI is over 98% accurate at diagnosing concussions. In the past, concussions have been subjectively diagnosed by either giving the individual a post-concussion symptom scale (PCSS) to rate the severity of their symptoms or by asking the patient if they went unconscious after getting hit. 

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What to do when concussion symptoms last a long time

What to do When Concussion Symptoms Last a Long Time?

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Cognitive FX Team

Currently, many doctors and other medical professionals tell their patients that the majority of people who have a concussion will recover in a short amount of time (under a month). However, new studies are showing that the risk for long-term symptoms is much higher than doctors and concussion specialists previously thought.

Before seeking treatment at Cognitive FX, the majority of our almost 1,000 patients struggled with their symptoms for years. We have treated patients who suffered needlessly from post-concussion symptoms for many decades. Among the oldest concussions we’ve treated was a concussion from 60 years ago.

Many of these patients had given up hope that recovery was possible. They saw their symptoms as a permanent part of their lives and futures. However, our research and patient improvement reports continue to prove that patients can drastically improve from their post-concussion symptoms.

So what should you do if you fall into this growing percentage of the population with long-term PCS? Below are the first steps you can take toward your recovery.

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Connection Between Concussion Symptoms and Brain Function

Connection Between Concussion Symptoms and Brain Function

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Cognitive FX Team

The brain loves taking the path of least resistance. This is true for blood flow and also for sending the communication signals in the brain when neurons are firing. Even a simple task requires different brain regions to work, or function, together at whatever you are trying to accomplish, be it reading this post, driving, writing, singing a song, or doing something as simple as opening your eyes, yawning, or breathing. Overall, when we are talking about brain function, we are talking about the ability for the neurons, the blood flow, and other systems in your brain to work and communicate with one another to do their job.

After mTBI, injured regions of the brain can swell. Because the brain wants to take the path of least resistance, it will use different neuronal pathways to avoid the areas where there is inflammation. This change restricts blood flow in one or more regions of your brain, causing other regions to compensate for the regions that are injured. This means that different regions are over-exerting themselves to complete the work of the injured brain regions. Think of it as a receptionist who, on top of completing her own responsibilities, now has to do the job and work of the accounting department and the CEO. This imbalanced blood flow is what we call dysregulation, or dysfunction.

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Shifting from Post-Concussion Syndrome to Post-Concussion Symptoms

Shifting from Post-Concussion Syndrome to Post-Concussion Symptoms

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Dr. Christiane Paney PhD

What comes to mind when you think of the word “syndrome?” Many commonly known syndromes are often associated with genetic factors or medical diseases that are often lifelong or have lasting effects. Because we know that many post-concussion symptoms are treatable, Cognitive FX agrees with the recent change in terminology and diagnosis that replaced post-concussion syndrome with the more accurate title of post-concussion symptoms.

What was post-concussion syndrome?

According to the latest International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), post-concussion syndrome included “subjective physical complaints (i.e. Headache, dizziness), cognitive, emotional, and behavioral changes. These disturbances can be chronic, permanent, or late emerging” (King,  Crawford,  Wenden, Moss, & Wade, 1995). More specifically, post-concussion syndrome referred to a cluster of problems that emerge or worsen after receiving a concussion, with symptoms lasting longer than three months.

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Is a Concussion a Brain Injury

Is a Concussion a Brain Injury?

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Cognitive FX Team

As Susan A. Connors said, “No brain injury is too mild to ignore or too severe to lose hope, but all brain injuries – including concussion – should be taken seriously.” Yes. a concussion is considered a brain injury.  

Many may not realize a concussion is a brain injury because it is called "mild," but it is vital that we recognize that ANY damage to the brain is a brain injury. We take concussions very seriously here at Cognitive FX and we specialize in concussion treatment along with treatment for other neurological diseases. 

No matter how normal a person with a concussion may appear, a concussion can have significant impact on an individual’s life and their ability to function. We are finding that the right treatment protocols can bring improvement, even for individuals who have been diagnosed with Post-Concussion Syndrome. 

