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.
Today we’re taking a look at some of the neurological health issues that affect men’s health, and some of the barriers we can help overcome.
According to Movember, issues impacting the state of men’s health include lack of awareness, stigma around mental health and men not openly discussing how they feel, reluctance to take action or see a doctor, and participating in risky activities.
Maintaining optimal brain health
The first thing we can do for brain health is to preserve it. From a perspective of functional neurology, the issues affecting all of us as we age are applicable here too. For instance, if you’re experiencing difficulty with balance and posture, memory loss, mood swings, or digestive discomfort, these might be signs of a treatable neurological issue, and you should talk to a doctor. You can help maintain optimal brain health through physical fitness, proper diet and nutrition, and getting enough sleep.
Second, because men are more likely to experience symptoms but less likely to seek treatment, it’s important to remember we’re here to help! If diminishing brain function has you struggling with work, relationships, or daily routines, an evaluation can help determine the appropriate next steps.
Seeking treatment for injuries
We have written about how women experience concussions or mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) more frequently than men, but according to the Brain Injury Association of America, men have a higher incidence of serious TBI than women, particularly during young adulthood. Men are also more likely to experience work-related TBI. Moreover, men are more likely to leave the hospital after admission against medical advice.
Additionally, with concussion injuries, men are more likely to experience symptoms of amnesia and disorientation, while women are more likely to report headaches, drowsiness, and nausea. Whatever your symptoms, if you’re still struggling with them weeks or months after an injury, Neurohealth has helped others like you find relief.
Depression and suicide
Depression and suicide are among the top 10 health risks affecting men, according to Healthline. We often talk about depression at Neurohealth Services because it can be a symptom of a wide range of neurological conditions we treat. The most important thing to remember is that if you’re not feeling like yourself, trust your instinct. If an injury, illness, or other neurological condition has led to ongoing symptoms of fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, or depression, Neurohealth can perform advanced diagnostics in order to pinpoint the root cause, and we have the tools to treat them.
Get Help Today
If you’ve experienced an injury or have lingering symptoms from a concussion or neurological condition, contact Neurohealth Services for a free consultation. We’ve helped people just like you improve their quality of life and get back to sports, work, and the activities they love. Call us at (317) 848-6000.
Dysautonomia (POTS) is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system, and today we’re taking a look at the symptoms our patients most often report as well as some of the treatment options.
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is one form of dysautonomia which causes decreased blood flow to the brain.
Do I Have POTS Syndrome? (Quiz)
If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, and the symptoms are slowing you down or affecting your daily routines, an evaluation would help determine the best course of action.
Because other conditions can mimic the symptoms of POTS, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis to rule out other causes and ensure appropriate treatment. At Neurohealth we perform detailed neurological examinations along with using high-tech diagnostic equipment to isolate areas of the brain that are under-functioning. With POTS, dysregulation of the Autonomic Nervous System is caused by top-down brain control systems not regulating output. Our examination with undercover neurologic and metabolic factors causing POTS.
Treatment of dysautonomia is focussing on activating networks in the brain that are dysregulated and thus causing faulty autonomic regulation. Typically areas in the vestibular system and brainstem are the underlying areas causing this problem. Our treatment combines the use of physical, vestibular, and oculomotor treatments along with using a tilt table to re-educate your autonomic responses. Treatment slowly reteaches your body how to stand up without big heart rate fluctuations.
Dysautonomia International offers these gentle reclined, chair, and pool exercises for those who struggle with conventional exercise due to autonomic disorder. These exercises can include:
Make sure you talk to a doctor before starting any new exercise routine and ask our team about a customized routine for your specific ability and condition.
If you experience dizziness, headaches, fainting, fatigue, shortness of breath, or nausea, call Neurohealth Services at (317) 848-6000 for an evaluation today.
The week of September 4th marks the start of National Suicide Prevention week, and we’d like to discuss our role in treating brain injuries that can lead to depression and suicidal ideation.
WebMD reports that a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can trigger symptoms that may drive some to suicide, and studies show that the risk more than triples in the first six months after a traumatic brain injury.
