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

Rest and Concussions: Why Taking Brain Breaks Is Good for You

Have you ever gotten stuck in a task, set it aside for a while, and then discovered that it somehow seemed easy when you came back to it? If so, you’ve experienced the power of strategic breaks to re-energize your brain. If you’re recovering from a traumatic brain injury, these breaks play a vital role in revitalizing your brain throughout the day. 

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Education & Resources  |  Mental Health Support After a Brain Injury  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Suicidal Thoughts and Post-Concussion Syndrome: What Can You Do?

Sustaining a traumatic brain injury can be a challenging experience. You probably felt angry, demoralized, helpless, and even hopeless in the days following your injury. For some people, these feelings eventually subside and disappear — but that didn't happen for you.

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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  |  Concussions  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Can a Chiropractor Help with Post-Concussion Syndrome?

If you have post-concussion syndrome (PCS), then you likely know how difficult it is to get an accurate diagnosis and comprehensive treatment. Many medical doctors don’t have the resources to treat PCS effectively, or they rely exclusively on pharmaceuticals that help some symptoms while making others worse. So when you find a healthcare provider who (a) actually knows what post-concussion syndrome is, and (b) claims to treat it, then it’s worth following up.

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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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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Brain Safety & Care  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Testimonial Type - Car Accident

Post-Concussion Syndrome Car Accident Settlements: How They Work, Mistakes to Avoid, and Insights from Real Cases

Receiving a concussion in a car accident can be an extremely traumatic experience, regardless of whether you were at fault. 

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

Which Type of Head Injury Doctor to See for Your Concussion or TBI

The type of head injury doctor you need to see depends on the type of injury you’ve experienced and how long ago the injury occurred. Doctors who excel at concussion treatment, for example, are often not the doctors you would see for a skull fracture. 

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Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Testimonial Topic - Adult  |  Testimonial Type - Car Accident

TBI and Other Brain Injury Recovery Stories: Lessons from 5 Survivors

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

What to Expect for Concussion, Severe TBI, and ‘Non-Traumatic’ Hypoxic Brain Injury Recovery

Brain injury recovery is hard. The severity of your injury, which parts of your brain were affected, and how they were affected, all factor into things such as how much you can recover and how long it will take.

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Concussions  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

A Complete Guide to Post-Concussion Syndrome

Post-concussion syndrome occurs when concussion symptoms persist for months or years after sustaining a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or another type of brain trauma. If you or a loved one received a post-concussion syndrome (PCS) diagnosis, you're probably wondering if it's treatable. (Short answer: yes!) You may also want to know how long recovery takes, what you can do to alleviate symptoms, and whether what you're experiencing is "normal." We treat post-concussion patients every day and regularly answer these questions for our patients. This guide will help you understand post-concussion syndrome in depth by answering a number of questions, including:

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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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Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Testimonial Topic - 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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Education & Resources  |  Mental Health Support After a Brain Injury  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Navigating Mental Health After Severe TBI and Concussion

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

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

How to Get the Best Vestibular Therapy for Concussion Symptoms

Dizziness. Nausea. Balance problems. Car-sickness. These are a few of the unpleasant symptoms of vestibular dysfunction after a head injury. Fortunately, they don’t have to be permanent; most patients make rapid improvement with a good therapist. 

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

Neurofeedback for Post-Concussion Syndrome: Separating Myth from Fact

Neurofeedback is a confusing topic for patients to decipher on their own. Many clinics use big words and brief explanations, and they claim that neurofeedback can cure any number of conditions, from ADHD to post-concussion syndrome.

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

Dry Needling and Acupuncture for Concussion: Can They Relieve Your Symptoms?

Dry needling and acupuncture can help relieve certain post-concussion symptoms. They are not a cure-all, either for acute concussion or post-concussion syndrome, but if you suffer from headaches, neck and back pain, or nausea, keep reading.

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

Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Help with Brain Injury Recovery?

Oxygen is good for the brain. A lack of oxygen is bad for the brain. So is getting more than normal levels of oxygen better for the brain?

