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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.

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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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Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Young Adult

Can You Recover from Severe TBI? When Doctors Say No, Don't Give Up Hope (Abigail's Story)

Health care providers often set low expectations after a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). When patients exceed those expectations, it’s cause for joy. At the same time, it’s disheartening to be caught up in an endless litany of “can’t.”

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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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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Living with Post Concussion Syndrome: How 7 Patients Found Hope for Recovery

“It’s like there’s molasses in my brain.”

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Cognitive FX News  |  Education & Resources  |  Life After EPIC Treatment

What the Duke Study on fMRI Brain Scans Means for Post-Concussion Syndrome Detection

The Hariri lab at Duke University recently published a review that questions the reliability of task-based fMRI as used to examine individual patients. 

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Concussions  |  Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury  |  Young Adult

How 14 Years of Unexplained Chronic Illness Turned Out to Be Concussion-Related: A Former Figure Skater’s Story

I started figure skating competitively when I was eight years old. I loved the feeling of flying across the ice, the “wind” racing across my skin, vaulting into the air and sailing through a landing. Like many, I dreamed of the Olympics, and I poured every ounce of energy into training.

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories  |  Young Adult

How This Neuroscience Student Overcame Brain Damage from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

If you speak to him today, you’d never be able to guess that Nathan “Nate” Benson is a brain injury survivor. The Bountiful, Utah native is in his final year of undergraduate school for a Neuroscience degree at Brigham Young University (BYU).

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Education & Resources  |  Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Vision Problems After a Concussion: Symptoms & Treatment

Many people who have a concussion suffer from some kind of vision problem as a result of the concussion. However, except for “blurry vision” or “sensitivity to light,” the vision problems people often experience after head trauma are not usually listed among the most common concussion-related symptoms. These symptoms are often overlooked and left untreated, or they are not treated as effectively as possible. 

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Education & Resources  |  Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Recovering from Post-Concussion Syndrome: How to Get the Most out of Treatment

Are you still experiencing post-concussion syndrome symptoms even after resting like your doctor recommended? If you’re frustrated, tired, and in pain because your concussion symptoms won’t go away, you’re not alone. 

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Concussions  |  Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury  |  Young Adult

After Five Years of Failed Treatment, This Former Player Overcame Her Soccer Concussion Symptoms — Here’s How

When Sam Pembleton arrived at Cognitive FX for post-concussion syndrome treatment, she was shaking. Her nerves were so bad that she couldn’t speak to the other people in the waiting room. When they put her in the MRI machine, she panicked. It took several tries just to get through the scan.

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Adult  |  Female  |  Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Sports Injury

A Bike Accident Took Her Voice Away — Here’s How She Got It Back

Quirien Willemsen is a happy, busy mother to three young girls in Loenen aan de Vecht, The Netherlands. She works as a legal counsel for a bank, loves going skiing on holiday, and embraces life to the fullest. But just six months prior to this interview, it seemed like that lifestyle was lost forever.

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Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Concussion Memory Loss: Recovery Stories From 6 mTBI Patients

Memory loss is a common concussion symptom. But what many patients don’t know is that it comes in multiple forms and might not go away with time.

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Adult  |  Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

33 Years After a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), This Businessman Reclaimed His Life

Samuel Gray spent his entire life trying to push past an invisible wall. His symptoms — things like brain fog, noise sensitivity, short-term memory loss, anxiety, and depression — made every day a challenge. And for most of the thirty-three years he suffered, he had no idea that his challenges stemmed from a childhood traumatic brain injury.

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

13 Years After a Concussion From Skiing, This Mother Made the Recovery Doctors Said Was Impossible

In her youth, Myrthe van Boon loved playing sports and being outside. On breaks from school, she loved going sailing or teaching others how to sail. Her favorite holiday destination was going to the mountains to hit the slopes. But that life disappeared in an instant when she fell during a skiing trip at age 22.

