This year, we’ve explored a range of the common symptoms we treat at Neuroheatlh Services, including dizziness, headaches and migraines, brain fog, visual disturbances, and symptoms associated with vestibular disorders and dystonia. Each of these conditions impacts different areas of the brain and their processes, which is why it’s so important to pinpoint areas in need of treatment. Here, we’ll take a closer look at those areas of the brain and the processes they direct.
Frontal Lobe: The Seat of Executive Functions
At the forefront of cognitive processing lies the frontal lobe. Located in the frontal region of the brain, this area is responsible for executive functions such as decision-making, problem-solving, and goal-setting. Without a well-functioning frontal lobe, it can be challenging to stay organized and make sound judgments.
Temporal Lobe: Memory and Language
On the sides of the brain, the temporal lobes play a vital role in cognitive processes related to language. The left temporal lobe is responsible for auditory processing and language comprehension, while the right lobe plays a role in recalling nonverbal information. Damage to this area can lead to difficulties in understanding language and recognizing faces.
Parietal Lobe: Spatial Awareness and Sensory Integration
The parietal lobe, located at the top and back of the brain, is essential for sensory processing and spatial awareness. It helps us navigate our surroundings, judge distances, and understand the position of our body in space. When functioning optimally, it enables us to perform tasks that require hand-eye coordination and a sense of direction.
Occipital Lobe: Visual Processing Center
If you've ever admired a sunset, a landscape, or a work of art, you can thank your occipital lobe. This area, located at the back of the brain, is responsible for visual processing. It helps us perceive colors, shapes, and motion, allowing us to make sense of the visual world around us. Injury to the occipital lobe can cause visual disturbances and impairments such as blind spots.
Limbic System: Emotions and Memory
Deep within the brain, the limbic system is the epicenter of emotions and memory. It includes structures like the amygdala and hippocampus. The limbic system regulates our emotional responses, forming the foundation of our mood, motivation, and emotional well-being. It's also crucial for forming and retrieving memories. Injury to this area of the brain can cause differences in speech, mood, personality, and impulse control.
Brainstem and Cerebellum: The Brain's Control Center
The brainstem and cerebellum are often considered the brain's control center, overseeing vital functions such as breathing, heart rate, and motor coordination. These regions indirectly impact cognitive processes by maintaining the body's physiological stability, allowing the higher cognitive areas to function properly. Injuries to the brain stem can cause a range of difficulties, including balance and coordination, hearing loss, and difficulty speaking, eating, and swallowing.
Corpus Callosum: Bridging the Hemispheres
The corpus callosum is a thick bundle of nerve fibers that connects the brain's left and right hemispheres. It enables communication and coordination between these two halves. While both hemispheres are involved in most cognitive tasks, they often specialize in different aspects of processing. When this area is damaged, it can lead to problems with speech and movement coordination, or ataxia.
In the realm of functional neurology, understanding how different areas of the brain influence cognitive processes is a fundamental aspect of diagnosis and treatment. By examining the brain's various regions and their roles, we gain insights into how we can optimize brain function and improve cognitive abilities. If you're interested in exploring your own cognitive landscape, our experienced and compassionate providers at Neurohealth Services can help you navigate the intricate pathways of your brain to unlock your full cognitive potential. Call (317) 848-6000 to schedule a free 10-minute consultation in our Indianapolis functional neurology clinic.
When Physical Conditions Lead to Emotional Symptoms: How Functional Neurology Treats Depression, Anxiety, Mood Swings and More
When a patient experiences an injury, infection, or condition that impacts cognitive function, the mental and emotional symptoms such as inattention, depression, irritability, and anxiety can often be just as challenging as the physical symptoms.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment for these conditions, and often scans may not show abnormalities even though patients are experiencing symptoms that disrupt routines, activities, and quality of life. Fortunately, functional neurology specializes in examining each individual’s unique cognitive responses to provide personalized treatment for these symptoms.
