Brain Injury Diagnosis & Treatment
How are traumatic brain injuries diagnosed, and what treatment is recommended for concussions and other brain injuries?
Post-Traumatic Headaches: Not Just One Type or Treatment
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.
Evaluating and Treating Headaches After Brain Injury
Headaches are extremely common after a traumatic brain injury, but there are various treatments that vary depending on the phenotype or cause.
Check the Neck after a Brain Injury
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.
Three Alternative Treatment Modalities to Ease Brain Injury Associated Symptoms
Conventional treatments like medications may not help symptoms after a brain injury. Complementary or alternative treatments may 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.
The Prevalence of Brain Injuries in Sports and the Military
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…
The “Invisible Injury”: Concussions and other TBI’s
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?
Concussions/Mild TBIs: Early Intervention to Achieve the Best Outcomes
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.
Shaken Brain with Dr. Elizabeth Sandel on Recovery Now with Kim Justus
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.
The Shaken Brain with Mark Gilson featuring Elizabeth Sandel, M.D.
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 Interviews Dr. Elizabeth Sandel
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.
The Medical Specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
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.
Rest Assured: Quality Sleep Supports Recovery From Brain Injury
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.
Brain Injury Medicine: My Journey
Brain injury medicine requires additional training for neurologists, physiatrists, and psychiatrists to become board certified. The field is growing but a shortage of physicians with this specialized training is a challenge for patients to find expert care.
Concussion in Youth Sports
Dr. Andrew Judelson, a physiatrist and sports medicine physician at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, discusses sports-related concussion evaluation and treatment at his outpatient clinic on Cape Cod.
TBI in Active Military and Veterans
Military blast injuries can impact the brain, the lungs, the heart, and other organs in the body. Early diagnosis is very important. Dr. Sandel discusses brain injuries in the military with physiatrist Dr. Hetal Lakhani and her patient, Richard Reeves.
Keep up to date
Get updates on the latest in concussion, brain health, and science-related tools from Dr. Elizabeth Sandel, M.D.