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Moving Toward Better Health

The official blog of Konicki Schumacher Chiropractic


Brain Injuries Cause Later Problems

Posted by Dr. Tom Konicki
Dr. Tom Konicki
Dr. Thomas Konicki earned his B.S. in Biology at the University of Cincinnati and then went on to the Los Ange...
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in Orthopedic Conditions/Injuries

Young people ages 0 to 4 and 15 to 19 are at the greatest risk of brain injury when struck in the head. Adults 75 and older suffer the highest rates of hospitalization and death from head injuries.

Typical causes of head injury is falling, auto accidents, hit by objects (including other athletes such as football players), assault and bike accidents.

These head injuries can lead to learning and behavioral problems, even though the head injury is long-forgotten. The U.S. centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 5.3 million Americans fall into this category.

Too often a young person is hit in the head, becomes confused or may even lose consciousness. Often, there are no lingering symptoms, such as headache to cause concern. The head injury is forgotten.

However, Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York has a Brain Injury Research Center. They are finding certain groups that suffered a hard blow to the head months or years before are having problems.

The following groups had prior head injuries: 50% of 400 students with learning disabilities; 54% of 845 patients in treatment for alcohol and drug abuse; and 82% of 100 homeless people.

Another study in 2000 found that head injuries caused twice the rate of depression, alcohol/drug abuse and elevated rates of panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and suicide attempts.

Surprisingly, there is no apparent brain damage. That is, brain scans and testing come back normal. The mild to moderate blow does not cause any brain swelling and is not seen on a scan.

The Mount Sinai team evaluates patients with neuropsychological tests that may last up to 9 hours. They are shown pictures of objects, then asked later what they say. They are asked to draw complex geometric signs from memory.

Mount Sinai then puts them through a program for 5 days a week for 6 months, up to 5 hours per day. This includes attention exercises, reading articles to explain the main idea, interpreting charts and graphs, learning how to take apart a problem and reduce it to smaller steps and writing "advice columns" on how to handle life issues.

The brain is literally rehabilitated back from the injury, much like rehabilitating a knee from a sports injury.

Once you know there is no physical brain damage, consult a neuropsychologist.

Information taken from Wall Street Journal

Copyright © 2008 - Konicki Schumacher Chiropractic. All rights reserved.

Dr. Tom Konicki is a board certified chiropractic orthopedist and has practiced for many years in South Dayton. You can reach him at www.kschiro.com or mail your questions to Ask the Chiropractor, 2165 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Dayton, 45459.

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