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Life After EPIC Treatment

The Traumatic Recovery Process

The EPIC Treatment method often brings about a significant amount of brain change in a short period of time, causing new blood flow regulation in your brain that can be drastically different than where it has been for a very long time. As with any sudden changes, the effects of this process, while overwhelmingly positive, can have some associated challenges. We call this the Traumatic Recovery Process. Every brain is unique. Every injury is unique. Thus, every recovery is unique. Understanding what to expect in the time after your week of EPIC Treatment can help you prepare for and successfully overcome these challenges.

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Life After EPIC Treatment

Importance of Drinking Water for Your Brain

Water. Something we don’t really think about until we are hit with a gigantic wave of what feels like an unquenchable thirst. We then spend the next few minutes chugging water like it is the last thing we will ever do. We are all really good at coming up with excuses for why we haven’t had enough water.

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Life After EPIC Treatment

Perspective After Brain Injury Throughout Recovery

Everything Changed After My Brain Injury Past patient, Anna Empey shares her experiences in a series of blog posts including "10 Things I Wish I had known Before my Brain Injury", "Journaling Through Recovery" and here in this post.  I lived with post-concussion symptoms, from two separate brain injuries, for almost five years. It was one of the hardest periods in my life,  trying to make it through each day, dealing with the migraines, and fighting to live a somewhat typical life. My second injury, which was about three years into recovering from the first injury, had pretty intense impacts on my life. I pretty much quit everything I was doing. I had to keep my job and focus on working 40 hours a week, dealing with constant exhaustion and fatigue. I started avoiding crowds and people in my daily life, and, eventually, I stopped communicating much with anyone because finding words was hard. I also lived with light and sound sensitivity along with short and long-term memory problems. At this point, it was hard to see the glass half full, and I pretty much lived like my glass was half empty. 

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources  |  Life After EPIC Treatment

What Causes Headaches?

Headaches can be a tricky symptom to address. They are often one of several symptoms that may present itself after a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI). On another hand, headaches are not a requirement to support an actual diagnosis in a TBI or post-concussion symptoms (PCS). 

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources  |  Life After EPIC Treatment

Now is the Time for a New Routine

As we start a new year, now is an excellent time to implement a new routine to help you live the life you want. Not sure where to start? Begin by thinking about these questions:

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Life After EPIC Treatment

Benefits of a Booster Day

Booster Days are designed to help previous Cognitive FX patients obtain additional support after EPIC Treatment if needed.

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Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories

How Writing Can Help You During Concussion Recovery

Past patient, Anna Empey shares her experiences in a series of blog posts including "Perspective After a Brain Injury," "10 Things I Wish I had Know Before my Brain Injury," and here in this post.   When I first was recovering, I felt like I couldn’t find words to write about my experience. I couldn’t explain either written or vocally how I was feeling or what I was going through. Over time, writing became something that helped me learn how to gather my thoughts and express myself. I focused more on the act of writing something down rather than if it was written perfectly or exactly accurate. Continually writing helped me find ways to get better at it.

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources  |  Life After EPIC Treatment

5 Ways to Improve Your Sleeping Habits

Sleep: something we tell ourselves we don’t have time for, yet we always seem to need more of it.

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources  |  Life After EPIC Treatment

Top 5 Foods for Brain Health 

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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Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources  |  Life After EPIC Treatment

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

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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Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources  |  Life After EPIC Treatment

Physical Exercise and Brain Health

“Eat right and exercise” – this advice is nothing new, you’re tired of hearing it and you’re tempted to tune it out right now – but it’s not going away.  In fact, when it comes to brain health, this worn cliché is gaining more traction than ever. Here I’ll focus just on exercise and leave nutrition to another post.