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

What You Need to Know About TBI Symptoms and Treatment

Between 80,000-90,000 of people who suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) each year develop long-term disabilities related to their TBI. Many others suffer from a variety of long-term, problematic symptoms that continue to interfere with their lives. When they try to get help for these issues, they are often told there’s nothing more that can be done — or worse, that there’s nothing wrong with them at all. Here’s the good news: Recovery can and does continue for patients who find the right help.

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

Concussions Can Result in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Learn Why and What Can Help

Anxiety. Depression. Irritability. Dramatic mood swings. Difficulty sleeping and concentrating.

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

Long-Term Anxiety After a Concussion: Why You Feel This Way and How to Move Forward

There is a whole world of hurt and pain for patients who experience mental health symptoms after a concussion. Not all of them realize that concussions can cause anxiety, and those who do know it don’t know why it’s happening or how to fix it. Many visit psychiatrists who prescribe medication that may just make things worse (something we’ll explain in depth later in the post). 

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Concussions  |  Mental Health Support After a Brain Injury  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Depression After a Concussion: Why You Feel This Way and How to Start Healing

“No one ever told me my concussion could cause depression.”

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

How Physical Therapy for Post-Concussion Syndrome Can Help Patients

There is no exact time frame for recovering from a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), otherwise known as a concussion. The majority of people who sustain an acute concussion recover within a few weeks. For a small percentage, however, concussion symptoms persist for weeks, months, or even years after their brain injury. This condition, known as post-concussion syndrome (PCS), leaves frustrated patients searching for answers and concussion treatment options that might help. 

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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  |  Education & Resources  |  Mental Health Support After a Brain Injury  |  Post Concussion Treatment

17 Cognitive Exercises for Post-Concussion Syndrome You Can Do at Home

If you’ve had a concussion (or two, or three … ), there’s a good chance someone told you to rest in a dark room and do nothing until your symptoms go away. But research over the past few years has revealed that resting in a dark room (known as “cocooning”) is not the best way to treat a concussion.

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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  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

fMRI vs. SPECT Scan for the Brain: Know Your Options

If you’re struggling to recover after a brain injury, dealing with healthcare providers is often a frustrating process. Unless you have a clear, severe injury, they might be dismissive of your symptoms or just may not have enough treatment options to help you. Oftentimes, they’ll order an MRI or a CT scan.

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

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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Concussions  |  Patient Stories  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Testimonial Topic - Young Adult

From Wrestling Concussions to Rock n’ Roll: How This Guitarist Found Healing from Post-Concussion Syndrome

Chris Nicastro’s head was pounding. He opened his eyes, wincing at the bright lights from the bathroom vanity. It took a few moments for him to remember where he was: sprawled on the floor after fainting out of the blue. As he realized he hit his head — now for the fourth time — his heart sank. Another concussion.

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

Post-Concussion Syndrome & Extreme Fatigue: Why You’re Exhausted and How to Make It Better

It’s not uncommon for people in today’s society to be tired. The demands on our time seem to be never ending. However, there’s a difference between being tired from being on the go all of the time and the feeling of extreme fatigue.

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

Vision Problems After a Concussion: Symptoms, Treatment Options, and Stories of Recovery

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: What to Expect and 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  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Post-Concussion Syndrome Tests: How to Know If You Have Post Concussion Syndrome

If you’re searching for answers and think you might have post-concussion syndrome (PCS), the path to diagnosis can be challenging. Few medical professionals are experts on the condition, and many lack the most sophisticated diagnostic tools. Many doctors will make a diagnosis based on concussion symptom history and a quick physical examination. Others will supplement their findings with imaging or computerized testing.

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

Concussion Headaches or “Post-Traumatic Headaches”: What They Feel Like, How Long They Last, and How to Get Rid of Them

“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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Concussions  |  Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Testimonial Topic - Young Adult  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

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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Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Testimonial Topic - Adult  |  Testimonial Topic - Female  |  Testimonial Type - 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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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Can an MRI Detect Post-Concussion Syndrome?

A regular MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) looks at brain structure and integrity. While it is helpful for diagnosing structural brain damage, it can’t often be used to detect post-concussion syndrome (PCS). However, a specialized form of MRI called functional neurocognitive imaging (fNCI) can detect PCS. 

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

Post-Concussion Syndrome Treatment: Diagnosis, Therapy, Medications, and More

In post-concussion syndrome (PCS), a patient with a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) experiences persistent symptoms from the injury. The symptoms might last months, years, or even decades after the event if left untreated.

