Dr. Tara’s Continuing Education: Concussion

This past weekend Dr. Tara took her second course on Concussion Management. She took some notes on her thoughts and shares them with you below:

This course reiterated a lot of the same information I have learnt in the past, which was great as it really solidified my knowledge on this subject. This course taught us about what a concussion is, how to clinically assess and treat a concussion, the importance of baseline testing, proper return-to- play steps, as well as visual and vestibular rehabilitation strategies for prolonged concussion symptoms. With this being such a large topic, I will be breaking the information up into multiple blog posts over the next few weeks.

So, most importantly, to understand everything else that will follow, the question must be answered: what is a concussion?

Concussion is defined as “a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical forces” (Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport, Berlin 2016). In other words, it is an acceleration-deceleration injury to the neck or head, which can ultimately affect the brain.

The brain is made up of billions of axons (or nerve fibers). Axons are long slender projections of a nerve cell, or neuron, which conduct electrical impulses. They are, in effect, the primary transmission of the nervous system, and as bundles they help make up nerves. This is important to understand, because stretching or shearing of these axons results from the acceleration-deceleration forces, which leads to a
series of events. First off, cellular membranes are disrupted leading to an imbalance of chemicals within the brain. Pumps that work to balance these chemicals out have to work in overdrive to normalize the chemical levels. To do this, it requires a ton of energy (or ATP) from the body. The problem is, along with the stretching or shearing of axons, there is also a disruption or decrease in blood supply to the brain,
which then decreases the supply of glucose (energy) to the brain. The end result is an ENERGY CRISIS (aka concussion)!

Set an appointment with Dr. Tara today if you have any more questions about concussion- she’d be happy to work with you! Click here to contact us

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