Living an active lifestyle is an important part of many people’s lives, but several carry the risk of brain trauma or a concussion. This health risk increases when a brain is not fully recovered and activity resumes prematurely. But how does a physician know when the brain is fully healed, much less know when a concussive event occurred?
Research on the subject is becoming clear: concussion is multifaceted and requires a variety of assessments. Currently, a brain's state is assessed through standard performance and subjective methods. However, performance and symptoms can normalize before the brain has healed. Research shows that EEG brain scans and brainwave analyses can provide a unique picture of the brain through an objective measurement that compliments these standard assessments.
CONCUSSIONS AND AUDIO P300
The Audio P300 research has shown that an increase in latency and/or a decrease in amplitude has been observed in various conditions associated with brain trauma and concussions. Research shows concussed participants often pass clinical tests while still displaying electrophysiological deficits, and that ERPs from EEGs constituting a useful adjunct in monitoring the clinical course and recovery of concussion in athletes.
EEG scans can show significant changes in P300 amplitude following a concussive incident. P300 measurements normalize through progressive treatment and management of concussed patients. Findings conclude that EEGs and P300 amplitude can establish normalized data to be used as a marker in determining brain trauma.
Muscle tension, both in the neck and jaw, can be associated with a potential concussive impact and often presents with similar symptoms as a concussion. While a concussion presents a decrease in amplitude, muscle tension may be seen in an EEG scan from heightened brain wave activity on the raw signal without a change in amplitude or latency, not associated with a concussion.
SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines concussion as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain.
There may be signs of injury to the head, such as bruising or cuts, or there may be no visible injury. A person does not necessarily pass out after a concussion. Medical professionals often refer to concussions as “mild” TBIs (mTBI) because they are not usually life-threatening, however, concussions are serious injuries.
Signs and symptoms generally show up soon after the injury by observation or reported from injured person. However, you may not know how serious the injury is at first and some symptoms may not show up for hours or days.
Can’t recall events prior to or after a hit or fall.
Appears dazed or stunned.
Answers questions slowly.
Loses consciousness (even briefly).
Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes.
Headache or “pressure” in head.
Nausea or vomiting.
Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision.
Bothered by light or noise.
Feeling fatigued, sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy.
Ringing in ears.
Confusion, or concentration or memory problems.
Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down”.