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How a Concussion Can Alter Your Brain

If your head gets hit hard enough, your brain can literally bounce around in your skull. It’s no wonder that a traumatic brain injury like a concussion can severely alter your brain structure and abilities. 

From cognitive difficulties to memory loss, concussions can create chemical changes in your brain that affect and damage your brain cells. Some of these changes resolve quickly, while others are lasting and cause permanent complications.

The good news is that treatments are available that can help your brain heal and return you to normal function. At Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic in Palo Alto, California, Dr. Richard Abbey and our team perform in-depth neuropsychological testing to determine the extent and location of your trauma so we can rehabilitate your brain and get you feeling like yourself again. 

A blow to your head

Concussions are a type of mild traumatic brain injury that are caused by a blow or jolt to your head. The impact must be major to cause a concussion, or enough to make your head forcefully jerk around. 

A concussion can happen as the result of a car accident, fall, or sports-related injury. When your brain bounces around your skull, it can damage the brain’s cells and disrupt your normal brain functioning. It may also lead to blood vessel damage or bruising in your brain. 

Any of these internal injuries can make it harder for your brain to work properly and lead to a variety of symptoms that affect your daily life.

Effects of concussions

About 75% of traumatic brain injuries that occur each year are mild injuries like concussions. While they may be considered mild, they can have immediate and long-term impacts on your ability to think clearly, communicate properly, and regulate your emotions.

Some of the many potential effects of a concussion include:

Concussions can also increase your risk of developing brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy. 

If you experience repeated concussions in a short period of time — which can happen in sports — it may lead to more permanent or severe neurological and cognitive issues. 

When your issues will resolve 

How quickly your brain returns to normal functioning after a concussion depends on a variety of factors. Your age, the severity of your traumatic brain injury, and your health all impact how quickly you recover.

It can take anywhere from 10 days to a month for your concussion to resolve, and your symptoms may disappear before your brain fully heals. 

One of the most important things you can do after a concussion is to rest, so your brain can heal. That means doing things like avoiding physical activity and staying off screens.

While you can’t rush healing from a concussion, you can engage in rehabilitation that helps to retrain your brain. We offer proven treatments like neurofeedback, infrared light therapy, neurovisual training, and psychotherapy to help you fully recover from the effects of a concussion. 

To get your brain back to good health after a concussion, call our office at 650-215-6840, or schedule an appointment online today. We also offer virtual programs.

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