Unsettling news: even one concussion can change the brain. One mild traumatic brain injury can leave scars and structural injury to the brain. The study, published in the medical journal "Radiology" is the first study to show that a mild concussion can leave scars. A second study, presented by the American Academy of Neurology in March, indicates that follow up MRI scans are better for detecting differences in the post-concussive brain than the CT scan, more commonly used by emergency rooms. The brain continues to be more mysterious than the moon to physicians. Some patients with severe brain injuries recover well, while others with milder traumatic brain injuries suffer lasting effects.
A traumatic brain injury (or a series of impacts) can lead to cognitive problems, depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome.
What you can do to avoid and or manage concussions?
- Wear helmets for recreational activites such as mountain biking, cycling, roller blading, snow skiing, snowboarding, etc.
- Avoid situations on the road that might lead to a brain injury to you or your passengers due to a car accident or wreck: slow down, turn your phone off, drive defensively, don't rush to make a light before it turns red.
- Consider ImPACT testing for your child if your child plays sports (sometimes offered at schools).
The new information seems to indicate that an MRI is going to be the best tool for determining changes in the brain after an injury. Even a slight impact such as hitting your head on the steering wheel or car window in an accident could lead to tiny tears in the brain. If you've suffered a head injury with continuing symptoms, ask your doctor for an MRI scan to help diagnose and treat your concussion or TBI.