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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Post Concussion Treatment (5)
This presentation explores important topics related to concussion research and development which leads to better concussion treatment, and treatment outcomes.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).