Falls are the most common cause of head injury, accounting for 47% of the 2.5 million annual visits to emergency departments due to head injuries. Dr. Bharat Tolia at Comprehensive Neurology Headache and Sleep Center has extensive experience evaluating and treating head injuries. A health care professional should always assess a head injury, so please call the office in Pontiac, Michigan, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.
A concussion is a common name for a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). Whether a fall, sports injury, or car accident caused it, head injuries make the brain bounce against the skull, which damages brain cells and triggers chemical changes.
The physical and cognitive impact of a concussion can last for weeks and cause ongoing complications.
Mild TBIs can cause someone to lose consciousness for a short period, but it doesn’t always happen. Symptoms of a concussion include:
People who suffer moderate to severe TBI may experience the same symptoms associated with mild TBI, as well as the following symptoms that develop in the first hour or days:
Repeated concussions increase the chance of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is a degenerative brain disease that kills brain cells. It causes changes in mood, behavior, memory, and cognition that ultimately lead to dementia.
Some types of TBI increase a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Older adults with a history of moderate TBI have more than double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, compared to seniors who have never experienced TBI.
A complete evaluation to determine the severity of a head injury may include diagnostic tests such as an electroencephalogram (EEG), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a CT scan, or computed tomography angiography. Dr. Tolia performs the EEG in-office and provides a referral for other tests.
Dr. Tolia should always evaluate TBIs due to the potential for long-term problems. He also determines whether the patient needs to limit physical or mental activities. A person who loses consciousness or has seizures, repeated vomiting, or worsening symptoms should seek immediate medical care.
If you have suffered a head injury – even a mild concussion – don’t hesitate to call Dr. Tolia or book an appointment online.