Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-concussion Syndrome

The Naturopathic Doctors at the Nardella Clinic in Calgary have successfully treated brain injury due to concussion utilizing a biomedical approach to enhance injured brain tissues. Our Naturopaths have provided care to both acute symptoms and post-concussion syndrome.

A concussion is the most prevalent type of brain injury.  The vast majority of concussions are considered mild concussions or the “shake-it-off” type.  In any concussion, a brain injury occurs, however cognitive impairment may not be evident at the time of the injury.  The symptoms of a concussion may be noticed once an individual is engaged in their daily routine of tasks.  The severity of the injury depends upon the specific damage to the brain and not the severity of how the injury was acquired.  The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention places the signs and symptoms of a concussion into four categories.

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

The typical concussion is diagnosed based on behavourial and cognitive assessments.  Concussion can result in both short-term and long-term impairment of neurological function and the possibility of significant neuro-pathological changes. Post-concussion syndrome can occur in up to 80% of people who have had a traumatic brain injury. At present, the standard treatments for post-concussion syndrome are rest, limiting exposure to possible additional brain injury, and treatment of symptoms as they occur. There is no specific treatment for concussion, but many have been attempted with generally limited success. These treatments include corticosteroids, free radical scavengers and antioxidants, drugs to inhibit arachidonic acid inflammatory response, and drugs that modify MAO function.  Conventional treatments also used for post-concussion syndrome have included glutamate receptor antagonists, calcium channel blockers, and thyrotrophin-releasing hormone.

Brain injuries are diffuse, that is, the injury is present in many different areas of the brain.  Further, the type of injury in one area of the brain may be different than another.  In a concussion, injury may include damage to blood vessels, cranial nerves, the shearing of nerve tissue, a contusion or bruise on the brain.  This results in a lack of blood flow and oxygen delivery to tissue, swelling and bio-chemical changes that hamper healing due to a lack of oxygen (hypoxia) available to brain tissue.  Under normal conditions the brain utilizes all of the oxygen supplied to it.  With an injury the brain is lacking the additional oxygen required to create the energy required for healing.  Supplying elevated levels of dissolved oxygen to brain tissue is of significant benefit to the brain injured patient, as is accomplished via hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

The Naturopathic Doctors at the Nardella Clinic in Calgary use these key biomedical treatments to address traumatic brain injury and post concussion syndrome:

  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
  • Intravenous Glutathione
  • Intravenous Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Intravenous Curcumin
  • Nutritional Supplementation
  • Neurotracker Cognitive Therapy

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