Here are some neurological conditions that can manifest with emotional symptoms and how functional neurology treatments such as improving brain function, stimulating neuroplasticity, and optimizing neural pathways can help.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
TBI, which can be caused by a single event, or by a gradually worsening condition, can lead to cognitive and emotional changes including depression, anxiety, mood swings, and a perceived lack of empathy that can cause someone struggling with the condition to seem like a completely different person. Functional neurology may involve exercises, therapies, and lifestyle modifications as well as non-invasive therapies like the Alpha-Stim, which stimulates nerve cells in order to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, and migraines.
The inflammation caused by a concussion can result in anxiety, mood swings, personality changes, and difficulty concentrating. Functional neurology may use vestibular rehabilitation, vision therapy, and neurofeedback to address these issues. Therapies like photobiomodulation target specific networks in the brain to stimulate healing, improve circulation, and reduce swelling and inflammation.
ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)
ADHD is characterized by inattention and hyperactivity. Even physical functions like coordination and balance can also be affected. Functional neurologists might use neurofeedback, sensory integration, and other cognitive training techniques to improve focus and attention. When a hormone imbalance or nutritional deficiency might be worsening cognitive function, treatment plans can also include dietary changes or supplements.
Long Haul COVID-19 Syndrome
Anxiety, memory loss, and brain fog are symptoms of not only long-haul COVID-19 syndrome but can also occur as a result of the inflammation caused by the common cold and flu viruses. Oculomotor rehabilitation, vestibular therapy, vagus nerve reset, and other functional medicine treatments can promote neuroplasticity that reduces inflammation and helps the brain heal after an infection.
A stroke can result in cognitive and emotional changes such as irritability, forgetfulness, carelessness, or confusion. Functional neurology could involve rehabilitation techniques to help retrain the brain, recover lost function, and pinpoint and stimulate areas of the brain in need of treatment.
Functional neurology uses a patient-centered, multidisciplinary approach to assess and treat an array of conditions. We may employ techniques like neurofeedback, vestibular rehabilitation, vision therapy, nutrition, and physical exercises to stimulate neuroplasticity, optimize brain function, and improve the patient's overall well-being. It's essential to consult with a qualified healthcare provider who specializes in functional neurology to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific neurological condition and unique needs. Schedule a free 10-minute consultation with one of the skilled and compassionate providers at Neurohealth Services to find out what treatment options are available for you: (317) 848-6000
Dystonia is a neurological disorder that affects around a quarter of a million Americans, yet it is not generally understood by the public. The condition is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that lead to abnormal postures and repetitive movements, dystonia can significantly impact a person's quality of life. However, there is hope on the horizon with innovative treatments through functional neurology. Here, we’ll explore common dystonia symptoms and how functional neurology can offer promising solutions.
Dystonia can present in various ways, and symptoms may vary from person to person. Some common symptoms of dystonia include:
Dystonia treatment through functional neurology focuses on optimizing nervous system function, aiming to restore balance and alleviate symptoms of dystonia. Here's how functional neurology can be used to treat dystonia:
Dystonia is a complex neurological disorder that can significantly impact daily routines and quality of life, but functional neurology offers promising avenues for treatment. By targeting the underlying neurological issues and promoting neuroplasticity, functional neurology aims to improve the lives of those living with dystonia. If you or someone you know is struggling with dystonia, a free 10-minute consultation from Neurohealth Services can help determine the proper course of action. Call (317) 848-6000 to learn more.
The ability to see clearly influences many of our daily routines and interactions, so if you’ve found yourself grappling with blurred vision or other visual disturbances resulting from an infection, injury, or autoimmune or vestibular disorder, it’s likely been a source of frustration and concern.
Visual disturbances, ranging from fleeting blurriness to more intricate challenges, can stem from an array of neurological disorders and conditions that affect the vestibular system. It’s important for a practitioner to accurately diagnose and localize the region of dysfunction in order to provide the best possible treatment. Here are a few conditions that can cause visual disturbances and how functional neurology can effectively treat them.
