What rehabilitation therapies, including cognitive and physical therapies, help people with traumatic brain injuries?
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.
A traumatic brain injury can be associated with depression or another mood disorder, possibly because of the disruption of brain chemicals.
Children can experience a range of symptoms after concussion. They require individualized treatments and strategies for returning to activities and to school. A physician with training and experience in treating concussions must provide early interventions and follow-up, regardless of how long recovery takes.
Although most children recover fully after a single concussion, others have long-term effects. Of course, prevention is the best strategy, but if a concussion occurs, parents must understand a brain injury has occurred.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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