28 Jun VLOG 2: “Invisible” Symptoms
In this VLOG episode, Dr. Talley discusses exactly what happened during one young man’s concussion incident and how that caused his lingering concussion symptoms even a year after it happened.
What Happened During The Concussion Impact?
If you imagine the Cortex is the density of jello and the Brain Stem is the density of a piece of celery, when the brain moves forward suddenly (as what happened to the young man in this example), a shearing effect occurs. This shearing can cause damage to the systems that live in that area and these are undetectable on an MRI, but can cause several lasting symptoms that will not go away without neuro rehabilitation.
What Symptoms Resulted & Why?
Difficulty Reading – Having to reread the same sentences over and over, and getting very mentally tired or getting a headache after a short time reading or trying to do work or homework. This happens because the affected area includes systems that control the eye movements. If those systems become dysregulated, it will be difficult to move the eyes together, causing reading to become exhausting and hard to process.
Light & Sound Sensitivity – Bright lights and loud noises trigger headaches or panic attacks. This is caused by damage to the Superior Colliculus which processes light, and damage to the Inferior Colliculus which processes audio stimulation.
Increased Anxiety & Anger Responses – Getting anxious easily or reacting in an uncharacteristically “angry” way, such as lashing out at others or easily “flying off the handle.” This could also manifest in feelings of nervousness or feeling “jittery.” When damage occurs to the Mesencephalon (or Midbrain), the sympathetic nervous system which controls the “fight or flight” response can become dysregulated. This makes it difficult to control responses like anxiety, nervousness, frustration and anger.
Decreased Motivation – Lack of motivation to do activities that were enjoyable before. Decreased motivation to do school work or be productive at work, which can lead to a student’s grades dropping or making it difficult for an individual to perform well at work possibly causing them to loose their job or make it difficult to keep a job for very long. This happens if the Substantia Nigra is damaged because that’s the part of the brain that produces the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is necessary to produce healthy levels of motivation when desired.
Just Because You Can’t See Symptoms, Doesn’t Mean They’re Not Real
If doctors tell you “there’s nothing wrong with you” or “everything looks completely normal” or to just rest and wait for things to get better and you are still clearly experiencing symptoms – call us here at Cerebrum. We understand how the brain works, why the symptoms are there and how to rehabilitate and treat those symptoms. You will get answers, treatment and hope.