Visual disturbances, also called “aura,” can occur with migraine attacks. These may include flashing lights, blind spots, or zigzag patterns. Identifying the causes and triggers of migraines helps us tailor a treatment plan. Our practitioners at Neurohealth Services may begin with a blood chemistry analysis to detect or rule out hormonal imbalances, inflammation markers, and immune dysfunction, and use diagnostics to evaluate whether inner ear problems or postural alignments are aggravating the symptoms. We may use oculomotor rehabilitation and oxygen therapy to enhance nerve healing and reduce inflammation. We also use non-invasive manual therapies designed to reset nervous system pain signaling and cold laser therapy to stimulate cell regrowth and repair.
Concussion and Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS)
When the brain experiences the sudden jolt or impact of a concussion, it can disrupt visual processing pathways, leading to impaired communication between the eyes and the brain. Functional neurology treatments that focus on optimizing nervous system function can help repair these pathways. We use the Somatosensory Evoked Potential (SSEP) to help pinpoint areas in need of treatment, the Alpha-Stim cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) to help stimulate nerve cells, and other non-invasive therapies designed to promote healing, improve circulation, and reduce swelling and inflammation.
Autoimmune disorders can cause inflammation in various parts of the body, including the nervous system and the eyes. This can lead to blurred vision or other vision problems. Functional neurology is often one aspect of a broader treatment plan and can include treatments such as neurological rehabilitation exercises designed to stimulate specific parts of the brain that are involved in visual processing. We also incorporate sensory stimulation techniques like light therapy to influence neural pathways related to vision. Last, our practitioners might make nutritional and lifestyle recommendations such as dietary changes, and supplements to support overall nervous system health.
COVID-19 and Long Haul COVID
Visual disturbances can be a symptom of both an active COVID-19 infection and long haul COVID, and they can include blurred vision, sensitivity to light, difficulty focusing, and eye pain. A few of the therapies we are currently using are similar to those we use to treat PCS and include oculomotor rehabilitation to retrain and improve eye movement coordination, gaze control, and visual processing, and therapies designed to accelerate healing and reduce inflammation.
If you are experiencing visual disturbances, it’s important to seek evaluation and get a diagnosis to determine the best course of treatment. Depending on the underlying cause of your visual disturbances, treatments may include therapies, lifestyle modifications, or other non-invasive interventions that have been proven effective. Call (317) 848-6000 for a free 10-minute consultation with a caring and experienced specialist at Neurohealth Services and get on the path to wellness today.
Many of the conditions we treat at Neuroheatlh Services involve disorders of the inner ear or the vestibular system. These conditions cause symptoms that affect balance, spatial orientation, and coordination.
Functional neurology practitioners at Neurohealth Services use a range of advanced tools to diagnose and treat these disorders. Here are some of the conditions we see at Neuroheatlh Services and the approaches we use to treat them.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
This condition is characterized by positional vertigo in which an individual may feel extremely dizzy when their head is in a certain position. For example, you may roll over to one side in bed and feel intense room-spinning vertigo for 10 to 20 seconds. The Epley maneuver is designed to restore balance and orientation.
This particular type of migraine includes vertigo or dizziness as one of the main symptoms. Functional neurology can provide strategies to manage migraines, such as dietary modifications, lifestyle changes, stress management techniques, and supplementation, to reduce the frequency and intensity of vestibular symptoms.
Mal de Debarquement Syndrome
Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS) is a rare neurological disorder characterized by persistent feelings of motion, such as rocking, swaying, or bobbing, that typically occur after a period of travel on a boat or other motion-triggering mode of transportation. There have been reported cases of individuals experiencing MdDS-like symptoms without a clear history of such travel. This sensation of continuous motion, even when on solid ground, can severely disrupt a person's quality of life and daily routines. At Neurohealth Services we use non-invasive vestibular rehab treatments designed to target the brain's balance and spatial orientation systems, such as the GyroStim rotational chair system and videonystagmography (VNG).
