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Special Populations

Learn why certain ages and occupations are at higher risk of traumatic brain injuries and what can be done about it.

Close up of child with bandage over head wound

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.

older woman with doctor

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.

X-ray of child and headache

How Long Will It Take for My Child to Recover from a Concussion?

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.

Mother and smiling daughter in doctor's office

Will My Child Experience Long-Term Consequences from a Concussion or other Brain Injury?

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.

Child sitting in the corner of a room

Abuse: A Leading Cause of Brain Injury in Children

Child abuse is a top cause of brain injury-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths among children of all ages. Diagnosis can be challenging in cases of pediatric abusive head trauma. Prevention strategies at the individual and community level can be effective and there are many available resources.

Woman helps elderly woman who fell

Falls and Brain Injury in Older Adults

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.

CTE: Areas of Tau Protein Development

Repetitive Brain Trauma and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

There’s a link between chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and repetitive brain injuries that occur in boxing and American football. This is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that can lead to severely-disabling neurologic and psychiatric disorders. Learn about the science, diagnostic criteria for traumatic encephalopathy syndrome (TES), and possible treatment approaches.

Dr. Andrew Judelson

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.

Pair of combat boots and military helmet on wooden background, close up

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.

wbhm NPR News for the Heart of Alabama

Concussion Expert on Youth Sports: “Time to Make Some Decisions”

Dr. Sandel talks with Dan Carson at WBHM about the risks of concussion, especially repeated concussions that occur in collision sports.

PTSD

Veterans Can Face Both a Brain Injury and PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder can co-occur with a brain injury in military and civilian populations. Screening tests for PTSD should be used for any patient with a brain injury or suspected concussion. Symptoms for these two conditions can overlap, but all symptoms require management regardless of cause.

Abstract brain wave concept

What Is Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy?

Cognitive rehabilitation therapy fosters awareness, and provides retraining, and compensation techniques for thinking and memory problems.

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