Brain Injury Diagnosis & Treatment
How are traumatic brain injuries diagnosed, and what treatment is recommended for concussions and other brain injuries?
3 Healing Modalities to Try to Ease Brain Injury Associated Symptoms
Conventional treatments like medications may not help symptoms after a brain injury. Complementary or alternative treatments may help.
What’s It Like to Have a Brain Injury?
Stories of people who experience a traumatic brain injury can help to support and educate others. Seth had a protracted recovery, but ultimately a good one. (2 parts)
What Effect Does Concussion Have on Learning?
Stories of athletes like Brittany who experience concussions or more severe brain injuries can help to educate others. She did get back on track.
A Parent’s Key Role after a Child’s Concussion
Parents play a major role in identifying the effects of concussions in their daughters and sons, helping them manage symptoms, and supporting their recovery.
Be a Parent Advocate for Children and Youth Sports Concussions
Parents must communicate with the school after their son or daughter has a concussion to make sure that there are accommodations if needed during recovery.
Healing through Art & Science
Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center, Kaiser Permanente’s regional rehabilitation inpatient and outpatient hospital in Vallejo, California celebrates its art program. The producers interview Dr. Sandel, a former Medical Director, and others at the Center about their work with patients using art as a medium of expression.
Empowering Your Kids to Speak up About Concussions in Youth Sports
There are many reasons why kids do not report concussions. They must be educated about brain injuries, including concussions. They must be empowered to report to an adult any symptoms after a blow to the head, neck, or body that causes neurological symptoms (like dizziness, headache, or confusion). Removal from the sport or activity followed by evaluation by a licensed healthcare provider should be expedited.
Talk to Your Kids About the Concussion Risk of Collision Sports
Children and adolescents must understand that if they have any symptoms after a blow or jolt to the head or neck they must stop immediately and get help from an adult.
A Neuropsychologist is a Brain Injury Expert
Neuropsychologists are psychologists with training in brain functioning. They offer evaluations, education, and counseling for people with brain injuries. Health can educators help, too, because education is a key part of concussion care.
What is ImPACT for Concussion and Who is It For?
The Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (ImPACT), an FDA-approved computerized tool for evaluating people with a suspected concussion, is not a stand-alone diagnostic tool. A comprehensive evaluation that includes additional cognitive testing, a physical examination, and a care plan are necessary.
Getting Top-Notch Care after a Concussion
Concussion clinics vary in terms of protocols and personnel. Neuropsychologist Richard Delmonico discusses one model in the Kaiser Permanente health system.
Can We Adequately Treat Concussion?
Finding a physician specializing in brain injury medicine can be difficult because the field is relatively new, but there are resources to help.
Brain Imaging after an Injury
CT and MRI scans are the most common imaging modalities to evaluate people with traumatic brain injury, but advanced imaging methods are more promising for diagnosis and prognosis. However, interpretations of findings can vary.
Treatment and Prognosis after a Concussion
Learn about treatments for post-concussion symptoms—including medication, various rehabilitation therapies, neuropsychology, and potentially some complementary therapies—as well as factors related to longer concussion recovery times.
Meet Dr. Sandel at the Book Signing Event on December 9
Join Dr. Sandel in Oakland on Friday, December 9 from 4:30-6:30pm for a “Shaken Brain” book signing event. Presented by Kim Cole Real Estate.
Patient and Provider Perspectives on Improving Care for Post-Concussion Symptoms
This poster, created for the International Brain Injury Conference in New York in Sept 2022, offers various perspectives on how to improve concussion care. Attached are a reformatted poster presentation and related webinar links.
Why is “Post-Concussion Syndrome” Controversial?
We do not yet have a clear understanding of what happens in the brain immediately after a concussion and over the days and months that follow, especially for those patients whose symptoms persist. Post-concussion symptom rates vary greatly among research studies, likely because the populations studied are diverse and so are the diagnostic criteria and timing of assessments. The wide variation in symptom rates highlights the fact that there is a lot we still don’t know about concussions.
Top Causes of Concussion in Children and Adolescents
When we think of “youth” and “concussion,” the first thing that likely comes to mind is a teenager engaging in a high-risk activity such as football, soccer, or snowboarding. But not all youth brain injury results from these risky activities. Of the millions of concussions reported by emergency rooms every year, figures put concussions related to sports and recreation at just 30% – so 70% of concussions result from other causes.
Is Concussion a Diagnosis?
Clinicians like me say that concussion requires a clinical diagnosis based on the history of what happened to produce the symptoms. However, because these same symptoms appear in other conditions, and we don’t have reliable biomarkers, diagnosing a concussion can sometimes be a challenge. The lingering effects of a mild brain injury can also continue as a chronic condition, often referred to as post-concussion syndrome or persistent post-concussion symptoms, that still require treatment.
3 Things to Do to Allow Your Brain to Recover More Quickly After Brain Injury
After a concussion, people need good sleep patterns, and they also need to resume activity and exercise to aid recovery. Activities with concussion risk should be avoided, however.
Traumatic Brain Injury and the Elderly
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability among seniors. The cause is often a fall or a motor vehicle accident, but head trauma due to elder abuse or neglect must always be considered, too. Older adults usually have other health conditions and sometimes dementia, so a diagnosis of a TBI can be challenging. The brains of elderly people are also more vulnerable to injury, and many older adults are on anticoagulant medications that put them at risk of brain bleeds. If elder abuse or neglect is suspected, mandatory reporting laws must be followed by certain professionals and even ordinary citizens in some states of the United States.
Mood Disorders Such as Depression Can Complicate a Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury can be associated with depression or another mood disorder, possibly because of the disruption of brain chemicals.
A Patient-Centered Approach to Concussion Care: CME & Webinar
Elizabeth Sandel, MD, a physiatrist and brain injury medicine physician, and Conor Gormally, co-founder of Concussion Alliance — a young man who has experienced several concussions — present a patient-centered care approach for emergency medicine and primary care physicians.
How Does Brain Trauma Affect Brain Hormones?
Evaluating and treating people with hormonal deficiencies after traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be very challenging. Learn about the screening and treatment of pituitary deficiencies that may occur in both the acute and chronic stages after a concussion or other TBI.
Keep up to date
Get updates on the latest in concussion, brain health, and science-related tools from Dr. Elizabeth Sandel, M.D.