Unilateral Vestibular Weakness
This condition is characterized by an imbalance in the functioning of the vestibular system, which, as noted, plays a crucial role in balance and spatial orientation. This imbalance often stems from damage or dysfunction in one ear's vestibular organs. Functional neurology’s approach to treatment uses the principles of neuroplasticity to focus on optimizing the central nervous system's function and promoting compensation for the weakened vestibular input. Treatment strategies may involve specific exercises and activities designed to stimulate the affected vestibular pathways, as well as sensory integration techniques aimed at improving overall balance and coordination.
Visual Vertigo or Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness
This is another condition characterized by a persistent sensation of dizziness or unsteadiness and can be triggered or worsened by specific head and body movements. Patients may experience instability, and sometimes nausea or headache, particularly when exposed to busy visual environments, patterns, or when focusing on moving objects. The condition is thought to arise from a mismatch between visual and vestibular (inner ear) sensory input, leading to confusion in the brain's processing of spatial orientation. PPPD is considered a functional disorder, and its management typically involves a combination of approaches, including vestibular rehabilitation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and addressing anxiety or psychological factors that may contribute to the symptoms.
This common and uncomfortable condition is marked by nausea, vomiting, and dizziness when exposed to motion or other sensory triggers that the brain perceives as conflicting. Functional neurology offers a comprehensive approach to treating motion sickness by addressing the underlying neurological imbalances and enhancing the brain's ability to adapt to sensory input. Treatment strategies may include vestibular rehabilitation techniques like sensory integration and neurofeedback that help our patients better control their autonomic nervous system.
In addition to the treatments described for the conditions listed above, general approaches to vestibular disorders also always include a thorough evaluation to assess our patient's symptoms, medical history, and neurological function. We use advanced diagnostic tools to analyze eye movement and vestibular function.
Our functional neurology practice also recognizes the importance of sensory input for proper balance and coordination. Incorporating visual and auditory cues can help retrain the brain's interpretation and integration of sensory information.
Finally, functional neurology recognizes that each patient's condition is unique. Therefore, our treatment plans are tailored to the specific needs of each individual patient. We may combine various therapies to address the underlying causes of vestibular dysfunction and support overall neurological health. A Discovery Day is a 3 to 4-hour comprehensive examination designed to evaluate your unique neurological health so that we can develop a personalized treatment program to meet your needs.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of vestibular dysfunction noted above, or you’ve experienced a noticeable decrease in cognitive function along with digestive symptoms, headaches, dizziness, or fatigue that are disrupting your quality of life, schedule a free 10-minute consultation with Neurohealth Services that can be the start to your wellness journey. Call (317) 848-6000.
Migraines affect more than 10% of people worldwide, occurring most often among people aged 20 to 50 years. They’re also about 3 times more common in women than in men.
Today we’ll look at the difference between a migraine and a headache, what a headache might mean if it’s connected to other symptoms, when to seek treatment, and how we treat some of the common conditions, including migraines.
Headaches Vs. Migraines
First, it’s important to understand the difference between a migraine and a headache, and the primary differences are the intensity and frequency as well as the root cause. A migraine is caused by inflammation when blood vessels in the brain become enlarged and press on the nerve fibers around them. Gut dysfunction, vitamin deficiencies, and hormonal imbalances can increase the severity and frequency of a migraine, so we take these factors into consideration when implementing a treatment plan.
Headaches, on the other hand, can be caused by a variety of factors, such as stress, physical tension in the neck and jaw, allergy and sinus issues, as well as dehydration, caffeine withdrawal, and injuries such as head trauma from a concussion or other brain injury. Headaches can also be a side effect of any condition that is exhausting, disabling, and causes loss of sleep.
