qEEG and Neurofeedback for Concussions & Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Health care professionals may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, their effects can be serious.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Concussion?
Most people with a concussion recover quickly and fully. But for some people, symptoms can last for days, weeks, or longer. In general, recovery may be slower among older adults, young children, and teens. Those who have had a concussion in the past are also at risk of having another one and may find that it takes longer to recover if they have another concussion.

Symptoms of concussion usually fall into four categories:

    • Thinking/Remembering
        • Difficulty thinking clearly
        • Feeling slowed down
        • Difficulty concentrating
        • Difficulty remembering new information
    • Physical
        • Headache; Fuzzy or blurry vision
        • Nausea or vomiting (early on)
        • Dizziness
        • Sensitivity to noise or light
        • Balance problems
        • Feeling tired; having no energy
    • Emotional/Mood
        • Irritability
        • Sadness
        • More emotional
        • Nervousness or anxiety
    • Sleep
        • Sleeping more than usual
        • Sleep less than usual
        • Trouble falling asleep

Some of these symptoms may appear right away, while others may not be noticed for days or months after the injury, or until the person starts resuming their everyday life and more demands are placed upon them. Sometimes, people do not recognize or admit that they are having problems. Others may not understand why they are having problems and what their problems really are, which can make them nervous and upset.

The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be difficult to sort out. Early on, problems may be missed by the person with the concussion, family members, or doctors. People may look fine even though they are acting or feeling differently. In addition, post-concussion problems may not appear in the usual recommended MRI or CAT scan tests.

How do qEEG and Neurofeedback help assess and treat concussions or TBIs?
qEEG (Quantitative Electroencephalography) Mapping uses a statistical analysis of EEG brainwaves to assess amplitude, instabilities and connectivity abnormalities in specific locations where the injuries occur. A neurologist also reviews each EEG for neurological deficits such as seizures. Clinicians then use the results of qEEG Mapping to develop individualized protocols for a treatment called Neurofeedback or EEG Biofeedback. Past research on the use of qEEG with patients with head injuries has indicated that the qEEG Map was the most sensitive type of brain imaging test for identifying post-concussion syndrome.

Neurofeedback for concussions and TBI can be individualized for each person and each specific head injury based on the brain location and brain imbalance: frequency (speed), amplitude (energy) and coherence (connectivity). The standard treatment for concussions is a very passive non-direct approach, primarily rest and drinking liquids. Neurofeedback is one of the only active treatments whose goal is not only to quicken recovery time and return to play, but also to improve brain functioning in terms of attention, memory, learning, reaction time and remaining calm under pressure.

There have been studies showing that neurofeedback can remediate symptoms of concussions and closed head injury. Current research suggest that Neurofeedback interventions aimed at improving qEEG can be effective in reducing recovery time, return to play (RTP) and improving successful recovery for concussions.

Contact Crossroads Institute today to learn more about how neurofeedback can be used to help treat TBIs.

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