Blast injuries, sports concussions, and head trauma from motor vehicle accidents, falls, or assaults can have a profound impact on sleep, memory, cognition, mood, and relationships.
The term used to describe this trauma to the head and the long-term symptom map linked to it is Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI.
Mild TBI is a concussion. At the time of injury, some victims experience confusion or disorientation lasting less than 24 hours; loss of consciousness for up to 30 minutes; or memory loss lasting less than 24 hours. For others, there can be virtually no symptoms at the time of injury, but develop gradually over time.
Elevate MD in Cincinnati, Ohio treats long-term symptoms associated with TBI by targeting brain health and the disruptions in the hormonal system that it controls.
The window of opportunity for symptoms to emerge after traumatic brain injury is 12 months, which means that there’s value in collecting laboratory tests periodically after the date of injury in order to chronicle any changes in the brain.
Symptoms, which can often be correlated with the location of trauma, may include fatigue, agitation, headaches, visual disturbances, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, apathy, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, loss of sex drive, confusion, and difficulty organizing thoughts.
Symptoms emerge because traumatic brain injury induces an inflammatory response in the brain that disrupts neural pathways, promotes neuronal cell death, and induces hormonal deficits. We know from the medical literature that neuro-inflammation can persist for up to 17 years after the initial trauma. We also know that common health problems such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and the development of dementia can be linked to the incidence of traumatic brain injury through the common thread of neuro-inflammation.
The TBI program at Elevate MD blends the best of a lifestyle medical practice with program threads that are specifically designed to quiet neuro-inflammation, improve hormonal imbalances, and optimize neural coherence. We created our TBI program by integrating best practices in nutrition and exercise from in-patient centers for TBI with additional focus on neuro-inflammation and all of its functional consequences.
The potential to improve quality of life and resolve long-term symptoms after traumatic brain injury is a reality, with over 1500 patients having been successfully treated using the strategies leveraged at Elevate MD.
TBI Service Concepts
We approach the management of symptomatic mild TBI through four distinct threads.
- Support an environment in the brain that promotes optimal function and brain health; and
- Reconcile patient symptoms against exam findings, qEEGs with a complete event related potential assessment, and laboratory tests that look at the function of hormonal systems controlled by the brain; and
- Design a clinical nutrition and exercise program to support a comprehensive platform for improving mTBI symptoms based on objective testing; and
- Follow-up with routine patient assessments.
Some individuals may additionally benefit by participating in a Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy (MeRT) program that is specific for the head-trauma space.
Hormones and TBI
Traumatic brain injury ignites a neuro-inflammatory fuse which disrupts hormonal systems that are controlled from the brain.
The brain centers typically affected include the hypothalamus and the anterior pituitary. The posterior pituitary is typically spared after traumatic brain injury because of some structural advantages in its anatomy.
The hypothalamus and anterior pituitary control the production of growth hormone, thyroid hormone, testosterone, estrogen and cortisol.
The most common hormonal issues identified after traumatic brian injury include either a growth hormone deficiency or a testosterone deficiency.
The lead time between traumatic brain injury and the onset of a deficiency can run out to 12-months.
If left unchecked, these changes can reduce longevity and promote age-related chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Our approach to the treatment of traumatic brain injury at Elevate MD exploits nutrition and exercise in tandem with dedicated attention to managing the neuro-inflammatory environment in the brain and any secondary hormonal deficiencies. Patients with persistent complaints such as disrupted sleep cycles or brain fog are referred for additional treatment using advanced transcranial magnetic stimulation.
The decision to suspend various treatment layers as the neuro-inflammatory burden improves presents patients with an opportunity to move forward without the need for continuous medical support.
Our program objectives focus on improving quality of life and promoting health span. Gains can be subdivided into promoting brain health and reducing the risk for long-term complications due to endocrine system disruption such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, osteoporosis, frailty syndromes and mental health disorders.
- Warrior Angels Foundation
- Millennium-TBI Project
- Hypopituitarism After Traumatic Brain Injury
- Morbidity and GH Deficiency
- Cardiovascular Disease, Hypertension, Dyslipidaemia and Obesity
- Traumatic Brain Injury and the Risk of Dementia
- TBI & Hormonal Dysfunction Syndrome
- The Neuropathology of Traumatic Brain Injury