Common Neurological Conditions That Cause Headaches
Among the common conditions we treat, many of our patients have reported headaches as one symptom that has hindered their ability to work, participate in sports, or complete daily chores and tasks.
#1 Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
POTS is one form of dysautonomia that causes decreased blood flow to the brain, leading to lightheadedness, brain fog, fatigue, as well as headaches. We can treat this with dietary recommendations and physical therapy that retrains the autonomic nervous system and improves blood flow.
#2 Inflammation Due to Injury or Infection
Inflammation to the brain caused by concussion, post-concussion syndrome (PCS), infection, or long-haul COVID can cause ongoing headaches. If you’re experiencing pain as well as symptoms such as brain fog and fatigue weeks or months after a head injury or a COVID infection, it’s important to seek treatment.
The repetitive muscle spasms and tremors associated with dystonia can cause head and neck pain, especially when the part of the body affected is the face, mouth, jaw, and neck. The pain can often radiate into the back and shoulders.
As you already know, a migraine is more than just a headache. They can cause pain, visual disturbances, nausea, and vomiting. Patients with this condition often report one or more migraine “triggers,” such as strong scents, a change in the weather, or stress. We use a variety of therapies to treat migraine symptoms, including posture analysis, oxygen therapy to reduce inflammation, and manual therapies designed to alleviate nerve pressure.
When To Seek Treatment
Schedule a consultation with Neurohealth Services. Our caring and knowledgeable team has years of experience, and we utilize the most advanced diagnostic tools to pinpoint the root cause of your symptoms in order to provide the most accurate diagnosis and treatment possible.
Many of our patients have had tremendous success after a Discovery Day, a comprehensive evaluation that allows us to design and implement a research-backed, personalized treatment plan to optimize your brain health. Call for a free 10-minute phone consultation and find out if a Discovery Day evaluation is right for you: (317) 848-6000
If you’ve experienced a sudden onset of dizziness that has disrupted your quality of life and daily routines, you’re not alone. Dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance contribute to 5 to 10% of U.S. emergency room visits, and that number goes up to 40% in patients older than 40. The good news is that functional neurology can help you identify the conditions that are causing your symptoms and implement the best treatment.
The vestibular system must work in harmony to promote balance and proper orientation in the body, and a mild concussion, infection, inflammation, or other disturbances to the system can lead to vestibular dysfunction. There are several inner ear and neurological conditions that can cause symptoms of dizziness, the most common of which are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Ménière’s disease, labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, and dysautonomia/POTS.
This type of vertigo is triggered by specific head movements. Calcium crystals called canaliths in the utricle part of the ear are used to detect movement. When they become dislodged and move along the ear canal, it causes disorientation and dizziness. In most cases, we can perform what’s called the Epley maneuver to move the crystals back to where they belong. Many of our patients will be able to repeat this maneuver at home after initial diagnosis and treatment.
Ménière’s disease is an autoimmune condition marked by episodes of vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus (a ringing or buzzing in the ear), and a feeling of fullness in the ear that is believed to be caused by fluid levels in the labyrinth area of the ear.
This condition is caused by inflammation of the inner ear that can cause pain, pressure, blurred vision, hearing loss, and vertigo. Though rare, it can be caused by a cold, flu, or other viral infection like COVID-19.
This is another inner ear disorder that can cause vertigo, nausea, and difficulty concentrating. It can also cause tinnitus and temporary hearing loss. The flu, inner ear infections, and even the virus that causes shingles and chickenpox can lead to vestibular neuritis.
With this condition, you may see “stars” or become dizzy when standing up or have an unusually high heart rate during light activity, heat intolerance, or nausea when in a hot bath or outside in hot weather. We treat this condition with physical therapy in which we work on retraining the autonomic nervous system and improving blood flow. This can include seated range-of-motion exercises, gradually increasing intensity as ability allows.