Unlike other injuries, where inflammation heals over time, a brain injury is unique in that, if left untreated, the inflammation in the brain can continue to spread and cause more damage. Adding additional issues with hormones and blood sugar can exacerbate the condition, which is why it’s so important to know the symptoms of a TBI and to seek treatment right away if symptoms worsen or do not improve.
Concussion vs. TBI
The symptoms of a concussion and TBI can be similar. Both can include headaches, dizziness, mood swings, and problems with mood, memory, and focus. The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can also be accompanied by more severe neurological changes including confusion, blurred vision, ongoing fatigue, insomnia, and behavioral changes including anxiety and depression.
If a concussion or TBI is suspected, seek medical attention right away. A CT scan can help determine if surgery is required to treat hematomas (ruptured blood vessels) or contusions (bruising to brain tissue).
Brain Injury Rehabilitation
In the rehabilitative stage of TBI recovery, patients can see significant improvement with the help of functional neurology treatments designed to stimulate cell repair and regrowth, increase circulation, and reduce inflammation. Following are just a few of the brain injury rehab treatment tools we use at Neurohealth.
Somatosensory Evoked Potential (SSEP)
SSEP is a form of electro-stimulation therapy that sends a gentle signal to the brain and then tracks and measures the response, allowing us to pinpoint areas in need of treatment.
The Alpha-Stim is a device that delivers cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) that mimics electrical currents in the brain to stimulate nerve cells. Studies show that the device is effective for treating anxiety, depression, headaches, and migraines.
The GyroStim has been shown to help patients improve reaction time, balance, hand-eye coordination, and spatial awareness to provide relief for symptoms associated with concussion and traumatic brain injury.
In this type of therapy, we apply near-infrared light (NIR) energy that is converted to cellular energy in order to accelerate cell regeneration, stimulate healing, improve circulation, and reduce swelling and inflammation.
If you are experiencing lingering symptoms following a brain injury that include mood swings, fatigue, memory loss, anxiety, depression, or other symptoms that impact your daily routines, reach out to Neurohealth Services. We’ve helped patients with post-concussion syndrome and serious brain injuries improve their brain function and quality of life. Call for a consultation today: (317) 848-6000.
If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National
Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. You can also text or dial 988.
As kids head back to school after summer vacation, many are returning to school sports and perhaps riding a bike or scooter to and from school. Let’s take some time to go over the risks of concussions and share our injury prevention checklist.
According to the Indiana Department of Health, bicycling is a leading cause of head injury for U.S. children 14 and younger. In Indiana, about 9 out of 10 children who ride bicycles say they rarely or never wear a helmet.
In school sports, it is estimated that more than 3.8 million concussions occur annually in the United States, with potentially up to 43% of these unreported and untreated, according to the Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics.
However, the National Federation of State High School Associations reported that concussion rates continued a downward trend for the 2020-2021 school year, and that risk minimization is essential for prevention.
With these key areas in mind, here are some of the best ways we can help prevent concussions this school year.
Always Wear a Helmet When Cycling
Even if you’re just going down the street. Especially if you’re just going down the street. Helmets can reduce the odds of severe head injuries in accidents by about 70%, and fatal head injuries by 65%, studies show.
Make Sure Helmets are Properly Fitted
The helmet should be snug enough not to move when your child shakes their head, but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable. It should sit level, not tilted forward or back. Check the helmet for any cracks or damage, and if a helmet has been involved in a cycling accident, do not continue to use it– buy a new one. Here is a complete guide on buying and properly sizing a child’s helmet.
Ensure Bicycles are in Good Condition
Check the tires, brakes, seat, and handlebars, and consider attaching reflectors to make them more visible to drivers.
Obey Traffic Laws
Kids should understand the importance of crossing at designated intersections only, obeying traffic laws, and staying alert for traffic, pedestrians, and other cyclists. Remind them to ride on the sidewalk if possible, and to also watch for vehicles backing out of driveways and alleyways.
Educate Your Children About Concussions
Share our concussion facts with your children and talk to them about taking the proper precautions. They shouldn’t be fearful of bicycling or participating in sports, but understanding and appreciating the risks might encourage them to be more careful.
