Treatment for Persistent Concussion Symptoms

Watching a car accident can be a paralyzing moment. Upon impact, we are unaware of the damage, unaware of the condition of the passengers, and often unaware of the best way to help. Likewise, being in a car accident can be equally harrowing, depending on the severity of the crash. You might be wondering about the car you have just collided with, or if the other passengers in the car with you are okay, or about your own physical well being. 

When reviewing damages following an accident, physical damages to passengers are top of mind. Damages to the cars are then examined and drivers will exchange insurance information and call the police if they feel necessary. But unfortunately, the most important piece of our human bodies is overlooked when assessing damages: our brains. 

Concussions are a type of mild brain injury from suffering a blow to the head, resulting in some degree of confusion, dizziness, and other symptoms. When whiplash occurs during a car accident injury, your brain is also jostled and may hit your skull, sustaining tearing, bleeding, or bruising of nerve fibers. Concussions symptoms are often dulled in a high stress situation, due to the adrenaline being pumped through the body. This may lead to someone not knowing they have suffered a concussion during the time of injury or treating it properly afterwards. 

If you have suffered persistent headaches, dizziness, confusion, and other abnormal brain function, especially after a car accident, you may have suffered a concussion. Structural brain problems are not always the only problem with the brain. A typical MRI may not show significant problems; however, advanced susceptibility weighted images and Diffusion Tensor imaging show more subtle signs of injury than a typical brain MRI.

To look even further beyond structural problems, functional magnetic resonance imaging or functional MRI (fMRI) can evaluate neuropsychological functions, which could have been affected by trauma, even if there is no evidence of anatomical structural damage. FMRI allows us to map brain activity to find and treat abnormalities that may be causing your symptoms. 

An fMRI measures brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow. This technique relies on the fact that cerebral blood flow and neuronal activation are coupled. When an area of the brain is in use, blood flow to that region also increases. In the case of a car accident, this technique offers vital information about brain activity and the best way to treat symptoms.

To sum up everything you just read, remember these key points:

  • Concussions can be difficult to diagnose at first. 
  • Painful symptoms are not normal. See a neurologist if symptoms persist. 
  • An fMRI maps the brain allows doctors to detect brain activity. FMRI may help detect the cause of symptoms and diagnosis of the best treatment.

If you have any questions about concussion symptoms or fMRI’s, call 801-229-2002. 

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