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

50+ Medications for Concussions and Post-Concussion Syndrome: What Works, What Doesn’t, and What to Do Instead

Whenever we hold a new patient consultation, we discuss the medicine and supplements that patient has been taking for concussion symptoms. We see a variety of medications for concussion that doctors throughout the U.S. and Europe are prescribing. We also see if they’ve been helping or hindering our patients.

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

Neuroplasticity Treatment: How It Can Help You Recover From a Brain Injury

Neuroplasticity, from a clinician’s view, is the ability of the brain to change and heal itself. From a scientific perspective, neuroplasticity is the brain's ability to affect the synaptic transmission of information in response to external stimuli.

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

How to Find the Best Concussion Clinics Near You

The medical community can be painfully slow to adopt best practices, and concussion care is no exception. Many doctors and clinics recommend “cocooning” — i.e., rest and inactivity in a dark room until symptoms disappear — even though research shows that is not the best way to treat a concussion.

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Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Testimonial Topic - Adult  |  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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Life After EPIC Treatment  |  Patient Stories  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Testimonial Topic - Adult

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

Multiple Concussions: Long-Term Effects and Treatment Options

If you’re like the majority of people who have had a concussion, then you likely recovered a few weeks afterward and have felt fine ever since then. Concussive symptoms typically resolve in 7 to 10 days (sports-related concussions) or within 3 months (non-athletes). But not everyone is that fortunate: up to 30% of post-concussion patients have lingering symptoms that don’t go away with time and rest. And even if you do recover and walk away with no long-term symptoms, it isn’t without consequence: You will always be more susceptible to another concussion than someone who hasn’t had one, particularly during the first year after your concussion.

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Concussions  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

How to Treat a Concussion (Hint: It’s Not Rest)

If you visit a healthcare professional for a concussion, you’ll probably be told to lie down in a dark room until all your symptoms go away. If you get any other advice, it’s usually just another way of saying, “Rest.” But in most cases, that’s not the best way to treat a concussion. And in our experience treating hundreds of patients, many of whom have had symptoms that lasted for months or years, we know that it can be frustratingly ineffective.

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Concussions  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

Concussion Symptoms: Causes, How Long They Last, and When to Get Help

Concussion symptoms can be confusing. They don’t always show up right away, they can come and go, and they don’t always go away without extra therapy. We treat concussion patients every day and answer these questions for our patients regularly. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to concussion symptoms, including:

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Brain Injury Awareness  |  Concussions  |  Post Concussion Treatment

What Does Post-Concussion Symptoms Mean?

Concussions occur as the result of a rapid movement of the head and neck which causes the brain to shift and impact the skull. This sudden movement causes injury to the delicate structures, cells, neurons and blood vessels inside your brain. The impact of the injury can cause both physical and chemical changes in your brain and affect how it functions because it alters the systems in your brain. Medical professionals usually describe concussions as a mild form of TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury or mTBI) but, even the “mildest” concussions can cause serious effects and impact a person’s quality of life.

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

What to do When Concussion Symptoms Last a Long Time?

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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Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Connection Between Concussion Symptoms and Brain Function

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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Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Shifting from Post-Concussion Syndrome to Post-Concussion Symptoms

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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Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

When Does a Concussion Become Post-Concussion Syndrome?

A concussion is defined as “the result of the forceful motion of the head or impact causing a brief change in mental status (confusion, disorientation, or memory loss), with or without a loss of consciousness.”

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Concussions  |  Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

New Strategies to Improve Outcomes of Concussion Treatment

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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Cognitive FX News  |  Post Concussion Treatment

How Cognitive FX Got Started

Long before Cognitive FX was created, Dr. Mark Allen, PhD, and Dr. Alina Fong, PhD began searching for a greater understanding of the brain. Their focus has been on how the brain works and how each region of the brain contributes to functionality. As they began searching for answers, they began to understand how the brain functions, and its subtle but powerful abilities. Over time after collecting a wealth of data, they established a strong foundation of what a normal brain should function like and created an objective scale where we can measure where individuals should be for optimal brain functioning. Clinical Application of fNCI Begins After years researching and applying the technology of fMRI and adapting it they started a company with key partners called Notus, which provided the technology known as Notus Functional NeuroCognitive Imaging or fNCI. Notus started applying this technology in the clinical setting as interest grew in the community. This technology is now used in military hospitals, clinics, private hospitals, and more. Clinicians see that fNCI is useful as a diagnostic tool to understand what is happening with their patients in ways they could not understand before. fNCI inspects over 60 distinct regions of the brain. For example, physicians can better understand a complex brain injury by understanding which brain regions are not working instead of using a one word summary "concussion".

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Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Patient Outcomes at Cognitive FX Based on Gender, Age, Mode of Injury, and Time Since Injury

On a regular basis, we’re asked if gender and/or age influence one’s ability to recover. We are also asked if how someone was injured, or how long it has been since their injury will influence their ability to recover. Our research has found that while it is important to understand these demographics, these factors don’t deter the ability to recover in a short period of time.

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Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Objective and Subjective Measurements in Our Research

Any good scientist knows that in every good data set there must be a way to look at the data objectively and subjectively. Without both types of data, it can be hard to have a full picture and understanding of what is being studied. What Does Objective Measurement Mean? Objective measurement is something that is measured consistently. For example, measuring how well someone can perform a set number of tasks in a controlled environment. There are no other factors that can alter the data gathered with this measurement.

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

Differences Between Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) & Chronic Trauma Encephalopathy (CTE)

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) which is caused by the brain hitting the skull. This can happen in sports, car accidents, falling, or anything similar. A concussion can even be the result of a whiplash. Whenever the body moves quickly back and forth and the brain in turn hits the inside of the skull, it can result in a concussion. A concussion can cause damage to nerves and neurons, alter the blood flow in the brain, and cause chemical and functionality changes in the brain.

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Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

The Value of Objective Concussion Diagnosis and Assessment

Using functional NeuroCognitive Imaging (fNCI) brain scan technology, we are able to measure the function and activation levels of 60 regions in the brain. We can clearly and objectively see which parts of the brain are working too hard or not working hard enough.  Many of our patients are grateful for the objective analysis of fNCI because it gives them a precise understanding of how their injury is influencing their brain's ability to work efficiently.

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

Can One Treat the Long-Term Effects of Concussion?

About a year ago I did an interview over the phone with a sports-talk radio show in Texas. The topic was concussion in high school football (Texas is all about high school football). I talked about treatment for long-term concussion effects and how new therapies are available that can be extremely effective. I also mentioned research that shows treatment effectiveness even when the concussion (or concussions) happened years earlier.

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Post Concussion Treatment

What to Expect During a Complimentary Consultation?

Cognitive FX offers a complimentary consultation to all potential patients who suffer from a wide variety of things ranging from sports or vehicle injuries to general cognitive decline from other non-injury related factors. To schedule a consultation with one of our Neuroscience Practitioners, simply complete a set of forms online found here.  Once we receive your paperwork, we will review it to ensure your situation is a good fit for our services. For example, we do not treat addiction. We want to make sure that we can help you get better based on your specific concerns and symptoms. We have helped individuals recover from concussions, neurological problems from lead poisoning, neurological problems from carbon monoxide poisoning, along with helping the brain to function better after stroke(s).

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Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

fNCI – The Most Objective Method to Diagnose a Concussion

fNCI Beginnings & Research  For over a decade, Notus Neuropsychological Imaging has been researching the human brain and the effects of concussion.  During this time, Notus developed an imaging technology called Functional NeuroCognitive Imaging (fNCI) that examines over 60 regions of the brain, making it possible to objectively diagnose a concussion or mTBI.  fNCI can accurately depict which brain regions are overcompensating for others and which regions are not working enough, giving the therapists at Cognitive FX specific neuromarkers that clarify the severity and extent of a concussion.

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Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Active Rehabilitation Key to Successfully Recovering from Concussion

For years the protocol has been to rest until symptoms stop, and that if you start participating in an activity and you experience symptoms to stop what you are doing and rest. In the first few weeks after initial injury, rest is important and can help prepare the brain to be active and function properly again, and for the majority of people they recover from their injury in this time frame. There are however a group of individuals (around 15% of those diagnosed with a concussion) where symptoms persist after a few weeks. Typically, the diagnosis is post-concussion syndrome. So when do you stop resting and start being active again? 

