Diagnosis and Treatment of CTE and Traumatic Brain Injury New York

According to CDC estimates,1.6-3.8 million sports and recreation related concussions occur in the United States each year.

Between 2001-2005, children and youth ages 5-18 years old accounted for 2.4 million sports-related emergency department (ED) visits annually, of which 6% (135,000) involved a concussion.

An athlete who sustains concussion is 4-6 times more likely to sustain a second concussion.

Signs and symptoms of concussion include headache, nausea, fatigue, confusion or memory problems, sleep disturbances, or mood changes.

 

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a brain condition associated with repeated blows to the head. It is also associated with the development of dementia. Potential signs of CTE are problems with thinking and memory, personality changes, and behavioral changes including aggression and depression. People may not experience potential signs of CTE until years or decades after brain injuries occur.

Physicians and researchers are only beginning to understand many aspects of CTE. More time and research are needed. For that reason, consensus has not yet been reached on the symptoms of CTE. However, based on present knowledge, the signs of CTE may sometimes be similar to those of other conditions that involve substantial loss of brain cells, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Possible signs include:

  • Memory loss.
  • Personality changes (including depression and suicidal thoughts).
  • Erratic behavior (including aggression).
  • Problems paying attention and organizing thoughts.
  • Difficulty with balance and motor skills.

Like Alzheimer’s dementia, CTE is characterized by tangles of an abnormal form of the protein tau in the brain. Unlike Alzheimer’s dementia, these tangles typically appear around small blood vessels, and beta-amyloid plaques are only present in certain circumstances. How the brain changes associated with CTE are linked to cognitive or behavioral dysfunction is unclear.

Assessment and Treatment

At CTE-Help.com, we offer assessments and treatment packages

Biofeedback and Neurofeedback Treatments for CTE

There are some neurofeedback and biofeedback treatments combining neurofeedback and biofeedback for brain disorders. An advantage of these methods of treatments is that medications can be reduced or eliminated, thereby avoiding the side effects of medication.  It is also likely that the therapeutic results will be permanent.

What causes CTE?

A review of available literature indicates that the greatest risk factor for developing CTE-related brain changes is repetitive brain trauma — repeated, forceful blows to the head such as those that may occur playing contact sports that a single blow or concussion may not result in symptoms.  The repeated blows are believed to cause trauma to the brain cells, and with repeated blows, more brain and more brain cells are damaged, which reduces the mental functioning of the person.  This means that there can be a reduction in memory , increased impulsivity (the brain has lost the ability to hold itself back), reduced ability in problem solving, and depression and anxiety due to both the brain not working well and the reaction all these problems.

What we do at CTE-HELP

Evaluation of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

There are 3 overall ways to evaluate CTE: Symptom report, Neuropsychological Evaluation and Quantitative EEG.

  • Symptom Report. The common symptoms of CTE are problems with memory, impulsivity, confusion and problem solving.  Another way to look at this is ask the person “What things do you have trouble doing that you were able to do several years ago?”
  • Neuropsychological Evaluation.  This evaluation is about 8 hours of direct testing, one-on-one, with another hour or two filling out questionnaires and history forms, and 7 hours to score the material and write the report.  This tests overall intelligence, memory, reasoning, visual and verbal processing, problem solving and abstract thinking.  The different scores are compared to what is believed to be the person’s overall level of intelligence, especially before the blows to the head started.  Often, these reports are 10 to 15 pages long, and takes about 15 hours of professional time.
  • Quantitative Electroencephalogram (QEEG). In this assessment, the brain wave information is collected by putting sensors on 19 sites on the head.  A series of frequencies of brain functioning are derived at all the site (Delta, T nce and Phase).  All of this information is displayed in “Brain Maps” to show where and in what frequencies there are excesses and deficiencies.  This information is used directly in the field of NeuroTherapy which addresses the problem areas and seeks to bring this brain back to normal functioning. READ MORE ABOUT NEUROFEEDBACK
  • Cognitive Remediation. This treatment consists of giving the patient exercises to improve the cognitive functioning.  Some of these exercises include Word Finding, recalling stories or passages read to the patient, reasoning and problem solving.  Another exercise is reading a passage or a chapter and writing out the main idea.

 

What we do to help CTE

QEEG

What is it?

Most people have heard of an EKG (electrocardiogram) but have not heard of a QEEG. The same way that heart activity is measured via EKG, brain activity is measured via EEG. The “Q” is the quantitative analysis which mathematically compares your brain to the norm; thus showing areas of dysregulation.

Why do we do this?

At The Brain Clinic we know that no two brains are created alike, and that’s why our treatments are individually created. The QEEG allows us to give you a personalized treatment targeting your specific problem areas to help you become your most optimal self.

What’s next?

In one word; Neurotherapy. Neurotherapy is training your brainwaves out of dysregulation and into a better brain functioning pattern for you. This can be done with biofeedback (using real time displays to your brain activity) and cognitive remediation.

 

Contact us today for a Treatment Package. email: nurosvcs@aol.com

 

WHO WE ARE

Dr. James Lawrence Thomas, Director of the Brain Clinic, is a licensed clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist specializing in diagnosing and treating adult ADHD, LD, and mild head injuries for three decades.

He has post doctorate certificates in group therapy, cognitive therapy, relationship therapy, and neuropsychology, with seven books to his credit, including Do you have Attention Deficit Disorder? (Dell, 1996).

Dr. Larry Thomas has degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and CUNY, and has been on the Faculty of NYU Medical Center for over 20 years. He is Past President of the Independent Practice Division and the Neuropsychology Divisions of the New York State Psychological Association (NYSPA), and is on the Board of Directors of the International Dyslexia Association and the New York Academy of Traumatic Brain Injury.

He is Board Certified in EEG Biofeedback from the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America (BCIA-EEG). Dr. Larry Thomas was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by NYSPA in June of 2000, and in October 2001, he was elected as Distinguished Practitioner of Psychology in the National Academies of Practice, one of the highest honors in the field.

 

 

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