Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur when there is a rapid deceleration of the brain within the skull cavity due to shock impact or a whipping motion of the head and neck. These injuries often occur due to sport impact, motor vehicle accidents, and high impact activities. TBIs can result in a number of problems and symptoms. These include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Sensory problems – tinnitus (ringing in ears), blurred vision, or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Feeling depressed or anxious
  • Mood changes and mood swings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sleeping more than usual

Over 75% of all TBIs are mild, which means that there is only brief loss of consciousness or none at all. In these cases, also called concussions, physical examination and CT or MRI testing is normal. An important but little-known fact is that concussions can occur without loss of consciousness.

TBIs are a very common issue among those that have experienced a motor vehicle accident. Over half of all reported traumatic brain injuries result from vehicular accident. In Canada, over 400 citizens a day experience a TBI, and approximately 700 000 Canadians (2% of the nation’s population) suffer from a traumatic brain injury. In addition to a high prevalence, TBIs can result in numerous discomforting and crippling side effects, both physically and mentally, as previously mentioned. In fact, TBIs are the leading cause for disability in Canada for people under the age of 40. Because of this, it is vital that traumatic brain injuries are assessed completely, and are both monitored and treated effectively.

In some cases, patients suffering from a concussion do not recover and experience TBI symptoms for months or even years after the initial trauma. This is known as post-concussion syndrome (PCS) and is experience by approximately 15% of TBI sufferers. Many patients that suffer from chronic pain also suffer from a TBI. These can be easily missed because many of the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome are also common in people with chronic pain. They include:

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Depression

With these common symptoms, it is often difficult to determine which is the primary problem affecting a patient. We recognize that all these factors must be treated with an integrative approach. Changes in brain function that are related to TBI and pain can also be related to medication side-effects, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disturbances and psychological and social stress. We strive to heal our patients by treating the body – and the brain – as a whole.

Our approach to treatment includes balancing brain hormones such as DHEA, melatonin, testosterone, and progesterone. We also assess thyroid and adrenal function in everyone. As with chronic pain, we commonly use trigger point injections of the head and neck. We are also working with specialized cutting-edge tools, including transcranial direct current stimulation, scalp laser light therapy and ear acupuncture.

We also assess patients with suspected post-concussion syndrome using specialized kind of EEG called quantitative EEG or qEEG assessment. This is different from a regular EEG, which only looks for seizure activity in the brain. qEEG assessment uses advanced software to analyze brainwaves to find patterns that reflect abnormal brain function. While it cannot be used to diagnose TBI, qEEG is a reliable, objective measure of brain function.

qEEG data is also used to create a neurofeedback treatment plan. This is also called EEG biofeedback, and it targets a specific location and a specific brainwave pattern. Neurofeedback is a promising treatment for TBI that has improved the lives of thousands of people.

To ensure we are treating the entire person, we also offer psychological services, and specialized counseling that addresses chronic pain and TBI. We also prescribe evidence-based natural health products that can help with mood, sleep, and cognitive function.

There is a growing awareness of concussion among soldiers, athletes and motor vehicle accident victims, and it seems to have just begun.   People suffering from a brain injury can hopefully look forward to many changes in the years to come.   The Seekers Centre is an early adopter of these innovative solutions, and we use them in carefully selected cases to offer our patients the best results.