By Dr. Daniel Marsh, D.C.
Recently there has been an increase focus on the devastating long-term effects of head trauma in the form of concussion, particularly in the NFL. All I can say is “ It’s about time.” The information I’m going to share with you in this article is not new. It was brought to light as far back as the mid `1950’s when Dr. Royal Lee, founder of Standard Process of Wisconsin discovered that the disruption of the brain tissue barrier, also known as the “blood brain barrier” occurs during head injury leading to an autoimmune reaction against the brain tissue. This can ultimately lead to neurological deficit such as epilepsy, mood disorder, schizophrenia, short- term memory loss and dementia later on in life. The pituitary and hypothalamus glands in the brain, which are the master hormone glands have also been shown to be adversely effected.
The first question we need to ask is “what is head trauma?” How bad of an injury do I have to sustain in order to suffer the effects of brain injury? The latest research shows it doesn’t take much to cause a disruption of the blood brain barrier leading to problems later. You don’t have to have a “ serious concussion” to be at risk. Even mild, repetitive head impact such as in youth football or boxing or even a mild whiplash injury can be a problem later. When I take a patient’s history I’ll ask about previous trauma, even mild head injury as far back as the patient can remember. I often hear the patient try to minimize an old accident or injury by saying things like, “ I was in a car accident but walked away and felt fine afterwards, or,” I got my bell rung during a football game but went right back out on the field and continued to play.” I witnessed this first hand as a former team doctor for a high school football team more than 25 years ago. At that time parents did not like it when I removed their child from a game due to a hard hit to the head. Thankfully injury protocols for youth sports have improved greatly since then.
In a society where we judge our level of health based solely on how we feel, this can be a problem. This type of head and spine trauma can lay dormant for many years only to present with symptoms later in live. The good news is we have specific nutritional protocols that are designed to support injury repair and brain function. If you or someone you know has concerns about these issues I provide a complimentary initial consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for our approach.
Head trauma . . . what’s really at stake?