If you’re experiencing dizziness and balance problems, perhaps accompanied by headaches, hearing loss, or visual disturbances, talk to our caring professionals at Neurohealth Services. When we understand the cause, we can pinpoint areas of the brain in need of treatment and provide targeted rehabilitation to help you regain your quality of life and get back to your daily routines.
We use treatments ranging from specialized exercises that improve eye movement, coordination, and overall balance, to treatment tools including electrical stimulation and cold laser therapy to increase cellular energy and function.
A Discovery Day appointment can help us gain a comprehensive understanding of your symptoms and overall health in order to design a tailored treatment program to meet your needs. Call for a free consultation today: (317) 848-6000.
Many patients of Neurohealth Services come to us reporting symptoms associated with brain fog, poor memory, or poor concentration. Often, there’s an injury or illness we can easily identify as the cause of the symptoms, but we also treat patients who’ve experienced a more gradual onset of symptoms that eventually become disruptive to their daily routines. Today, we’ll talk about the symptoms of brain fog, some of the conditions that cause it, and how the skilled providers at Neurohealth Services diagnose and treat it.
What Is Brain Fog?
The term “brain fog” is used to describe the inability to focus or think clearly. It may also include memory problems, forgetfulness, or confusion.
What Conditions Cause Brain Fog?
We’ve probably all heard the term “brain fog” more frequently in the last few years due to COVID-19, but the condition can also be associated with the flu and the common cold. Inflammation occurs as part of the body’s immune response to a virus, but it can also impair cognitive function.
Brain fog can also be caused by a brain injury like a concussion, dysfunctions of the vestibular (inner ear) system, chronic inflammation due to dietary or hormonal imbalances, or even undiagnosed autoimmune conditions.
Last, symptoms of brain fog can be caused by issues as general as stress, sleep changes, and medications.
How Long Does Brain Fog Last?
Depending on the cause, brain fog can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks, or longer. Research shows brain fog caused by viral infections like the flu or COVID-19 can last several weeks after other symptoms have subsided.
Brain fog caused by a concussion or more serious brain injury can last for weeks or months if left untreated. It all comes down to the root cause of your symptoms.
How Do We Treat Brain Fog?
At Neurohealth Services, we have advanced diagnostics and treatment tools designed to target specific networks of the brain. Tools like photobiomodulation and VieLight therapy have been shown to stimulate cell growth and repair, improve circulation, and reduce swelling and inflammation.
Our comprehensive Discovery Day evaluation allows us to take a deep dive into your brain health, nutrition, routines, and medical history in order to implement a research-backed, personalized treatment plan to help you optimize your brain health.
If you’re feeling symptoms of brain fog, there’s often a treatable condition behind it. Call for a free phone consultation and book your Discovery Day appointment today: (317) 848-6000.
Often our patients come to Neurohealth Services for help when they have a diagnosis such as post-concussion syndrome, labyrinthitis, or dysautonomia and have not been able to find relief elsewhere. But what if you’re experiencing symptoms and don’t know what is causing them? Today we’re sharing some of the most common neurological symptoms we treat and how we are able to diagnose them and pinpoint areas of the brain in need of treatment.
Your vestibular system, which includes the inner ears and areas of your brain, is a complex network that processes information about body and head position, spatial awareness, balance, eye movement, and posture. Dysfunction of the vestibular system can cause dizziness, vertigo, and a variety of other symptoms, and may have numerous causes. At NeuroHealth, we use innovative diagnostic procedures to find out what’s causing your symptoms. We then develop a progressive treatment plan to improve vestibular system function and to help you feel well again.
Light sensitivity, intermittent blurring, and double vision can all be signs of ongoing neurological dysfunction caused by immune disorders, infections, and head injuries. Neurohealth’s non-invasive diagnostics help us gain a complete picture of your health and the cause (or causes) of your symptoms.
One important thing to remember is that there is a difference between headaches and migraines. While migraines may include headaches, they also include a range of symptoms such as digestive and visual disturbances and sensitivity to light and sound. Whether you’re experiencing persistent headaches or the full range of symptoms caused by migraines, Neurohealth Services can pinpoint the cause in order to provide the most effective treatment possible.
