Head Injury Specialist

Bharat Tolia, MD -  - Neurologist

Comprehensive Neurology

Bharat Tolia, MD

Neurologist located in Pontiac, MI

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.

Head Injury Q & A

What is a concussion?

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.

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

Mild TBIs can cause someone to lose consciousness for a short period, but it doesn’t always happen. Symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Feeling confused or disoriented
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sleeping more than usual or having a hard time sleeping
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Blurred vision, ringing in ears, or changes in smell
  • Memory or concentration problems

What symptoms distinguish moderate to severe TBI?

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:

  • Loss of consciousness lasting several minutes to hours
  • Persistent or worsening headaches
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Fluid draining from nose or ears
  • Inability to awaken from sleep
  • Profound confusion or slurred speech
  • Agitation or other unusual behavior

What should you know about dementia due to head injury?

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.

How is a head injury evaluated and treated?

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.