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children dressed up holding a happy halloween sign

4 Ways to Have an Injury Free Halloween

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Cognitive FX Team

It’s getting to be that time when children’s obsession with all things strange and maybe slightly scary is reaching an all-time high. They are picking out costumes, eagerly awaiting the sugar high they’ll inevitably have, followed no doubt by a SERIOUS sugar crash.

It’s an exciting time; they get to be somebody else for just one night. Let’s go over some safety tips and tricks to ensure that the worst parts about Halloween are sugar crashes and an increased chance of cavities.

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The Cost of Distracted Driving Commit to Focus on Driving

The Cost of Distracted Driving: Commit to Focus on Driving

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Cognitive FX Team

When it comes to multitasking, we all think we’re great at it, but really only about 2% of people can successfully multitask, according to Psychology Today. Even if you think you MIGHT be one of these people, chances are, you’re probably not. Yet it seems that we all like to test out that theory in inappropriate places, specifically when we’re on the road.

Most of us have sent a text or talked on the phone while driving, but we also all have been in or know someone who has been in an accident involving distracted driving. You’d think we would have gotten the hint by now, especially with driving laws being the way that they are. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, “ 15 states prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cellphones while driving”, and “all states except 2 include at least one category for distraction on police crash report forms.”

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New Strategies to Improve Outcomes of Concussion Treatment

New Strategies to Improve Outcomes of Concussion Treatment

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Cognitive FX Team

Dr. Mark Allen, and Dr. Alina Fong presented at Pink Concussions 4th conference Pink 4 hosted in Rome, Italy after the Pediatric Aquired Brain Injury Conference

This presentation explores important topics related to concussion research and development which leads to better concussion treatment, and treatment outcomes.  

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5 Ways to Get Ready for Fall Sports

5 Ways to Get Ready for Fall Sports

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Cognitive FX Team

The new school year is just around the corner; kids are preparing for another year of learning, friendships, and experiences, and mothers are rejoicing everywhere! Whether it’s vocabulary tests, after school clubs, or sports, your kids are going to be kept pretty busy, and you want them to have the best and safest year possible.

The benefits of getting children physically active at a young age are numerous. According to The Aspen Institute, physically active children are 15% more likely to attend college, score up to 40% higher on tests, and are 1/10th as likely to be obese.

Whether this is their first year or their last participating in sports, every child wants to perform the best they can. Every parent wants their child to have a good time while also staying safe so they can keep playing the sports they love now and lead healthier and more successful lives later. http://youthreport.projectplay.us/the-solution

Here are some tips on things to help you keep your athlete safe and have a successful season.

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Top 5 Foods for Brain Health

Top 5 Foods for Brain Health 

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Cognitive FX Team

The brain is the most important organ in the human body. It regulates the profuse amount of information that the body needs to regulate itself. This includes comprehending pain levels, regulating blood pressure, controlling nervous response, creating and secreting hormones, assisting digestion, along with coordinating the countless other signals the body sends to the brain to help our body function. It is so important to give your brain the vital nutrients it needs to keep your body running in tip top shape.

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The Just Right Challenge - When to Rest & When to Push Your Limits

The Just Right Challenge - When to Rest & When to Push Your Limits

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Cognitive FX Team

The Cognitive FX EPIC Treatment program is designed to help patients recover from a concussion in a week. 

Centered around the specific deficits and symptoms of each patient, this week is intense for the mind, brain, and body, and uniquely customized to each individual. We use standard modalities that have been amplified for our patient’s specific needs such as Neurological Occupational Therapy, NeuroMuscular Therapy, Vision Therapy, Brain Games, De-stimulation and more. 

Our team focuses on giving the “Just Right Challenge” to help our patients know when to push through an exercise or when to rest or slow down a bit. The “Just Right Challenge” is simple. As you start the day you work to get to your optimal activity level. We often try to push through the mental and or physical challenges. Instead of pushing through pain and symptoms to the point of crashing, we have you slow down or take a short break , with the goal to get back to your optimal activity level again. As you move forward with this challenge, the goal is to need and take fewer breaks. 

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