Concussion/Traumatic Brain Injury
Concussion/traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a disruption of healthy brain functioning due to an accident involving the head or a brain injury caused by a medical condition such as a stroke or tumor. Contact sports (i.e. football, boxing, rugby, etc), a fall, or a minor car accident can result in a concussion/TBI. Because our brain is floating in cerebral fluid, a blow to the head or a strong jerking motion can cause it to collide with the inside of the skull. Depending on the location and extent of the damage, a person might experience lasting cognitive, psychological, or behavioral issues. For many people, their concussion/TBI goes undiagnosed and therefore untreated due to improper assessment procedures conducted at emergency rooms. If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury and are experiencing symptoms of a concussion/TBI, Nelmar Health Centers can help.
Symptoms of Concussion/Traumatic Brain Injury
The symptoms of a concussion/TBI can vary widely. While some accidents can have immediate and quite noticeable effects on a person’s cognition or behavior, sometimes these effects are not as noticeable and may take time to appear. Symptoms of a concussion/TBI can include confusion, light/sound sensitivity, difficulty concentrating or finding words, mood and sleep disturbances, impulsive behaviors, serious mental health problems, and even suicidal thoughts/behaviors, among many others. As such, a proper evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of concussion/TBI are essential.
Diagnosis of Concussion/Traumatic Brain Injury
A concussion is a serious injury with a wide range of severity, symptoms, and outcomes that require prompt and comprehensive treatment. Most people, however, do not receive immediate care, especially in the cases of a mild concussion. Instead of receiving a thorough evaluation, people's symptoms are often overlooked, and they are directed to go home and just rest. Some are prescribed heavy medications that only make their cognitive symptoms worse and the natural recovery more complex. As a result, many people suffer for months and years trying to understand and adjust to their cognitive and emotional impairments while searching for the right help.
At Nelmar Centers, we approach the diagnostic process with extreme dedication and determination. Our first and primary goal in working with a concussion is to establish what cognitive domains have been compromised and how the injury has affected the overall psychological functioning. To achieve this, we perform various assessments and observations and collect information from multiple sources, such as job, school, parents, partners, coworkers, etc. A thorough neuropsychological assessment can help us correctly identify the brain's areas that have been affected and the level of cognitive, emotional, and/or behavioral difficulties. We also use a qEEG brain scan as a supplemental measure to examine the areas of the brain that are functionally out of balance. Understanding the underlying physiology helps us establish the factors contributing to the clinical and behavioral problems and design the most appropriate treatment.
In addition, we conduct a whole-body diagnostic assessment that looks at a client's nutrition and lifestyle habits, medications they are taking, and a thorough review of family and medical history to explore all factors that may be exacerbating the client's concussion/TBI symptoms. Our multidisciplinary team then uses the complete information to create a custom-tailored treatment plan for every person and unique presentation. The professional team at Nelmar Centers has extensive experience diagnosing and treating people who suffered from concussions, including retired NFL football players.
Treatment of Concussion/Traumatic Brain Injury
At Nelmar Health Centers, we take a multidisciplinary approach to understanding and treating concussions/TBIs, and the treatment program is custom-tailored to a client’s individual needs. An essential part of the treatment plan is neurofeedback, where we work directly on the brain using neuroplasticity to reorganize neural networks to facilitate healing. We also offer two forms of cognitive rehabilitation to our concussion/TBI clients, which teach them different ways to improve cognitive abilities and the best methods to make necessary behavior modifications. Our clients can work directly with our professionals trained in cognitive rehabilitation and/or utilize the cognitive rehabilitation software. When combined, all these forms of brain work facilitate quick recovery at a baseline level.
In addition, consultation and follow-up sessions with our holistic health practitioner and exercise expert are an integral part of the treatment. Changes in food and lifestyle and introduction to herbal supplements can make a huge difference in reducing inflammatory processes in the brain and the body and help improve the overall well-being and quality of life. Moreover, our counselors will support these interventions with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness techniques. They will teach you the skills you need to complete the body and mind cycle and support your efforts toward achieving your goal: regaining your life. Family and group therapy are excellent treatment modalities during which we provide psychoeducation about concussions and increase knowledge and immediate support. Finally, our concussion-informed weekend meditation and yoga classes are a great way to enhance your treatment plan, maintain the gains you have achieved, and be a part of our small community where you can meet friends and find understanding and social support.
Our professional trained in prescription medication carefully evaluates the psychoactive medications utilized by the client. As a result, drugs that directly contribute to individuals' cognitive problems are gradually eliminated or significantly reduced. This approach also ensures a healthy brain and strong body and freedom from dependence on multiple drugs leading to debilitating side effects. At Nelmar Health Centers, we believe in the research showing that the healing and maintenance of well-being are best achieved with cognitive, behavioral, environmental, and lifestyle changes strengthened with ongoing social support.
While undergoing treatment, each client receives continued qEEg and neuropsychological testing to monitor progress and psychoeducation to ensure that they understand where they are in their healing at every step of the treatment process. We regularly modify the neurofeedback protocol and the overall treatment plan based on this information. Every change in the treatment plan is made after a thorough review by each multidisciplinary team member and approved by the client.
For clients that may need more rigorous treatment interventions, we also offer an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP).