Help Your Young Athlete Recognize The Warning Signs of a Concussion

Aug 08, 2023
Help Your Young Athlete Recognize The Warning Signs of a Concussion
Young athletes are at risk of concussions, especially during contact sports like football and hockey. When your young athlete experiences a head injury, it’s time for a detailed neurological evaluation.

An impact or a strong jerking motion can shift the brain within the skull. The result is a concussion, and it can damage neurons (brain cells). Even more, the symptoms might not be felt immediately. 

Any potential brain injury should be evaluated by professionals who understand the potential impact of a concussion. Delaware NeuroRehab is equipped to assess your young athlete’s injury with a detailed clinical assessment. Our multidisciplinary team can help your child return to school, return to sports, and recover their pre-injury function. 

Recognizing the symptoms

If your young athlete hits their head or withstands impact during a sporting event, getting an evaluation is essential. Even if your child doesn’t lose consciousness or seem confused, delayed symptoms are common. Early intervention is always a good idea. 

Watch for the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Vision disturbances (e.g., double vision, blurred vision)
  • Clumsiness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Light or noise sensitivity

As soon as you arrive at Delaware NeuroRehab, our team reviews your child’s symptoms and learns the details of the injury. 

Conventional imaging scans can’t cut it

Conventional imaging tests like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans don’t always show the extent of a traumatic brain injury. Instead of relying on imaging tests and a basic neurological physical, our team utilizes a series of advanced diagnostic tools to evaluate your child’s brain concussion. 

Effective diagnostic tools for concussions

Diagnostic tools evaluate your child’s brain function and the extent of their concussion. Delaware NeuroRehab is equipped with the following:

Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) Scan

A SPECT scan can evaluate various organs for damage by measuring the blood flow through them. In the case of a concussion, the scan creates a 3D image of your brain to assess blood flow. 

Functional MRI (fMRI)

fMRI is similar to a conventional MRI scan, but it focuses on evaluating blood flow and other activity in your brain as your child completes specific tasks to activate certain brain functions. Using this test, our team can assess functions like speech, comprehension, and movement. 

Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)

DTI is a type of MRI scan that tracks water movement through the white matter in your brain. White matter tracts connect the different areas of your brain and facilitate communication between them. DTI detects disruptions along these pathways, indicating where the concussion has caused damage. 

Quantitative Electroencephalogram (Q-EEG)

Q-EEG, or brain mapping, measures electrical waves within your child’s brain. Our team can track changes in brain waves based on neurofeedback and other interventions. Event-related potential (ERP) tests use stimuli, like repeated sounds or visuals, to measure specific brain activity through an EEG. The timing and sequence of the stimuli activate different areas of the brain and detect subtle irregularities in brain function. 

The risks of ignoring the signs

While some concussions are mild and don’t require much clinical intervention, ignoring a possible concussion in your young athlete could lead to permanent changes in their cognition. Our team can provide your young athlete with a multidisciplinary recovery program to rehabilitate their brain and restore proper function.

To access top-tier services from brain injury physician, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, neuropsychologists, psychologists, and other experts for concussion recovery, call Delaware NeuroRehab or schedule an appointment online today.