LOGIC March 2018 Vol 17 Vol 1 - Page 31

• • The brain is like a city with tall buildings and roads and bridges that connect buildings. And a concussion is like an earthquake which is not strong enough to knock the buildings down but enough to cause damage to the roads and bridges. On CT scan/MRI, the brain actually looks normal, because the scan actually focuses on the brain cells, the buildings, but it doesn't have a good ability to assess the axons, which are the bridges and roads of the city (Chae, 2013). • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions • Feeling tired all the time, low energy, decreased motivation • Lightheadedness, dizziness (vestibular or neck related) or change in balance • Nausea • Blurred vision – can be related to vestibular function • Mood changes, irritability, restlessness • Changes patterns • Increased sensitivity to light, noise (hyperacusis) or distractions Signs and Symptoms of mTBI These can be subtle and may not appear for a few days following the injury. They may be missed initially as people may look fine but then become more apparent when the person resumes their normal pre injury activities such as work, sports or exams. People may act or seem slightly different to people that know them well and it may be a family member or colleague who is commenting on changes in personality or function. • Headaches March 2018 L.O.G.I.C in sleep These may present as: • “I just don’t feel right” • “I messed up a recipe I’ve made a 100 times” • “I hate going out now” • “I’m grumpy with the kids all the time” • “My friends annoy me now” or “My friends are avoiding me” • “I don’t read books like I used to” • “I can’t watch a full movie like I used to” • “Johnny is being very naughty since he hit his head” Factors Affecting Recovery There are several factors which can affect someone’s recovery from concussion. A ‘more severe’ injury does not always mean a longer or harder recovery. Pre-existing medical and mood issues can make it more difficult, as can other injuries sustained at the same time as the concussion (Wojcik, 2014). Personal psychological resilience in the face of injury has a big influence, as do the support systems that surround the person (Silver, 2014). A student living away from home in university halls may have less support than if they are living at home with family. The lifestyle and type of work that the person is returning to is also important. A teenager in year 10 at high school will tend to have more flexibility for time off school and be under less obvious stress than a year 13 student who is about to sit NCEA exams. The physical environment/demands of a work place can delay a return to work (e.g. very noisy or working at heights when still dizzy), and roles that require high cognitive demand can be difficult also. Rehabilitation Options 29