‘What?! This may cause long term memory loss?’ you may wonder in dismay as you watch your son or daughter get bopped on the head with a softball. You may be surprised there are even dots to connect between concussions, effects and something as serious as dementia. But there are. We take these bruises for granted in sports, after all, it is part of throwing yourself in the game, isn’t it? While not all concussions (defined by medicine as a bump or blow to the brain that ‘can’ effect the way your brain works,) will bear upon the longevity of the bearer many will.
It is our brain we are talking about here, so the first dot to connect is that if the brain sustains trauma, the health of the brain will be affected in some way. Just like the entire body, the brain works from a system of balance, a relationship between all the working parts, such as cerebrospinal fluid being produced and moving into the spinal column, blood flow bringing oxygen and nutrients, neural pathways firing with consistency as needed and much more.
First dot to connect: A concussion can not only inflict damage upon the working systems, but the inflammation that follows and the scarring that can happen will inevitably influence the balance the head needs to do its job for us in our ever changing lives.
Second dot to connect: A concussion increases stress upon the entire body, other systems step up to work harder when the brain does not work as effectively. For instance, research is showing cardiac health is effected when the brain is less stable and fluid. This stress leads to inflammation causing additional challenge to maintaining health.
Third dot to connect: With less balance in the brain, greater inflammation throughout the body, stress upon other systems, long term effects such as lower cognitive function, challenged behavioral stability like mood swings, depression and anxiety, memory loss, judgment impairment naturally follow suit.
Fourth dot to connect: Dementia, effecting over 50% of adults over the age of 85, could be the down stream course of the trauma of concussion.
This connect the dots can be disrupted however. It is possible to heal the damage done through seemingly insignificant bumps to the head. My own expertise of CranioSacral therapy is one of these non-invasive modalities creating a new paradigm for health. In my next article I will reveal why this method is so effective.