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The CDC estimates that there are about 1.6 - 3.8 million concussions/year in the US. This equates to about 5-20% of athletes in any given sport. Since the CDC has launched their "Heads Up" campaign, the diagnosis of concussion has increased by about 7-10%, suggesting many concussions are never diagnosed or reported. Currently, we do not have a biomarker to diagnose concussions, so it is diagnosed clinically, meaning based on one's history and symptoms. Concussion results from either a direct or indirect impact to the head and often results in migraine-like symptoms including headaches, light and sound sensitivity, dizziness/ or vertigo, mood lability and nausea. There is often disrupted sleep, as well.
Current recommendations are to treat the headaches and associated symptoms as if it were a primary migraine headache unrelated to concussions.
- Light and Sound Sensitivity -- Magnesium can stabilize neuronal firing and glutamate toxicity, reducing:
- Nausea - Ginger can reduce nausea and vomiting
- Headaches -- Both caffeine and magnesium can help reduce a headache acutely
- Sleep Disruption -- 5-HTP and chamomile can help with a better night’s sleep.
Preventively - Chronically
- Light and Sound Sensitivity -- Magnesium targets glutamate toxicity and is known to reduce the hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli that accompanies migraines and post-concussive syndrome.
- Headaches -- CoQ10, melatonin, and magnesium decrease inflammation and stabilize neuronal membranes, reducing aberrant firing.
- Sleep Disruption -- Melatonin aids with this, also acting to reduce inflammation. It helps regulate the circadian rhythm and has been used in post-concussive syndrome effectively.
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