Concussion

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Neurofeedback Can Support The Brain In Healing And Move Someone Closer To Their Original Functioning

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that can change brain function.  Post-concussion syndrome has been used to describe a range of residual symptoms that persist 12 months or more after the injury, often despite a lack of evidence of brain abnormalities on MRI and CT scans.


Symptoms such as disrupted sleep, excessive lethargy, memory loss, poor concentration, headaches, anxiety and more may be experienced as a result of a concussion. Symptoms can last days, weeks, months and for those that have sustained multiple concussions, even years.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports that the amount of reported concussions in athletes has doubled in the past 10 years. The American Academy of Pediatrics has reported that ER visits in eight to thirteen year olds has doubled in the past ten years and concussions in fourteen to nineteen year olds has risen a staggering 200 percent. 

 

The use of neurofeedback has evolved technically and in practice to become a common and promising choice for the treatment of concussions by measuring outputs and patterns of the brain; comparing them to associated cognitive states and processes and retraining the brain to work around the damage.


Brain Injury

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TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)

Commonly reported cognitive and psychological consequences include difficulties with orientation and concentration, breakdown of comprehension, reasoning and problem solving, organizational skills, rate of processing, rate of performance, a tendency to repeat a response or activity after it has proven ineffective, staying on task or a topic, initiation and motivation, generalization, agitation, fatigue, stress and memory concerns.


An estimated 5.3 million Americans currently live with disabilities that result from traumatic brain injury (TBI). Each year, 1.5 million Americans (2% of the population) sustain a TBI, with a new case added every 21 seconds. This leads to 80,000 new cases of long-term disability and 50,000 deaths. The leading causes are car accidents (44%) and falls (26%). The costs in the US are estimated at $48.3 billion a year.


TBI Research and clinical reports show greater improvements with neurofeedback.  In a single case study, 31 sessions of EEG biofeedback with a patient who had mild TBI improved cognitive flexibility and executive function (Byers).  Neurofeedback techniques on 14 patients with TBI and reported that approximately 60% of the patients with mild TBI showed improvement in self-reported symptoms or cognitive performance after 40 sessions. The degree of improvement noted ranged from 23% to 62% (Hoffman et al).  Significant and substantial improvements on a global improvement self-rating scale were reported by 88% of the patients. All patients were able to return to work (Walker et al). 


Stroke/ Dementia

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Neurofeedback on Cognitive Functioning

A number of deficits experienced after a stroke can be helped with neurofeedback. Neurofeedback helps connectivity and timing in the brain, and specific areas of the brain can be targeted to have the most impact.  Common deficits of a stroke that can be helped include speech, movement, mood regulation, better behavior control, and headache reduction.   


When speech is affected, Neurofeedback is able target its training to specific areas of the brain that relate to speech (for example, Broca’s area or Wernicke’s area). The goal is to strengthen those areas that are responsible for speech.  Due to the amount of speech recovery that can occur with neurofeedback, some neuropsychologists feel actual rehabilitation is occurring in the brain.  The memory of Dementia patients was “significantly improved” following Neurofeedback training, and observed that it was more effective for patients at an early stage of Dementia (Berman & Frederick, 2009).   


Neurofeedback naturally retrains brainwaves to return to a balanced and normal state, improving symptoms such as confusion and memory loss, trouble with speech or understanding speech, problems with vision, trouble with gross motor skills (i.e. walking), headaches, numbness or weakness in face, arms, or legs, and feelings of depression.  


CNS Vital Signs in-office neurocognitive testing

Detect and track

even slight (millisecond precision) cognitive impairments that can assist clinicians in the evaluation and management of neurodegenerative, neuropsychiatric, neurotraumatic and neurodevelopmental disorders providing immediate clinical insight into a patient’s current status and level of impairment

Help evaluate the possibility of secondary gain

e.g., academic accommodation, drug or disability seeking, malingering, symptom feigning etc. with embedded cognitive performance validity indicators

Give patients, family members and caregivers knowledge of cognitive domains that underpin the ability to conduct activities of daily living


Give patients, family members and caregivers knowledge of cognitive domains

that underpin the ability to conduct activities of daily living

Establish a neurocognitive baseline

in each patient to use in later treatment decisions

Longitudinally track clinical endpoints

to aid in the monitoring and management of many clinical conditions and treatments e.g., measure the response to treatment like AD/HD medication, rehabilitation efforts, cognitive behavioral therapy - CBT, etc. and used to measure clinical outcomes

Help identify domains needing additional or full neuropsychological evaluations

Non-invasive clinical procedure to efficiently and objectively assess a broad spectrum of brain function performance or domains under challenge (cognition stress test) and 50+ computerized clinical and quality rating instruments e.g., PQRS to enable the measuring of important clinical symptoms, behaviors, and comorbidities