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Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Neurology vs Neuropsychology for Concussion Treatment

Neurology Vs. Neuropsychology: One of these is not like the other… Neurologists and Neuropsychologists often get mistaken as one and the same. Although there are some similarities, the differences are quite stark, and often allows for the necessity of both fields in many cases of neurologic injury.   

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Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

4 Components of Successful Concussion Treatment

 Originally Published at Utah valley Health & Wellness Magazine Here   As a scientist who studies concussion and does research on concussion treatment, I was recently asked what I would do if I needed concussion treatment. What questions would I ask, from my perspective as an expert? To answer this, my questions would focus on what I see as the four components of successful concussion recovery—diagnosis, assessment, treatment, and maintenance.

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Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment

The Quality of Life After a Concussion: An Oxymoron?

I meet with patients every single day who have been dealing with concussion symptoms. Sometimes they have been experiencing them for a short amount of time, and others have been dealing with them for months and even years. When I meet with those that have dealt with symptoms longer, many times I hear things like “I am a different person," or “Life is different” or “I used to be different…” After a concussion, there are so many changes that can occur in almost every area of your world. For many people after a head injury or concussion, quality of life goes down, but I want you to know there is hope, and you are not alone in your experience. 

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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  |  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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Brain Safety & Care  |  Education & Resources  |  Mental Health Support After a Brain Injury  |  Post Concussion Treatment

Awareness & Concussion Recovery

By Britany Prijatel - Cognitive FX Sports Psychology Consultant  What is Awareness? Awareness is defined as having knowledge, or being in the state or condition of being conscious of your surroundings. This concept can be applied to many different subjects, but awareness is an important part of understanding a concussion and your recovery process. It takes awareness to facilitate change, even if it is changing a mindset. 

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Education & Resources  |  Post Concussion Treatment  |  Traumatic Brain Injury

The Brain's Way of Healing

In the new edition of The Brain's Way of Healing written by Dr. Norman Doidge, M.D.  Cognitive FX is highlighted as a clinic that is taking new scientific research and applying it to the clinical environment.  Dr. Doidge has reviewed our treatment protocols in person and has referred patients to us as well.  We are grateful for all his support and interest in what we do and recommend people read both The Brain that Changes Itself and The Brain's way of Healing.  Both books provide excellent content on how the brain functions and how through neuroplasticity individuals can overcome injuries.

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

Concussion Treatment Versus No Treatment

At Cognitive FX we use both subjective and objective testing to discover how effective the treatment of a concussion is. During EPIC Treatment we use two fNCI scans one to definitively show where you were injured and another to understand how effective your concussion treatment has been. Our research shows the comparison between patients who go through our concussion treatment or receive no EPIC treatment at all. How effective is EPIC Treatment?  At Cognitive FX we use fNCI (functional NeuroCognitive Imaging) to diagnose concussion(s), create a concussion treatment plan, and evaluate treatment effectiveness. The advantage of fNCI is that it is able to reveal indicators or “neuromarkers” of a concussion. These neuromarkers give us an idea of how severe the concussive effects are and which areas of the brain are most affected. The example below is an illustration of one of the known concussion neuromarkers and compares a patient who scores high on that neuromarker (more impairment) to one who scores low (less impairment).

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Brain Safety & Care  |  Concussions  |  Post Concussion Treatment

What is EPIC Concussion Treatment?

By Mark Allen, Director of Research The Enhanced Performance in Cognition - EPIC concussion treatment provided at Cognitive FX is a highly effective approach to concussion rehabilitation. We have developed an optimal program for recovery that typically lasts about 1 week, with intensive daily therapy. Each day includes a cycle through specific therapies for each patient guided by her/his brain activation images (fNCI).

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

Difference Between fMRI and MRI Scans

fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is often a more sensitive method for detecting brain injury such as concussion than a standard MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) brain scan. fNCI (functional NeuroCognitive Imaging) which is an advanced form of fMRI is particularly effective when detecting and understanding brain injury. This may be especially important for certain classes of patients—such as those with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)—who display clear symptoms of a concussion with cognitive and neurological impairment but show no obvious brain tissue damage on standard MRI scans.

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