interview with a neurologist
Dr. Jeff Rind, Neurologist
What is a Neurologist? A Neurologist is a doctor who takes care of people with diseases of the nervous system.
How does the right side of the brain control the left side of the body and vice versa? The cells on the right side of the brain, voluntarily tells the left side what to do, send axons that cross in the brainstem to the left side of spinal cord. They travel down the spinal cord until they reach the neuron that is going to tell a particular muscle what to do.
What are the most common head injuries in sports? The most common head injury is blunt (or non-penetrating) injury to the head when you get a blunt injury to the head sometimes people have concussion.
Is it like what the athletes call "Ding"? No.
What is a concussion? Is it a change in the level of consciousness? Normal consciousness is when someone is alert and they are aware of everything that’s going on around them.
The worst concussions occur when someone completely loses consciousness, in other words they don’t respond to both words that are spoken to them or physical contact in other words like someone shaking them.
Mind concussion may result if someone is feeling stunned, seeing stars, having a headache, dizziness, nauseous or even seeing double. Some of these symptoms can hours to days to weeks.
A concussion is caused by swelling of the brain. This sometimes occurs because the blood vessels in the brain expand when they should not. Normally the blood vessels in the brain are able to auto-regulate. In other words, the control of how much blood goes in to the brain. So, for example, when you stand up your blood vessels expand so you don’t feel light headed. When you sit down, the blood vessels contract. But, after a concussion you lose the ability to regulate the size of your blood vessels. This can have a terrible consequence if you have a second concussion before you recover from the first concussion.
Swelling of the brain? That means it gets bigger, and we get smarter! No.
What is a second head injury syndrome? Also called a second hit syndrome, occurs when you have a second concussions before you heal from the first one you had. The second hit results in a massive expansion of the blood vessel in the brain causing severe brain swelling. This can lead to brain damage and even death.
Is that what is referred to as SIS as well? Yes.
How does the hit cause massive explosion? Will it ever explode? No!!!!
Could you please tell us about some of the examples - the real athlete who got hurt? Boxers routinely get concussions.
Is there any way to help the brain recover faster from the concussion? No.
How can we prevent or lessen head injuries? Wearing protecting gear acknowledging the rules of game and knowing what is going on around you. In other words be alert.
What is the " prognosis"? Prognosis is another word for chance of recovery. If it is a mild or moderate concussion most people make a complete recovery. If it more severe people can still make a complete recovery but some people may have problems that don’t resolve. These can be learning or memory difficulties, headaches, emotional problems and even physical problems like with walking and coordination problems. There is no real treatment for it. You treat the symptoms.
How does the brain heal itself in the "complete recovery"? The brain heals itself by reabsorbing the fluid. That causes decrease in edema or swelling.