Getting a brain evaluation as soon as possible following a head injury will provide insight to the extent and location of the injury. For participants of high impact sports, qEEG-based evaluation can be a valuable tool for tracking brain functioning and potential brain trauma over time.
Getting non-invasive, pain-free, non-pharmaceutical treatment for your concussion can restore proper brain functioning, including sleep, which will allow you to return to the field, court, or life, with lower risk for repeat concussion and greater likelihood of success. Dr. Keifer is the only provider in the state of Hawaii trained to treat patients with advanced techniques and technology currently being used at the highest level of collegiate and professional sports, and military.
Symptoms of brain injury or concussion may go unnoticed at first, but can appear later and worsen over time. Concussions (mTBI) can have long lasting impacts on memory and speech, often presenting with co-morbid depression, anxiety and mood disorders. A personalized brain functional evaluation is particularly important if you have experienced the following:
Repeat head blows from impact sports
Other sports injury
Incidents of falling
Other head trauma
Sports Injury Prevention
For athletes of high impact sports such as football, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, cheerleading, bicycling, Dr. Keifer recommends getting a qEEG brainwave analysis before and after your season to monitor possible damage. While abnormalities may not show immediately, especially in the case of repeat blows to the head, damage may develop over time so follow-up brain assessments are important.
Using the QEEG to evaluate Sports Injury and Concussion (mTBI)
A qEEG is a functional, detailed analysis of brain activity known as “brainmapping.” This type of testing is important because pictures (CT, MRI) of the brain are normal greater than 90% of the time and are not currently effective at assessing functioning of the brain. Utilizing proprietary software and database, our unique approach to qEEG evaluation at our office allows us to get a deeper understanding of the way your brain is functioning, optimally or not, and correlate this data with symptoms you are experiencing. Understanding the extent and location of the brain injury objectively at the time of brain injury or while establishing a baseline will allow you to track changes over time (both positive and negative) and adjust treatment accordingly.
Our qEEG is done painlessly by wearing a special headset with sensors resting gently on your head. After scanning, specialized, proprietary software constructs a 'map' of your brain based on the pattern of brainwaves, which can be evaluated for patterns known to be associated with clinical conditions and symptoms. Even better comparison and understanding is possible when you have a pre-season, or pre-injury, evaluation on file as a baseline.
Step 1 - Brainwave Analysis & Neuro-cognitive testing for baseline measurement
Dr. Keifer uses quantitative EEG, also known as brainwave analysis, to understand your unique brain activity along with neurocognitive tests and proprietary software to further assess and correlate clinically how different areas of your brain function & communicate. The qEEG and testing are non-invasive, painless and can be completed typically in 30-60 minutes.
Step 2 - In season/post-injury qEEG & Neuro-cognitive Testing
Should you see signs of concussion and have concern about your health and brain functioning following an injury or series of blows, or you or your loved one are uncertain and would like peace of mind, follow up brain wave analysis and neuro-cognitive scoring is performed to determine if the brain suffered damage causing symptoms.
Step 3 - Individualized management & treatment protocol
Analysis & comparison of brainwave & neurocognitive scores allows Dr. Keifer to create a personalized & targeted approach aimed at promoting proper brain functioning, health and performance. Using the best available information about the state of your unique brain will allow optimal planning for your return to work, school, practice, and/or exercise in a brain-safe manner.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a category, or type, of traumatic brain injury (TBI), caused by a blow or jar to the head that alters the way your brain normally functions. Concussions can also occur from falls or blows to the body that cause the brain to move quickly back and forth inside (rotational force) the skull. While concussions may be clinically described as mild TBI (mTBI), their effects can be serious and long-lasting when not diagnosed and managed properly.
The most common causes of concussion are motor vehicle accidents (30%), sports (20%), bicycle accidents (15%). Anyone can suffer a concussion, young or old are at risk. Statistically, the highest rate of concussion diagnosis is in kids 12 and under. National studies are showing an increasing number of kids and teenagers, are being diagnosed with concussions that result from play, falling, bicycling and while participating in games and practices.
The signs and symptoms of concussions may be hard to establish early on, and can be missed by the person suffering, family members and doctors as the concussed person may look fine, almost normal, even though they are feeling or acting differently.
Signs & Symptoms of Concussions:
Sleep - some sleep more than usual, others sleep less than usual and/or have trouble falling asleep
Thinking/Memory - difficulty thinking clearly, difficulty concentrating, feeling slowed down or foggy, difficulty remembering new information
Emotional - Irritability, Sadness, more emotional, sense of nervousness, worry and/or restlessness
Physical - early on you may experience nausea or vomitting; Headache with fuzzy or blurry vision, dizziness, sensitivity to noise or light, fatigue, difficulty maintaining balance