Concussions and the brain
Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) is the end result of a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), also called a concussion.
The World Health Organization defines this as a traumatic event that causes a loss of consciousness for a small amount of time and short-lived memory impairment or confusion. Symptoms include:
- Inability to concentrate
- Recurrent headaches
- Problems with memory
Post-concussion syndrome affects up to 30% of people who experience a concussion. Neuroimaging cannot conclusively find a difference between a normal patient and those with an MTBI. Therefore, it is unknown whether or not a person will develop PCS. Dr. Yulin Ge, M.D. wanted to better understand why some patients go on to develop severe symptoms and how this can be seen before those symptoms develop. He used an MRI to examine the brain at its resting state, such as when a person is daydreaming. He posits that a baseline resting state is important for processing information and maintaining proper function. Variances in the resting state of the brain have been seen in a number of different conditions, such as autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s. Little is known, however, about the resting state of the brain after a concussion.
When Dr. Ge compared 23 MTBI patients with post-concussion symptoms with 18 patients of similar age with healthy brains, he saw a disruption in communication and the way information is processed in MTBI patients. The brain used different resources in these patients to make up for the impairment.
Concussions and the Upper Neck
Previous research supports this finding. Upright MRI’s in the past have revealed that damage to the cervical spine (the top bones of the neck), caused by such things as whiplash, create misalignments in this area. This hinders the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and blood flow to the brain. This can cause leaks of cerebral spinal fluid and intracranial pressure.
Upper cervical chiropractors are trained to detect and correct these upper neck misalignments. Once corrected by a gentle, effective method, functioning of the brain has been shown to return to normal relieving the person of the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome.
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