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How do you go about evaluating what part of the brain was affected and how to improve that?

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Medical Professional

Answer transcribed from Brightway's Interview with Dr. Bryce Appelbaum:

If we're talking in response to a head injury, usually the first place you go with a head injury is the emergency room or hospital. They do all the diagnostic tests to make sure that there's no bleeding, swelling, or any physical damage to the brain. I think that's absolutely what needs to be done and the first place to go. 


However, you know a concussion is a bruise and it's a brain bruise. Almost no diagnostic imaging actually uncovers damage unless it's a functional MRI or something that's looking at the areas of the brain that are being tapped into and how you're using those areas. Very often, patients that I see with head injuries are told everything is fine or that they'll recover with time and they're not even sure whether it's diagnosed. They’ve seen neurology and their primary care physician and yet still they’re having trouble with visual symptoms like blur, headaches, dizziness, double vision, disrupted sleep, or they stand up and all of a sudden they lose blood flow to the brain. 


There are so many profiles that accompany head injuries that really require healthcare practitioners to look at the patient on a more holistic level. This includes really listening to how they're functioning and why they're there rather than just staying in their specific lane of one particular organ or system is not impacted. We are, as a medical community, probably 10 or so years into understanding concussion so much better than we used to with all of this research and literature coming out and everything occurring in the major sports areas. However, we're also still so far away from understanding concussion as well as we could and I think seeing practitioners who are constantly evolving and learning from their patients is really key because literature and research that prove the efficacy of certain treatments or what occurs with head injuries really follows years behind what's working in clinical practice until it's actually published. I think it’s important to make sure that you're looking holistically at the patient or at yourself to figure out how am I feeling different, what's different, and then from there figure out from the symptoms who the right person is to see.