Problems with Memory and Concentration; Brain Fog
If you’re feeling a general fogginess or perhaps your memory isn’t what it used to be, there’s often a treatable root cause that could be anything from long-haul COVID to dysfunctions of the vestibular (inner ear) system. We use sophisticated diagnostic tools to pinpoint the underlying causes of your symptoms in order to develop a treatment plan customized for you.
You might have a common and treatable neurological condition if you’re experiencing uncontrollable, unusual, or repetitive twitches or movements. Dystonia describes a variety of functional movement disorders with neurological origins. These involuntary and often painful muscle contractions can occur in the eyelids, face, mouth, jaw, neck, vocal cords, arms, hands, legs, and feet. These are often misdiagnosed as muscle strains, which can be frustrating when the medical treatments have no impact. NeuroHealth uses a variety of diagnostic procedures to evaluate and manage dystonia symptoms.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and you’ve been unable to get a diagnosis or effective relief elsewhere, talk to Neurohealth Services about a comprehensive Discovery Day evaluation to assess your brain health and recommend a tailored treatment plan.
Our office has state-of-the-art technology to evaluate the oculomotor system. We use the RightEye system which objectively measures different facets of ocular function. The test is very simple: you sit and look at a computer with dots moving around the screen and the vision-tracking software will map out your eye movements and give you objective data as to how functional or dysfunctional your eye movements are. The test takes less than seven minutes and can be administered anytime.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and you’ve been unable to get a diagnosis or effective relief elsewhere, schedule a free 10-minute consultation to discuss your condition and options for treatment. Call (317) 848-6000 or contact us today.
Indianapolis-area hospitals are reporting an early flu spike this season, as well as a significant number of flu patients being hospitalized. As temperatures get colder and we spend more time in enclosed spaces, experts are advising people to wash their hands regularly, routinely disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched often, to avoid work, school, and other social gatherings when sick, and for anyone eligible to get the flu vaccine.
What is not often discussed in the news is the flu’s connection to cognitive function. Here are four ways the brain can be impacted by the flu.
You may have only heard the term “brain fog” in relation to COVID-19, but did you know it can also occur with flu and other infections? Inflammatory proteins that form as part of the body’s immune response to a virus also impair cognitive function. Research has shown these impairments can last several weeks after common flu symptoms have subsided.
Labrynthitis is a disorder caused by inflammation of the inner ear that can cause pain, pressure, blurred vision, hearing loss, and vertigo. The cause of this condition is usually a common cold, flu, or viral infection.
This is another inner ear disorder than can cause vertigo, nausea, and difficulty concentrating. It can also cause tinnitis and temporary hearing loss. The flu, inner ear infections, and even the virus that causes shingles and chickenpox can lead to vestibular neuritis.
Cognitive deficits including impaired spatial memory formation (processing information about our location and surroundings) and long-term impairment to the central nervous system have been reported as a result of influenza.
Treatment and Prevention
The good news is that all of these conditions are treatable. Our experts at Neurohealth Services use diagnostic testing including videonystagrography (VNG) and dynamic posturography to pinpoint the area of inflammation affecting the brain and develop a customized neurorehabilitation plan to alleviate symptoms and improve your overall health.
But the easiest way to avoid these conditions is to get your seasonal flu vaccine and follow precautions advised by your local public health experts. Although September and October are recommended as the best times to be vaccinated against flu, the shot is still recommended right now, since the flu most commonly peaks in February and significant activity can continue into the spring.
If you’ve had influenza, COVID-19, an inner ear infection, or another virus that has caused brain fog or vestibular dysfunctions, our experts at Neurohealth Services can provide a free consultation to discuss your symptoms and the best course of treatment. Call our Indianapolis functional neurology office today: (317) 848-6000.