Treatment for Concussions in Tinton Falls, NJ
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (Concussion) Once Discharged Home
Concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) can produce a wide range of physical, cognitive (thinking), and behavioral-emotional problems. Initially, physical problems may be prominent, especially after a moderate- to- severe TBI. Cognitive, behavioral, and emotional impairments, however, have the greatest impact on long-term outcomes. Once discharged, patients who have suffered a concussion should be followed by a neuropsychologist for potential problems in thinking and emotional difficulties, plus helping make practical decisions about their care and capacity to function independently at work or school.
Brief Description of mTBI
A mTBI happens when the head is struck or moved violently, resulting in an alteration of consciousness. The alteration of consciousness usually, but not always, involves some brief loss of consciousness. The patient may be hospitalized for a relatively brief period of time (usually a few days, but often not at all) and discharged home.
The trauma itself may involve a fall, blow to the head, or most commonly the head striking a stationary object, as in a motor vehicle accident. mTBI may also occur after a severe whiplash injury, even if the head is not struck, especially if the whiplash involves some rotation of the head.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury or Concussion
The goal of this brochure is to inform and increase awareness regarding the application of neuropsychological services for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) or concussion once patients have been discharged home.
A mTBI or concussion occurs when the head is struck or moved rapidly, resulting in a possible loss of consciousness. The trauma may involve a fall, blow to the head, or most commonly the head striking a stationary object, as might occur in a motor vehicle accident. Additionally, mTBI may arise following a severe whiplash injury; even when the head is not struck, but the whiplash involves some rotation of the head.
Patients who experience mTBI or concussion may be hospitalized for a brief period of time (usually a few days, but often not at all) and then discharged home. Concussions or mTBIs can produce a wide range of physical, cognitive (thinking), and behavioral/emotional problems. Although physical problems may be prominent initially, cognitive, behavioral, and emotional impairments have the greatest impact on long-term outcomes.
The Importance of Seeking Treatment from a Neuropsychologist after a Concussion or mTBI
The most effective intervention for mTBI or concussion is early education and information for patients and their families. It is best to begin this education promptly after discharge by seeking follow up care from a neuropsychologist.
In a significant number of mTBIs or concussion cases, a patient’s return to prior levels of functioning is incomplete, and the extent of their disability can be quite severe. This is particularly true if the patient’s work requires proficiency in speed, complex attention, learning, memory, and complex thinking, as these abilities are most often impaired after mTBI. Patients followed by a neuropsychologist will be treated for problems in thinking and emotional difficulties, and receive guidance with practical decisions regarding their care and capacity to function independently at work or school.
At NRS/LifeSpan, our neuropsychologists examine the brain by administering a neuropsychological examination (NPE).The purpose of the NPE is to evaluate each patient’s brain rather than each patient’s complaints. This examination is an assembly of many tests specifically designed to evaluate thinking abilities and behavior. The evaluation process is used to objectively assess cognitive abilities, such as memory, attention/concentration, language, visual spatial, reasoning, etc. The NPE identifies the patient’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses, provides diagnostic clarity and most importantly develops a comprehensive treatment plan. The treatment plan may include medical adjustment counseling (MACSM), behavioral intervention, cognitive remediation, consultation with work/school, stress management and family system therapy.
The successful adaptation to mTBI is ultimately a recovery process captured in the concept of accommodation. This is the process where the patient recognizes, accepts, and adjusts to a new set of possible limitations that may arise as a result of mTBI. However, with proper neuropsychological care, most patients improve with no ongoing complaints.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
- Sensitivity to noise/light
- Impaired sleep
- Cognitive problems at school/work
- Reduced Processing