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Life After EPIC Treatment

Establishing a New Daily Routine

By Brittany Prijatel, Sports Psychology Consultant With the new year comes new changes. I would like to give you 6 ways to help you identify changes that you want to make and how to fit them into a current daily routine or schedule. 1- Have a clear idea of what it is that you want to incorporate into your daily routine. How much time do I want/have to commit to this activity each day/week? 2- Map out what your current schedule is like during the day/week. It is always easier to do this with someone else so that you do not criticize and instead you analyze. There are many ways you can map out a daily routine. One way is to start with a piece of paper and write the hours from 7 am to 11 pm down the side (Hours may vary depending on your schedule). Then block out the time for each activity you are doing that day. Then you can easily see where time is going, where to add in the things you want to incorporate and what to adjust.

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Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Mental Health Support After a Brain Injury  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Positive Self-Talk: Changing Our Mind to Change Our Actions

By Brittany Pritajel Self-talk is a necessary skill to develop as you seek to increase your well-being. Self-talk is managing what you say to yourself (either out loud or in your head). As you look to improve your life after a concussion or injury you may target changing your behavior. It is important to know that behind the behavior is thoughts because what you think affects how you feel, and how you feel affects how you behave. You can change how you talk to yourself. Positive self-talk can support you as you make changes in your life and strive to reach your goals in your concussion recovery.

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Education & Resources  |  Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Mental Health Support After a Brain Injury  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Having & Keeping Motivation in 4 Steps

By Brittany Prijatel, Sports Psychology Consultant Motivation comes and goes, but one thing to remember is that it is possible to cultivate motivation. You can find and create motivation even when you are feeling unmotivated.  As we move forward into the new year, we are at the height of personal change as well as establishing new routines. Here are 4 tips to keep in mind as we approach all the changes that we are looking to incorporate into our life.

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Education & Resources  |  Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Setting & Achieving Goals

Everyone has their own ideas and opinions about goals and goal setting. One of the things that I notice as I work with individuals during EPIC concussion treatment, is that a lot of time it is not the goals that we are failing at but instead the goal setting. It may sound like a small difference but it can have a huge impact on achieving our goals.

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Education & Resources  |  Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Mental Health Support After a Brain Injury

7 Ways to Unleash the Power of Positive Thinking

Barbara Fredrickson, a psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, conducted a study about the ways positive thinking affects us. She is quantifying positivity with emotions and life impact using a positive outlook.

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources  |  Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Mental Health Support After a Brain Injury

Cultivating Gratitude

By Brittany Prijatel - Sports Psychological Consultant Gratitude is a profound tool for cultivating positivity. Gratitude is simply the conscious act of bringing your attention to what you have or want to appreciate. More importantly, gratitude is a choice. By taking the time to appreciate the abundance that we have in our lives, we create a momentum towards receiving even more. When you begin to say thank you for the things that you have, and the kindness others share, you truly notice all the great things you have to be thankful for each day. Gratitude has been demonstrated to have a large impact on multiple areas of your life. By being grateful studies have shown that individuals have seen improvements with: Immune System A Decrease in Blood Pressure Improvements in Sleep & Relationships Increases in Happiness More Feelings of Enthusiasm, Interest, Attentiveness, Energy, & Determination

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Life After EPIC Treatment

Taking Awareness with You After EPIC Treatment

By Brittany Prijatel – Cognitive FX Sports Psychology Consultant   The pinnacle of improvement is awareness. Before you can implement any sort of mental skills or techniques to help manage daily symptoms, it is important to understand the biggest piece of the puzzle is cultivating awareness. Awareness allows you to understand your symptoms as well as what may trigger them. This empowers you to create a better situation, a better day, and a better life. After EPIC Treatment it is important that you practice and use awareness to continue improving. 5 Ways to Practice Awareness & Improve Your Daily Life

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources  |  Life After EPIC Treatment

Using the Brock String Test to Strengthen Your Eyes

 What is the Brock String Test?  The Brock String Test is designed to test and treat visual perception problems. This is important because these problems can contribute to headaches, blurry vision, balance problems, and more. Symptoms that can be caused by a concussion. The Brock String Test really looks at two different things: convergence and suppression.

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