Know the Signs
Although this may not prevent a concussion from happening, it’s important to know the symptoms and seek treatment right away to prevent the condition from worsening. Headaches, memory loss, insomnia, dizziness, fatigue, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating and performing daily routines are all symptoms to be aware of following a head injury.
Get Help Today
If your child is experiencing lingering symptoms more than 10 days after a head injury, it’s important to seek treatment. The functional neurology team at Neurohealth Services has treated many young patients, helping them fully recover and return to sports and their daily routines. Call (317) 848-6000 to schedule an evaluation today.
What Causes a Migraine and How Do We Treat Them?
June is Migraine Awareness Month, and since a large number of our patients seek treatment for migraines, or from conditions that are causing migraines, we’re taking this opportunity to share some facts on the causes and treatment of this condition.
If you’re suffering from migraines, it’s important to know that you’re not alone, and you do have treatment options. Because Neurohealth Services specializes in treating patients who’ve been unable to find relief elsewhere, we have experience uncovering factors that may be hindering recovery.
6 Facts About Migraines
NeuroHealth’s Migraine Treatment
NeuroHealth’s targeted therapy is designed to treat specific areas of the brain to stimulate cell repair and regrowth, increase circulation, and reduce inflammation. Here are a some of the ways we diagnose and treat migraines:
If you’re experiencing symptoms that include persistent, intense migraines and other treatments haven’t been successful, don’t give up hope. Call our supportive staff at (317) 848-6000 for a free consultation and get on the path to recovery today.
May is Older Americans Month, and as we take time to recognize the valuable contributions of older Americans past and present, we also want to share how our field of functional neurology can be helpful to those experiencing the neurological effects of aging.
As we age, our bodies are subject to changing hormone levels, deterioration of blood vessels, decreased circulation, and slower system responses. Here are some of the ways these changes affect the brain and what we do to treat them. As always, an evaluation by a healthcare professional is important to determine if you’re experiencing the expected and normal cognitive effects of aging or more serious signs of dementia.
Difficulty with Balance and Posture
Fear of falling may be one of the most common concerns among older adults. This fear may lead them to cut back on vital brain-stimulating activities and routines, like exercise and social interactions, which can further accelerate the aging process.
We diagnose and treat balance and posture problems in the following ways:
One of the most common changes associated with aging involves memory and multitasking. Older adults might be slower to recall a word or name they’re trying to remember. They may experience difficulty multitasking or disengaging from a second task to go back to the primary one (such as answering a phone call while cooking a meal).
Functional neurology treatments like the Vielight® and cold laser therapy that focus on increasing cellular energy can help restore the functions that aid memory and multitasking. Photobiomodulation is another non-invasive therapy that can stimulate cell growth, improve circulation, and reduce the symptoms that can cause sluggish brain functions.
The parasympathetic nervous system controls many bodily functions by way of the vagus nerve. One of these functions is the regulation of mood. As we age, this system’s responses slow down, which can lead to symptoms of depression and anxiety. Therapy designed to stimulate the vagus nerve can help reduce these symptoms.
It might not come as a surprise that digestive functions can also be thrown off balance by aging– we’ve often discussed the connection between gut and brain health. Luckily, vagus nerve stimulation has also been shown to decrease gastrointestinal inflammation, speed digestion, and improve satiety, or the cues that signal to you when you’re hungry and full.
The Good News
As the National Institute on Aging notes, there are also positive cognitive changes that come with aging, such as a more extensive vocabulary and depth of knowledge. And research shows that older adults can improve their brain function, so if you are experiencing neurological symptoms that a healthcare provider tells you are normal signs of aging, you might benefit from an evaluation with us.
Testimonials from our patients show the success they’ve had in regaining cognitive function after treatment from Neurohealth Services.
Call our office at (317) 848-6000 for a free consultation today.
There’s a lot of talk on the internet about home remedies and miracle cures. You’ve probably seen ads with the words “this one trick,” so you might be skeptical about what treatments and supplements actually work. Our team at Neurohealth Services stays on top of the latest research so we can help you understand the best way to recover from brain injuries and maintain optimal brain health. Here are some routines and home remedies we recommend.
