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 - 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.