The mechanism of concussions and its consequences
For a successful treatment, it is important to understand the mechanism of concussions. When we running, jumping, even walking, neuronal and axonal membranes are stretched in the normal physiological range.
A mechanical significant blow to the head, producing sudden not physiological sprain of neuronal and axonal membranes. This sprain initiates release of many different neurotransmitters, and post-traumatic cellular derangement, increasing excessive amount of cerebral spinal fluid secretion, leading to inadequate blood supply to the brain, resulting inflammatory condition becomes an obstacle to a blood supply for normal brain function and much-needed extra blood supply to repair damages.
Insufficient blood supply along with dysfunctional mitochondria – intracellular source of reactive oxygen species, if will be not addressed, little by little leads to degenerative encephalopathy. With time, it can lead to movement disorders, dementia, psychiatric behavior disorders, chronic headaches etc.
From a neurological perspective, when there is a concussion, which is a head injury causing head trauma, brain cells are in the mode called “stunned brain.” This is also known as “hibernating brain cells.” This is a mode the cells go into in order to avoid massive apoptosis or necrosis. Apoptosis is also known as “programmed cell death,” describes the state when some brain cells go into the programmed cell death in order to allow other neighboring cells to survive. The only way to prevent neurons from going into hibernation is to increase cerebral circulation. Again the purpose of hibernation is to decrease cellular function to the point when fewer resources, blood, oxygen, glucose, are required for cell function and allows the neighboring cells a chance to survive heal/recover.
Immediately after a concussion and sometime later on, when concussion symptoms disappear, secretion of cerebral spinal fluid will be increased. However with time, as far as few years later, during a post-concussion period, a significant insufficiency of the natural drainage is observed. In other word, a stagnation of the cerebral spinal fluid occurs. This CSF stagnation, significantly disturbs a blood supply, and fuels encephalopathies developments.
An acceleration of the lymphatic and the cerebral spinal fluid drainage techniques, is equally important when an excessive amount of cerebral spinal fluid produced, as well as in the case of stagnation of the cerebral spinal fluid.
It is acceptable to think that during the nine months after a concussion, Programmed Cell Death can be reversed. From my personal clinical observations, when the obvious symptoms of brain dysfunctions start such as initial symptoms of dementia, Alzheimer disease or movement disorders, the acceleration of lymphatic and cerebral spinal fluid drainage techniques help to promote blood supply to the brain, and patients demonstrate improvement.
In my blog http://medicalmassage-edu.com/european-cranio-sacral-therapy/ I’m explaining the general concept on subject of encephalopathies, and the importance of acceleration of lymphatic and cerebral spinal fluid drainage techniques, as well as the importance of massage therapy in balancing sympathetic and parasympathetic activities.
In the clinical and scientific world, there are scientifically established facts, which in most cases are fundamental facts. However, sometimes clinical observations supported by clinical outcome suggest differently. In this case, after nine months, supposedly organic not reversible changes should develop, but I personally observed significant improvements, years later. We should not confuse encephalopathies due to post concussions, and encephalopathies due to different other causes. Dementia is dementia, and in early stages its developments can be stopped and reversed. For example, if a football player who have sustained a concussion, two years after the occurrence starts demonstrating and experiencing symptoms of dementia, the post-concussion protocol still can make a difference.
The physical methods of treatments proposed by former Soviet sports medicine experts are directed toward stimulation of blood supply to the brain, which in turn is the prevention of hibernation/apoptosis and/or necrosis.