An anti-inflammatory, nutrient-rich diet
Your diet and nutrition really do have an impact on your brain health, so if you’re struggling with cognition or you just want to maintain brain health, a diet rich in omega-3s, antioxidants, and minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper can help.
Oils high in omega-6 fat, such as corn oil and soybean oil, are more likely to cause inflammation. Try olive oil, avocado oil, or flaxseed oil instead. An anti-inflammatory diet should include plenty of leafy greens, nuts and seeds, omega-3 rich fish, and fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges. Spices like turmeric, ginger, and garlic have scientific studies to back up their anti-inflammatory properties.
Sage is an herb that studies have shown has promising, cognitive-enhancing effects in adults, and might even aid in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Recent research also shows the nutrient choline, found in eggs, nuts, fish, cauliflower, and broccoli, may improve brain function. Please consult with us, or ask your primary doctor before starting any kind of a new diet or nutrition regimen.
You might see certain devices and activities advertised as “brain games” but the truth is that there is not a lot of scientific evidence to support most of those claims. However, there are types of cognitive stimulation that Harvard Health says do promote neuroplasticity. Reading, practicing a new language, or performing tasks that require both manual and mental dexterity, such as drawing and painting, may be effective in the type of mental stimulation that enhances cognitive function.
Exercise has a wide array of benefits, not the least of which includes delivering oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Exercise promotes neuroplasticity in the same way as other cognitive activities, and it also improves blood pressure and cholesterol and reduces stress, all of which are good for the heart and the brain.
This form of exercise promotes brain health by stimulating the midline cerebellum, the area of the brain responsible for movement, coordination, and posture. By repeatedly activating the core muscles, you are stimulating this part of the brain. Pilates is one method that incorporates these strategies. Always ask your doctor or schedule a consultation with us before taking on a new exercise program.
Meditation and breathing
Sound too easy? Studies have shown a direct link between meditation and focused deep breathing and increased levels of noradrenaline, a neurotransmitter that helps the brain grow new connections.
If you’ve been struggling with cognitive function and it’s disrupting your daily routine, schedule a consultation. NeuroHealth specializes in diagnosing complicated neurological disorders and developing individualized treatment plans to address our patients’ specific conditions.
Call our Indianapolis neurology office at (317) 848-6000 and get on the path to recovery today.
It’s no secret that we all feel better when we’re clear-headed and well-rested. Unfortunately, many Americans struggle with ongoing neurological symptoms, including insomnia, brain fog, dizziness, headaches, and visual and balance problems. Brain injury, illness, or stress could be the underlying cause. Because brain health impacts all areas of the body, diminished brain function from an injury or illness, when left untreated, can have a ripple effect. Following are seven primary areas impacted by brain function.
Mood Swings, Stress, Anger
There are a variety of causes for mood swings and not all of them point to a chemical imbalance. It’s important to get the correct diagnosis in order to treat it effectively, so if you’ve been struggling with symptoms of depression, stress, and anger, it may be time to evaluate your brain function. Areas in the frontal lobe are responsible for emotional control, critical thinking, and mood. Our office specializes in the evaluation and treatment of brain function. Our state-of-the-art testing can evaluate your frontal lobe and guide you in treatment to help these symptoms.
When a person experiences inflammation that leads to diminished brain function, one of the body’s most important means of healing is often the one that’s the most elusive: sleep. And this inability to get quality sleep often exacerbates symptoms. Lack of sleep can lead to an increasingly diminished emotional state and continued problems with mood, memory, and concentration. Our patients who previously relied on medicines and sleep aids for their symptoms have reported feeling and sleeping better after as few as five days in our NeuroReset program.
It’s well known that a concussion can cause blurred vision, double vision, and sensitivity to light and sound. But did you know that other neurological conditions can also cause problems with visual tracking, focus, depth perception, processing, and spatial awareness? We see these symptoms most often in athletes who have suffered a brain injury, but we also see vision disturbances in patients with a variety of neurological conditions. Our comprehensive treatment approach includes oculomotor rehabilitation designed to treat these symptoms.
