Brain Injury Diagnosis & Treatment
How are traumatic brain injuries diagnosed, and what treatment is recommended for concussions and other brain injuries?
The Statement summarizes scientific research and provides some updated recommendations for athletes at risk for concussions. But, it’s been mired in controversy regarding the strict criteria governing which research was included. Read Dr. Sandel’s insights into the process and conclusions.
Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT) is an evidence-based approach to addressing multiple cognitive impairments caused by a traumatic brain injury. Restorative CRT strengthens cognitive abilities, and compensatory CRT provides strategies to reduce the impact of deficits.
Presenting to the physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) residents at the UC Davis School of Medicine sparked a lively exchange about patient-centered concussion care. Learn more about the challenges and possibilities for transforming concussion care.
Conventional treatments like medications may not help symptoms after a brain injury. Complementary or alternative treatments may help.
Whiplash and cervical strain occurs when a person’s head and neck are forced back and forth, injuring soft tissues of the neck. They are common after brain injuries.
Headaches are extremely common after a traumatic brain injury, but there are various treatments that vary depending on the phenotype or cause.
Headaches must be evaluated with a comprehensive history and physical examination. There are many options for treatment, but diagnosis has to be the first step.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What happens to the brain after a severe brain injury that renders a person unconscious or “comatose”? Learn the meaning of other terms that describe patients who have disorders of consciousness: the minimally conscious state, cognitive-motor dissociation, covert consciousness, and unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (vegetative state). Researchers are studying advanced technologies evaluating patients with disorders of consciousness, and there are new U.S. and European guidelines that are helping to standardize care and advance the field of brain injury.
Traumatic brain injuries are very common in older adults who fall. They can result in hospitalization, death, or disability especially in this age group and those on certain medications. In this post, an elderly woman has a delayed hematoma from an injury that could have been deadly. Falls can be prevented and Dr. Sandel shares important information about risk factors and tips for prevention.
I recently talked with journalist Nathaniel Parish Flannery who writes about cycling. He was writing an article about pro cyclist Ian Boswell. Boswell had a crash in 2019 that resulted in long-term concussion symptoms. Flannery found our conversation and my book, Shaken Brain, very helpful, and he tells Boswell’s story in…
In the second part of this series, Dr. Sandel continues with further discussion of concussion management. She then describes blast injuries that occur in the military. Who provides treatment for concussions and what kind of care is best?, What are the risks of a long-term problem after a concussion or…
In the first part of this series, Dr. Sandel discusses mild brain injuries, especially sports-related concussions. What happens to the brain during a concussion and what are the symptoms? What is second impact syndrome? And are children more or less vulnerable than adults?
In this Paradigm webinar, Dr. Elizabeth Sandel leads a discussion of concussion management that is based on a systematic, biopsychosocial model. She is joined by a Paradigm colleague, neuropsychologist Dr. Deborah Benson, to explore the evaluation and treatment of the complex issues for people with chronic symptoms.
Dr. Sandel discusses brain injury medicine, a new subspecialty of medicine, and getting the best care after a concussion or more severe brain injury in the US. Kim Justus discusses her own history in regards to brain injury and her struggles to find care. She also discusses Dr. Sandel’s book, Shaken Brain, as a helpful resource for listeners.
Mark Gilson WRFG Atlanta interviews Dr. Sandel. The interview is accompanied by thematic music about the brain and includes a discussion with Dr. Sandel on medical and societal issues related to brain injuries.
Nurse Rona Renner of KPFA interviews Dr. Sandel about her book, Shaken Brain. They discuss the many causes of concussions and how patients are best evaluated and treated. She fields questions about the neurodegenerative conditions that are associated with brain injuries, especially repetitive brain injuries.
A physiatrist (physical medicine and rehabilitation physician) treats disorders of the muscles, bones, and nervous system, and may practice in inpatient or outpatient settings. Physiatrists usually provide care with other rehabilitation providers such as physical, occupational, and speech therapists, and may work in teams for patients with catastrophic injuries or complex disorders, especially in rehabilitation hospitals.
Sleep disturbances are common after brain injury and require comprehensive evaluation and management. Other sleep disorders such as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness are common. Some patients with brain injuries develop sleep apnea, and screening for this disorder is important because of the risk of hypoxia and strokes that lead to additional brain injury.
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