Many people suffering from diminished brain function experience difficulty with balance and hand-eye coordination. The GyroStim is one type of vestibular therapy that provides relief from these symptoms by allowing the patient to perform a variety of exercises and challenges while seated in a multi-axis rotational chair controlled by a computer program.
Concentration, Memory, Mental Clarity
You may have heard the term “brain fog,” especially if it’s something you’ve experienced as a result of an illness, injury, or other neurological disorder. Disruptions in concentration, memory, and mental clarity impact all areas of our life, even if we don’t have demanding full-time jobs or school commitments. We use an approach called photobiomodulation, which applies a low level of laser stimulation to specific areas of the brain in need of treatment. This treatment has been shown to stimulate healing, improve circulation, and reduce the swelling and inflammation that cause these disturbances.
Our patients are often surprised to learn about the connection between gut and brain health. Trauma to the brain activates a stress function via the vagus nerve, which can lead to heartburn, gas, bloating, and other discomforts. An anti-inflammatory diet can often relieve these symptoms, but if you’re still experiencing delays in recovery after making dietary adjustments, further evaluation may be necessary.
In the same way that inflammation can cause disturbances in the gastrointestinal system, this type of stress response can also cause skin irritation. Additionally, high cortisol associated with the emotional distress of coping with a brain injury or neurological disorder can aggravate an existing skin condition. If dietary or topical treatments don’t appear to be working, and neurological symptoms are also lingering, the condition may warrant further evaluation.
New Year, New Brain
If you’ve been struggling with ongoing neurological symptoms that are disrupting your daily routine, you’ve come to the right place. Our patients describe in testimonials how they have found relief from numerous symptoms after finally pinpointing the root cause of their discomfort. NeuroHealth specializes in diagnosing complicated neurological disorders and developing individualized treatment plans to address our patients’ specific conditions.
Call our Indianapolis neurology office at (317) 848-6000 and get on the path to recovery today.
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and to help direct needed attention to the large number of brain injures that go untreated and undiagnosed, we’ve compiled 7 things you need to know about concussions and why it’s important to seek treatment.
1. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury
It’s caused by a sudden jolt or impact causing the brain to shift within the skull. A concussion does not require a blow to the head.
2. You should limit screen time after a brain injury
The CDC recommends limiting screen time and loud music before bed, sleeping in a dark room, and sticking with a daily routine for sleeping and waking. Ease back into activities that cause eye strain and fatigue.
3. Women and girls are at higher risk for concussions
But more research is needed to determine the reason why. A 2018 study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found female athletes are at nearly twice the risk of experiencing sports-related concussions than male athletes. The study concluded this may be due to biomechanical or hormonal differences, or even the fact that female athletes are just more likely to report their symptoms.
4. Concussion treatment promotes faster recovery
One of the myths we often hear about concussions and other brain injuries is that only time can heal them. At Neurohealth Services, we offer an array of neurorehabilitative treatment tools designed to locate and stimulate specific areas of the brain compromised by an injury. Our patients have reported significant relief of concussion symptoms following our specialized treatments.
5. Concussion symptoms are not always obvious or immediately apparent
Symptoms of post-concussion syndrome (PCS) can include insomnia, confusion, memory loss, or mood swings. Children may not have the vocabulary to describe their symptoms as well as adults and may report “just not feeling right.”
6. Post-concussion syndrome is often difficult to diagnose
Up to 95% of brain scans may appear normal after a concussion, even when specific networks have been compromised. If symptoms persist or become worse, it’s important to seek treatment in order to prevent further delays in recovery.
7. Ask for guidance on when you can safely return to activities
Routine activities such as work, school, sports, and driving may cause fatigue when your brain is healing, which can prolong recovery. We recommend gradually returning to these activities and easing back if symptoms return or worsen.
If you are still experiencing concussion symptoms that are disrupting your daily routines weeks or months after an accident or injury, please seek treatment with NeuroHealth Services. Our functional neurology team specializes in treating patients who have been unable to find relief elsewhere. Call (317) 848-6000 to schedule an evaluation today.